Catherine Hall FBA (born 1946 in Kettering) is a British academic. She is Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London and chair of its digital scholarship project, the Centre for the Study of the Legacies of British Slavery.[1] Her work as a feminist historian focuses on the 18th and 19th centuries, and the themes of gender, class, race and empire.


Catherine Barrett (later Hall) was born in Kettering, Northamptonshire. Her father, John Barrett, was a Baptist minister, while her mother, Gladys came from a family of millers.[2] In the early 1960s, while on a march for Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Hall would meet her future husband, Stuart Hall, and the two would go on to marry in 1964. The couple had a daughter, Becky, and son, Jess, and the family lived in Birmingham.[3][4] In 1970 Hall attended the UK's first National Women's Liberation Conference at Ruskin College, Oxford. She also became a member of the Feminist Review collective between 1981–1997.[5] Her husband, Stuart, with whom she travelled, died in 2014.[6] In May 2016, Hall donated 3,000 books from Stuart Hall's private library to Housmans bookshop.[7][8]

Academic career

Hall is a feminist historian, known for her work on gender, class, race and empire between 1700 and 1900.[9]

Awards and recognition

Supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions-movement in 2016, she rejected the award of the Dan David Prize from the Dan David Foundation in Tel Aviv, Israel. Hall stated that it was "an independent political choice" to reject the award which included a £225,000 research fund.[10] In July 2018 she was elected Fellow of the British Academy (FBA)[11] and in 2019 received an honorary degree from the University of York.[9] She was awarded the Leverhulme Medal in September 2021 by the British Academy, 'in recognition of Professor Hall’s impact across modern and contemporary British history, particularly in the fields of class, gender, empire and postcolonial history'.[12]

Published works




  1. ^ "Staff | Legacies of British Slavery". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
  2. ^ HALL, STUART. (2018). FAMILIAR STRANGER : a life between two islands. [Place of publication not identified]: PENGUIN Books. ISBN 978-0-14-198475-9. OCLC 1005885722.
  3. ^ David Morley and Bill Schwarz, "Stuart Hall obituary", The Guardian, 10 February 2014.
  4. ^ Morley, David; Schwarz, Bill (11 February 2014). "Stuart Hall obituary - Influential cultural theorist, campaigner and founding editor of the New Left Review". The Guardian. p. 39. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  5. ^ Hajkova, Anna (17 February 2020). "Feminist History Group". The University of Warwick. Warwich Un. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  6. ^ Grant, Colin (31 March 2017). "Familiar Stranger by Stuart Hall review – from Jamaica to the New Left and Thatcherism". The Guardian. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  7. ^ "Stuart Hall's Archive". Stuart Hall Foundation. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  8. ^ "Stuart Hall's Library | Centre for Contemporary Literature". Retrieved 6 December 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Honorary graduates for 2019 announced". University of York. 15 July 2019. Retrieved 21 March 2020.
  10. ^ "One of Britain's most famous academics refuses Israeli award". The Independent. 24 May 2016. Retrieved 12 October 2017.
  11. ^ "Record number of academics elected to British Academy | British Academy". British Academy. Retrieved 22 July 2018.
  12. ^ "UCL professor recognised for ground-breaking work on legacies of British slavery". UCL. 2 September 2021.