Professor Jane Whittle
Professor of Economic and Social History
I am a historian of late medieval and early modern England with a particular interest in women’s work. I currently hold a prestigious European Research Council Advanced Grant to study ‘Forms of Labour: Gender, Freedom and Experience of Work in the Preindustrial Economy’. Our understanding of ‘traditional’ (historical) work roles still influences behaviour today, for instance in the persistence of the gender pay gap. My research demonstrates the historical roots in how we conceptualise work and develops new methodologies to examine historical work patterns. It demonstrates the persistently high contribution of women to the economy and explains why this has been overlooked.