Joanna Bourke is Professor of History in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at Birkbeck College, where she has taught since 1992.
Over the years, her work has ranged from the social and economic history of Ireland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to social histories of the British working classes between 1860 and 1960s, to cultural histories of military conflict between the Anglo-Boer war and the present. In recent years, she has been researching the history of the emotions, particularly fear and hatred. She has also been exploring the history of sexual violence, asking questions such as 'in historical time, who is the rapist?" and "how have his (and occasionally her) violent acts been explained?".
Her primary focus has been on British, American and Australian societies from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries.