Personal profile


June Purvis is Professor of Women’s and Gender History (Emerita), University of Portsmouth.  She has published extensively on the suffragette movement in Edwardian Britain, including two critically acclaimed books of the two key suffragette leaders, Emmeline Pankhurst: a biography (Routledge, 2002) and Christabel Pankhurst: a biography (Routledge, 2018), both books supported by AHRC Small Grants.  During 2018, the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act which granted certain categories of women aged 30 and over the vote, June has been invited to give many talks on her research - at LSE, Parliament, Museum of London, the National Gallery, Lincolns Inn, the University of Iceland, the University of Rome, Cumberland Lodge Windsor, the People’s History Museum Manchester as well as at literary festivals held at Windsor, Sheffield and Liverpool.   She has also given talks locally on the women’s suffrage campaign at Fort Nelson and to the Portsmouth Uf3A.  June has edited or co-edited thirteen other volumes, including Women’s Activism: Global Perspectives from the 1890s to the Present (Routledge, 2013).

June is the Founding and Managing Editor of the international feminist journal Women’s History Review and the Editor for a Women’s and Gender History Book Series with Routledge.  From 2014-18 she was Chair of the Women’s History Network UK and from 2015-20 Treasurer of the International Federation for Research in Women’s History.  She organized at the University of Portsmouth on 31st August – 1st September 2018 the Women’s History Network Annual conference on the Campaigns for Women’s Suffrage: National and International Perspectives.  The conference, attended by 116 delegates, attracted over 80 papers from seventeen differing countries outside the UK.

June has made frequent appearances on TV and radio and was one of the historical advisers for the 2015 feature film Suffragette starring Meryl Streep, Carrie Mulligan and Anne Marie Duff.  She has also written articles for popular history magazines, such as History Today and the BBC History Magazine.  In the summer of 2018 she was asked by BBC History Magazine to be one of the experts to select the hundred most influential women in the world and appeared on YouTube, discussing the results with other historians. In 2020 she was elected to the executive committee of the Social History Society.

June is the leader for the Women’s and Gender Studies Cluster (WAGS) at the University of Portsmouth and is interested in attracting research students in British women’s history.

Research Interests

The suffragette movement in Edwardian Britain; its leading figures, including Christabel Pankhurst; women's biographies and autobiographies.

Research Clusters

  • Women’s and Gender Studies
  • Social, Historical and Cultural Change in Europe

Discipline Areas

  • History
  • Sociology
  • Film, Politics and Media Studies

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 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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