German Historical Institute London

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Phone: Tel. +44-(0)20-7309 2050



Dr Jane Freeland

Modern History

+44 020 7309

Jane Freeland joined the GHIL in July 2019. She is a historian of feminism and gender in modern Germany. Her research examines the impact and meaning of 1960s feminism on contemporary discussions of gender and women’s rights. Prior to joining the GHIL, she worked at Queen Mary University of London as a Lecturer in Modern German History. She holds an MA in European Studies and a Ph.D. in History from Carleton University, Canada.

Research Project

Black and white image of of a group of protesters, seen from behind. All are holding up placards, the most visible one in the cenbtre of the image reads 'March 4 Women'

Jane Freeland is the postdoctoral co-ordinator of the International Standing Working Group on Medialization and Empowerment. In this role, she explores how feminism is represented in the media, and how, in turn, the media has shaped the development and reception of feminism across the long 20th century.

Her current book project evaluates the legacy of feminist activism against domestic violence in post-1945 Germany. Focusing on divided Berlin, it looks at the processes of addressing domestic abuse from the formation of the women’s shelter movement in the 1970s to the passing of the Protection from Violence Act in 2002. In doing so, the project examines how women activists created social change and how, in turn, their work transformed feminism in Germany.

Responsibilities at the GHIL

  • Research Fellow in Modern History
  • Co-ordinator of the International Standing Working Group on Medialization and Empowerment

Research Interests

  • Post-1945 German history
  • History of gender and sexuality in Europe
  • Social and cultural histories of East Germany
  • History of feminism and women’s activism
  • Gender-based violence and violence against women
  • Gender and sexuality in the legal system

Education and Academic Background

2019– Research Associate, German Historical Institute London
2018–2019 Lecturer in Modern German History, Queen Mary University of London
2017–2018 Teaching Fellow in Modern European History, University of Sheffield
2016–2017 Newton International Fellow, University of Bristol
2016 Ph.D. in History, Carleton University (Canada)
2010 MA in European, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Carleton University (Canada)

Fellowships, Grants, and Scholarships

2016 Newton International Fellowship
2015 Doctoral Fellowship, German Historical Institute, Washington
2014 Travel Grant, Central European History Society
2014 Visiting Fellowship, Centre for Contemporary History, Germany
2013 Research Grant, German Academic Exchange Service

Honours and Distinctions

2015 Marta Danylewycz Memorial Award, Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women



Monographs and Edited Volumes

Feminist Transformations: Domestic Violence in Divided Berlin, 1969–2002 (under contract with the British Academy Monograph series, Oxford University Press).

Articles and Chapters

‘Creating Good Socialist Women: Continuities, Desire and Degeneration in Slatan Dudow’s The Destinies of Women’, Journal of Women’s History, 29/1 (2017), 87–110

‘Domestic Abuse, Women’s Lives and Citizenship: East and West Policies during the 1960s and 1970s’, in Friederike Brühöfener, Karen Hagemann, and Donna Harsch (eds.), Gendering Post-1945 German History: Entanglements (New York, 2019), 253–73.

‘Women’s Bodies and Feminist Subjectivity in West Germany’, in Joachim Häberlen, Mark Keck-Szajbel, and Kate Mahoney (eds.), The Politics of Authenticity: Counter-Cultures and Radical Movements across the Iron Curtain, 1968–1989 (New York, 2018), 131–50

with Jennifer Evans, ‘Rethinking Sexual Modernity in Twentieth Century Germany’, Social History, 37/3 (2012), 314–27

‘Communism and Queers in Europe’, in Howard Chiang, Anjali Arondekar, Marc Epprecht, Jennifer Evans, Ross Forman, Hanadi al-Samman, Emily Skidmore, and Zeb Tortorici (eds.), Global Encyclopedia of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer History (Farmington Hills, MI., 2018), 399–403.

‘Homosexuality and the Science of History in Anglo-American Perspective‘, in  Florian Mildenberger, Jennifer Evans, Rüdiger Lautmann, and Jakob Pastoetter (ed.), Was ist Homosexualität: Forschungsgeschichte, gesellschaftliche Entwicklung und Perspektiven (Hamburg, 2014), 305–18.

Reviews and Miscellaneous Publications


Ned Richardson-Little, “The Human Rights Dictatorship. Socialism, Global Solidarity and Revolution in East Germany,” ARO: Annali.Recensioni.Online, Vol. 2 (5) (2022): 66-7

Trine Rogg Korsvik, “Politicizing Rape and Pornography. 1970s Feminist Movements in France and Norway,” H-France Reviews, Vol. 22 (2022).

Christopher Neumaier, ‘Familie im 20. Jahrhundert. Konflikte um Ideale, Politiken und Praktiken,’ Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte, Vol. 108 (3) (2021), 424-5

Katharina Karcher, ‘Sisters in Arms: Militant Feminisms in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1968’, English Historical Review, 134/569(2019), 1065–67.

Bernhard Gotto and Elke Seefried (eds.), ‘Männer mit ‘Makel’: Männlichkeiten und gesellschaftlicher Wandel in der frühen Bundesrepublik’, German History, 36/1 (2018), 150–2.

Blog posts

‘How has the Media Shaped Feminism? An Example from the West German Women’s Movement’, Women’s History Network Blog (2020) []

‘Writing Their Stories: Women’s Survivorship and the History of Domestic Abuse’, VIDA Blog, Australian Women’s History Network (2016) []