Personal profile

Biography

B.A. History (Hons.), Royal Holloway, University of London, 2007

M.A. Modern British History, University of Manchester, 2008

D.Phil History, Oxford, 2013

I grew up in the village of Horndean on the outskirts of Portsmouth, where my love of history was first inspired by the city's fantastic naval heritage and a great deal of indulgence on the part of my parents. Having gained work experience at 17 in the Royal Naval Museum (where I continued to work part-time for the next five years), I took my undergraduate degree in History at Royal Holloway from 2004-2007, followed by an AHRC-funded Masters degree in Modern British History at the University of Manchester from 2007-2008. My MA dissertation, on a Victorian sex scandal at Bolton's Fishpool Workhouse (a case study I revisited in a 2020 article in Gender & History), laid the groundwork for my decision to specialise in histories of crime, gender, culture, and urban space in nineteenth- and twentieth-century Britain. After a year working as research assistant to Professor Julie-Marie Strange on her project on Victorian fatherhood, I went to Oxford to pursue my AHRC-funded D.Phil, entitled 'Cracking Cribs: Representations of Burglary and Burglars in London, 1860-1939,' at Magdalen College (2009-2013, supervised by Professor Matt Houlbrook). Since completing my D.Phil, I have held posts as Past and Present Fellow (2013-14) at the Institute of Historical Research, and as Stipendiary Lecturer in History at St. Hilda's College, Oxford. I was absolutely delighted to rejoin the University of Manchester in September 2014 as Lecturer in Modern British History, and in July 2020, was recently promoted to Senior Lecturer. My first book, Night Raiders: Burglary and the Making of Modern Urban Life, London 1860-1968 (Oxford University Press), was published in July 2019. Night Raiders uses burglary as a lens to explore the relationship between crime, urban space, gender and sexuality, and temporality in modern Britain (see 'Research Interests'). Night Raiders was endorsed by esteemed scholars in the national press: in the Times Higher Education Supplement, Clive Bloom (Emeritus Professor of English and American Studies at Middlesex University, currently Faculty of New York University) opined ‘Eloise Moss’ excellent new history of burglars and burglary [is] the result of meticulous research coupled with a style that is highly readable.’ In the Daily Telegraph, Matthew Beaumont (Professor of Nineteenth Century Literature at University College London) praised ‘Eloise Moss’s detailed, richly informative account of burglary in the British capital …Moss has spent a long time in the archives, some of them impressively obscure, to reconstruct the cultural history of burglary.’

A related collaborative research project with Dr Charlotte Wildman and Dr Ruth Lamont (Law) has also explored child emigration from Britain to Canada during the period 1860-1935, analysing this system through the lens of histories of gender and the history of emotions, legal histories of adoption and child labour, and the economy of emigration in the North West of England.

My next single-authored monograph is provisionally entitled 'Hotelympus: A History of Pampering and Prejudice in Modern Britain.' It interrogates how access to, and labour within hotels (including enduring notions of 'service') has often held unusual significance at key junctures in successive civil rights movements, including women's suffrage, campaigns against racism and discrimination on the basis of disability, LGBTQ+ activism, as well as class and labour relations. Such campaigns were fought with surprising regularity around experiences of discrimination in hotels whenever marginalised groups attempted to work inside, enjoy romantic stays within, or physically access these high-profile and often historic sites. Hotels therefore afford the perfect starting-point for analysing the clashes between globalisation and domestic social and political prejudices, transposed onto everyday experiences of holidays and travel.

Research interests

Both my teaching and research focus on histories of politics, society, and culture in Modern Britain since 1800, with the following specialisms:

  • Burglary, and the relationship between crime, the media, and commercial security industries;
  • Urban and domestic space, and the organisation of bodies and material belongings within those spaces;
  • Gender and sexuality;
  • Technologies of surveillance and communication.

My first book, entitled Night Raiders: Burglary and the Making of Modern Urban Life, London 1860-1968, was published by Oxford University Press in July 2019 and seeks to develop and expand my doctoral research on the significance of burglary (or, the threat thereof) to the way in which homes and cities have been experienced, imagined, and structured in the past. Taking insights from histories of emotion and psychology, I interrogate both fear-mongering ideas about burglary generated through insurance and lock-and-safe industry advertising, as well as pleasurable, sexy, glamorised versions of burglary in film and fiction that offered an outlet for anti-authoritarian sentiment - as well as the opportunity to enjoy vicariously the thrill of obtaining unearned wealth. These themes have informed my journal publications to date (see 'Publications' tab), as points of departure for exploring broader issues about British national identity, gender relations, and citizenship. I have additionally published work on the interwar 'celebrity' detective Frederick Porter Wensley and the relationship between policing, authority, and the press; and am currently engaged in a project on child migration to Canada from Britain during the period 1860-1935 with my colleagues Dr Charlotte Wildman and Dr Ruth Lamont. My next project will be on the role of hotels in the formation of British national identities between 1918 and 2000, research I am currently disseminating at conferences.

Research Supervision

Please email me at Eloise.Moss@manchester.ac.uk if you would like to discuss postgraduate study and research supervision. I would be delighted to hear from prospective Masters or Doctoral students with research interests broadly in the field of Modern British History, and especially from those whose dissertation topics might potentially intersect with histories of crime, consumerism, gender, sexuality, race/racism, technology, and/or urban culture.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Cracking Cribs: Representations of Burglary and Burglars in London, 1860-1939, Oxford University

1 Sept 200916 May 2013

Award Date: 16 May 2013

Master of Arts, MA Modern British History, The University of Manchester

1 Sept 20071 Sept 2008

Award Date: 1 Sept 2008

Bachelor of Arts, BA History (First Class Hons), Royal Holloway, University of London

1 Sept 20041 Jul 2007

Award Date: 1 Jul 2007

Areas of expertise

  • D204 Modern History
  • Modern British HIstory
  • History of Crime
  • History of sexuality
  • Urban space
  • Gender History

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Creative Manchester

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