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Dr Becky Taylor

Contact details

Birkbeck, University of London
Room 3.05, 27 Russell Square, Bloomsbury
London WC1B 5DQ

Tel: + 44 (0)207 631 6672

About Dr Becky Taylor

  • Becky Taylor is Lecturer in History and is the Academic Manager of the History Certificate Programme in the Faculty for Lifelong Learning. She also convenes the Graduate Certificate in History, and is Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Geography, University of Sussex.

Research interests

  • I am an interdisciplinary historian specialising in twentieth century social history, particularly the dynamic relationship between the state and minorities. Combining archives and oral histories I focus on the impact of state expansion, the second world war, the welfare state, migration, and ideas of inclusion on marginal groups. I explore this in relation to Britain’s Gypsy Traveller community in my book A Minority and the State (2008), The Roma: through history (forthcoming, 2013) and for the population of a cluster of stigmatised council estates in Moving Histories of Class and Community (2009). My interest in the second world war and its impact on society and the countryside is reflected in my role as historical consultant for the BBC's Wartime Farm series, aired in autumn 2012.
  • I currently have active research interests in Britain's Gypsy-Traveller communities, refugees social change in the second world war, issues of class, livelihoods, migration and empire.
  • If you are interested in pursuing research in any of these areas, you should first read our advice on how to apply for MPhil/PhD research before submitting an application.

Teaching interests

  • I offer an MA option called 'Representations of Poverty in Britain, 1850-2000'. I am also convenor of the Graduate Certificate in History and am happy to supervise students on a range of topics congruent with my research interests.


  • A. Levene, M. Powell, J. Stewart, B. Taylor (2010, forthcoming) Cradle to Grave: Municipal medicine in inter-war England and Wales Berne and Oxford, Peter Lang AG.
  • B. Rogaly and B. Taylor (2009) Moving histories of class and community: identity, place and belonging in contemporary England Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • B. Taylor (2008) A minority and the state: Travellers in Britain in the twentieth century Manchester, Manchester University Press.

Journal articles

  • B. Rogaly and B. Taylor (2010) '"They called them communists then...what d'you call 'em now?.. Insurgents?" Narratives of British military expatriates in the context of the new imperialism', Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 36:6
  • B. Taylor (2007) '"Mrs Fairly is a dirty, lazy type": unsatisfactory households and the problem of problem families, Norwich, 1942-1963', Twentieth Century British History, 18:4, 429-52
  • B. Taylor, J. Stewart and M. Powell (2007) 'Central and local government and the provision of municipal medicine, 1919-39', English Historical Review, 122 :496, 397-426
  • B. Taylor (2004) 'Travellers in Britain: a minority and the state', Historical Research, 77: 1998, 575-96

Chapters in books

  • M. Porter and B. Taylor (2010) 'Gypsies and Travellers', in P. Thane (ed) Unequal Britain: Equalities in Britain since 1945 London: Sage
  • B. Rogaly and B. Taylor (2009) '"I don't want to be classed, but we're all classed': making liveable lives  in contemporary England', in M. Wetherell (ed.)  Identity in the 21st Century Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
  • B. Rogaly and B. Taylor (2009) 'Moving representations on the 'indigenous' white working class', in K. Sveinnson (ed.), Who cares about the white working class? London: Runnymede
  • B. Rogaly and B. Taylor (2007) 'Welcome to Monkey Island. Identity and community in three Norwich estates', in M. S. Wetherell and R. Berkeley (eds) Identity, ethnic diversity and community cohesion. London: Sage

Essay reviews and shorter pieces

  • Forthcoming review article on race and minorities in Britain, Contemporary British History, 2010.
  • Racial Science and British Society, 1930-62, in Contemporary British History, 2009, 23:3.
  • Can other mother help me? Fifty years of friendship through a secret magazine, in Women’s History Review, 2009 18: 2.
  • B. Taylor (2008) 'Travellers, stereotypes and the British state: past and present', History and Policy, June.
  • Gender, work and education in the 1950s, in Women's History Review, 2008, 17: 5.
  • Here to Stay: The Gypsies and Travellers of Britain, 2006 Hertford: University of Hertfordshire Press in Journal of British Studies, 2007, April, pp.405-6.