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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Philippa Levine

Professor D.Phil., 1984, Oxford University (St. Antony's College)

Professor; Mary Helen Thompson Centennial Professor in the Humanities; Co-Director, Program in British Studies
Philippa Levine



Philippa Levine grew up in the United Kingdom, and came to the U.S. in 1987. She taught at the University of Southern California before joining the UT faculty in 2010. She has also taught in her native Britain and in Australia.


Research Interests

British Empire; intersections of race and gender; science, medicine and society


Awards, Honors

Guggenheim Fellowship (2007-8); Resident Fellow, Bellagio Center, Rockefeller Foundation (2002); various visiting fellowships in Australia, Britain, Ireland, and Canada, plus research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Institutes of Health



2009: Gender, Labour, War and Empire in Modern Britain. Essays on Modern Britain, co-edited with Susan Grayzel, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

2007: The British Empire, Sunrise to Sunset, Harlow: Longman Pearson

2007: Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire and Transnationalism, 1860-1950, co-edited with Kevin Grant and Frank Trentman, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

2004: Gender  and Empire: Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series, Oxford: Oxford University Press

2003: Prostitution, Race and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire, New York: Routledge

2000: Women's Suffrage in the British Empire: Citizenship, Nation and Race, co-edited with Laura Mayhall and Ian Fletcher, London: Routledge

1990: Feminist Lives in Victorian England Private Roles and Public Commitment,  Oxford: Basil Blackwell

1987: Victorian Feminism 1850-1900, London: Hutchinson Education, later Routledge, and Gainesville, FL: University of Florida Press. 1994,

1986: The Amateur and the Professional. Historians, Antiquarians and Archaeologists in Victorian England, 1838-1886, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

HIS 394H • Intro To Historical Inquiry

39950 • Fall 2014
Meets W 900am-1200pm GAR 4.100
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This course is designed to introduce all incoming history graduate students to a variety of theoretical, methodological, or historiographical approaches to the past.


Readings will range from classic works of history (e.g., E. P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class) to theoretical engagements with history writing (e.g., Ranajit Guha and Gayatri Chakravorty, eds., Selected Subaltern Studies) to theories of historical change (e.g., Marx, Captial).


Grades will be based on class participation and several short to medium writing assignments.

Required of all entering graduate students in history.

Prerequiste: Graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser.

HIS 362G • World Of The Victorians

40060 • Spring 2014
Meets MW 330pm-500pm UTC 3.112
(also listed as EUS 346 )
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Britain in the Victorian age has been subject to a great deal of myth-making. It is often seen as a prudish age in which women were kept in the home and children were seen and not heard. This course will offer a more realistic view of the period, as well as exploring how such visions of the Victorian era came about in the twentieth century.

The course is intended to introduce students to the main contours of social and cultural British history both in Britain and in its burgeoning empire. It will examine the paradoxes and contradictions that characterize late eighteenth and nineteenth-century British society, and explore what the idea of “being British” might be said to mean at this time. ‘The World of the Victorians’ offers a broad survey of Victorian social and cultural history, and will include such topics as religion, sexuality, gender, class, family life, the countryside and the city, science and society, and much more.


The readings will largely consist of primary source materials, mostly available online.


Grading will be on the following basis, and will include +/- grades:three assignments/exams, weighted equally:

Paper on Class Readings – summarise, contextualise and analyse a selected primary reading

Mid-Term Exam

Final Exam – cumulative

HIS 394H • Intro To Historical Inquiry

40210 • Fall 2013
Meets TH 900am-1200pm GAR 4.100
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This course is designed to introduce all incoming history graduate students to a variety of theoretical, methodological, or historiographical approaches to the past.

Readings will represent a range of approaches: micro- and macro-, local and transnational, cultural, political, intellectual, and economic.

Grades will be based on class participation and several short to medium writing assignments.



HIS 365G • Science, Ethics, & Society

39585 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.124
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This course explores the ethics of scientific experimentation on humans (and to a smaller extent animals) in the 19th and 20th centuries. The Nuremberg code of the late 1940s will act as a pivotal historical marker in the course, and students will be encouraged to ask how far the principles of informed consent to which it gave rise changed the scientific landscape. The course will consider both medical and scientific projects and will focus largely on case studies. These will include experiments conducted on convicts (e.g. Leo Stanley’s implantation of testicular matter into convicts at San Quentin, CA; drug company testing in Holmesburg Prison (PA) inmates); children (e.g. A. O. Neville’s experiments in Australia with biological absorptionism; The ‘Monster Study’ in Iowa); and slaves (in the American South).  The course will explore chemical warfare testing and radiation experiments (e.g. Porton Down; mustard gas testing in Australia; Bikini Atoll); compulsory sterilisation (e.g. Germany; Scandinavia, US), and active deception of subjects (Tuskegee syphilis experiment). Students will study science not only as an enterprise with a history, but a history closely tied to prevailing social values. 

Texts may include:

Susan Lederer, Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America Before the Second World War (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995).

Jordan Goodman, Anthony McElligott, and Lara Marks, Useful Bodies: Humans in the Service of Medical Science in the Twentieth Century (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).

G. J. Annas and M. A., Grodin, The Nazi Doctors and the Nuremberg Code: Human Rights in Human Experimentation (Oxford University Press, 1992).

Articles in Journal of Southern History; Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Journal of the History of Biology and others

Grades will be based on three written papers. The final paper will be worth 40% of the grade, and the other two papers will each be worth 30% of the grade.  


HIS 362G • England In The 20th Century

39820 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 330pm-500pm UTC 3.132
(also listed as EUS 346 )
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This class will consider the course of British history over the twentieth century, a time in which Britain moved from considerable authority in the world to a much reduced status, politically and economically most especially. Since so much of Britain’s power derived from its extensive imperial possessions, the British Empire is as central to this course as are considerations of domestic British history. Alongside this global decline, however, the twentieth century saw dynamic change in British society: in the mid-century years, Britain was transformed into a multi-racial and multi-ethnic society. It shaped one of the dominant welfare states of the century and dominated popular culture for at least a decade before reverting back to a deep conservatism in the 1980s under the long leadership of Margaret Thatcher.


Text: Peter Clarke, Hope and Glory: Britain 1900-2000 (Penguin, 2008: 2nd edition

There will also be primary source materials, and these will be available online


Grading will be on the following basis, and will include +/- grades:


  • Three assignments/exams, weighted equally:
  • Paper on Class Readings – summarize, contextualize and analyze a selected primary reading
  • Mid-Term Exam
  • Research Paper





HIS 362G • The World Of Victorians

39435 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 330pm-500pm UTC 4.112
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HIS 362G Topics in European History: The World of the Victorians
Unique Number: 42353
Fall Semester 2010

MW: 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Instructor: Philippa Levine
Teaching Assistant: Alexis Harasemovitch Truax


Imagine a world without shampoo, toothpaste, and telephones, without showers or televisions, but where the air was nonetheless polluted and the cities were noisier and dirtier than today. Imagine a world in which a woman walking alone was considered unrespectable, and in which few white-collar occupations would employ her. Imagine a world in which a speed of 30 miles per hour was breathtaking but in which letters were routinely delivered the day they were mailed. Welcome to the world of the Victorians.

This course will introduce you to Britain in the nineteenth century, and to the empire it was busy building at that time. It will examine the paradoxes and contradictions that characterize nineteenth-century British society, and explore what the idea of “being British” might be said to mean at this time.

Required Texts

We will be relying for most of our readings on primary sources available online and detailed in the course outline below. They are mostly quite short.

There is also one required text for this class and you may choose between buying a copy or accessing it online. The textbook is primarily a background text for reference, providing additional information and clarification. Regard it as a useful tool for verifying facts and expanding your knowledge of particular topics. It will not provide sufficient material for you to earn good grades, particularly in the case of your term paper.

The text you will need to acquire is:

Sally Mitchell, Daily Life in Victorian England (1996) – this is available both as a paperback book and online through UT’s database collections. It is part of the database entitled “Daily Life Online”. 

When you click this link, the system will prompt you for your UT information, without which you cannot access this material.

Each chapter is divided into a series of sections and you will need to click on each link  separately to read the entire chapter

Course Mechanics

Please ensure you have turned off any pagers, cell phones, or other noise-emitting devices before coming to class. If you disturb a class period with any such device, you will be required to leave for the remainder of the day's class. A second such disturbance will reduce your final grade in the course by a full grade fraction.

This  class uses Blackboard, a Web-based course management system with password-protected access at  If you need support in using Blackboard, contact the ITS Help Desk at 475-9400, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Course Website

The Blackboard site for this course contains a copy of the syllabus, advice about writing, exam-taking and a breakdown of minimum grading requirements, as well as an FAQ. Any class announcements will be posted to this site. It will be your responsibility to check the website frequently to make sure you know what’s going on.

Assignments and Grading Policies

Grading will be on the following basis, and will include +/- grades

Assessment in this course is based on two mid-term in-class exams and one research paper. Each is worth 30% of the total grade. The remaining 10% of your grade will reflect participation in the class.

Your research paper will be due on Monday December 6. For this assignment, you will write a letter of about eight pages (double-spaced, font no larger than 12 point), taking on the character of someone from any time in the period we are studying, that is, from the nineteenth century but not beyond. You may choose to be an outsider visiting Britain or one of its colonies, a Briton or a colonial subject either in your own country or in another country under British authority. You could, for instance, be a British colonial officer or a member of a British colonial family in a colony, or visiting relatives and friends in Britain. You could be someone from a British colony observing British society (as a visitor, a student, a dignitary on a state tour, as examples) or observing the workings of colonialism in your own society. Equally you could be British in Britain. You can be someone who really existed, or someone you have imagined. Whatever characterization you choose, you are writing a letter perhaps to a friend, a family member, a business partner -- whoever you choose -- describing where you are, the events of the day, the customs and home life of people, the politics and whatever else strikes you. You will, of course, need to do some research outside the lectures and textbooks in order to do a decent job on this exercise. Please make use of my office hours (or make an appointment if these are unsuitable for you) to discuss subject matter, further reading, and any other questions you might have. In addition to the eight pages of text, you should append a bibliography of sources that have helped you with the research. The term paper should also acknowledge all citations in footnotes or endnotes. If you prefer to use APA in-text citations, that’s fine. Just make sure you are consistent with the citation method you adopt.

All papers must be typed double-spaced. You may use either one or both sides of the paper, as you prefer. Please paginate your work and clip the paper together with a paper clip or staple. No assignments may be sent by e-mail; they must be presented in hard copy.

Assignments handed in late will be marked down by a grade fraction for each 24 hour period beyond their due date and time, and no papers will be accepted more than 48 hours beyond their original due date. It is important to know this, since you will automatically fail the course unless you complete every assignment and exam.

In grading your assignments, I look at depth of analysis (do you really try to think carefully about the implications of the readings, or do you simply summarize or state the most obvious points about the texts?), ability to synthesize, insights from a variety of different texts, and quality of writing.

Ensure that, if you are modeling your response on someone else's work, you cite that authority and acknowledge your use of the work. If you're not sure if you're getting it right, then ask for help.

The Undergraduate Writing Center (FAC 211, 471-6222, offers free, individualized, expert help with writing for any UT undergraduate, by appointment or on a drop-in basis. Any undergraduate enrolled in a course at UT can visit the UWC for assistance with any writing project.

Academic Conduct

Students are required to uphold the standards of academic honesty set by the University of Texas at Austin.  The standards and regulations for scholastic dishonesty are available online at:  scholdis.php. 

All work must be your own and all cases of plagiarism will automatically result in a failing grade for the course as a whole.  There will be no deadline extensions or incomplete grades unless the instructor is presented with a legitimate excuse (medical, etc.) in advance of the due date.

Students with Disabilities

If you have a documented disability and require academic accommodations, please contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 512-471-6259 (voice) or 1-866-329-3986 (Video Phone) as soon as possible. If you have accommodations for exams, please remember that it is your responsibility to remind the instructor of any testing accommodations five business days before each exam.

Religious Holy Days

By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, I will give you an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

Course Outline

Week 1
August 25: Introduction

Week 2
August 30: Discussion of research techniques and sources
September 1: Overview of British Culture
Mitchell, ‘Introduction: The Victorians and their World and ‘A Brief History of Victorian England: Before The Victorians’

Week 3:
September 6: Labor Day: no classes
September 8: video: Victoria and Her Sisters

Week 4: Inside the Victorian Household
September 13/15
Mitchell, ‘The Material Substance of Private Life’ and ‘Family and Social Rituals’
(how one doctor lived his life)
(how one clerk lived his life)

Week 5: Wealth and Poverty
September 20/22
Mitchell, ‘The Foundations of Daily Life’ –all sections and the section on the New Poor Law and the Workhouse in the
‘Official Life’ chapter
(Anthony Trollope on the diamond fields of South Africa, 1870)
(testimony before the Mines Commission, 1842
(Florence Nightingale on rural hygiene, 1894)

Week 6: Building the Victorian City
September 27/29
Mitchell, ‘Working Life’ -- all sections (you will need to click on each separately)
‘Observations on the Filth of the Thames,’ a letter to the Editor of the Times of London (July 7, 1855) by Professor Michael Faraday (available on Blackboard)
(Edwin Chadwick on urban sanitary conditions, 1842)

October 4: Revision Session
October 6: IN CLASS EXAM

Week 8: Crime and Punishment
October  11: video: City of Vice

(transportation to Australia)
Jeremy Bentham, extracts from Panopticon at

Be sure to read letters II and V – read more if you have time!
I have downloaded an illustration of Bentham’s prison architecture to the class Blackboard site
Leaf through the document links at:

Week 9: Victorian Science and Medicine
October 18 and  20
Mitchell, ‘Technology, Science, and the Urban World’ and ‘Health and Medicine’
(       Thomas Huxley, 1888)
(short essay on Brunel)
(Joseph Lister on antiseptics and surgery, 1867)

Week 10:  Did Queen Victoria Matter?
October 25: video, Queen Victoria's Empire
October 27: class debate on this question – details to follow

Week 11: Evolution: The Clash of Ideas
November 1/3
Mitchell, ‘Faith and Works: Religion and Reform: Religious Faith’ (all sections)
(Darwin, 1871)
(Samuel Wilberforce opposing Darwin, 1860)

Week 12
November 8: Revision Session
November 10: IN CLASS EXAM

Week 13: The Wider World: Victorians Abroad
November 15/17
Mitchell, ‘England and Empire’ (all sections)
( how the Victorians saw others)
(annexation of South Sea islands, 1883)

     read both short essays in the migration & emigration section
(Frederick Lugard on East Africa, 1893)

Week 14: Victorian Men and Women
November 22/24
Mitchell, ‘Victorian Morality’ (all sections) and ‘Education’ (sections on girls’ education and on educating gentlemen)
(Caroline Norton on marriage reform)
(Parliamentary Papers, 1842)
(short essay, ‘The Shape of
18th & 19th Century Fashion’)

Week 15: Race, Sex and the Victorians
November 29/December 1
Mitchell, ‘Official Life’ chapter, section on the Law and Private Life
(women organise against the Contagious Diseases Acts)
Catherine E. Anderson, ‘A Zulu King in Victorian London: Race, Royalty and Imperialist
Aesthetics in Late Nineteenth-Century Britain,’ Visual Resources, 24, no. 3 2008: 299 - 319

This course contains a Global Cultures and an Independent Inquiry flag.

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