Woman Sharpe, Pam (1962 - )

Nottingham, United Kingdom

Written by Sharon M. Harrison, The University of Melbourne

Pam Sharpe is a leading historian of the social history of Britain. She was born in Nottingham in the United Kingdom in 1962 and was educated in schools in Derbyshire. She completed an M.A. at the University of Edinburgh in 1984 and a PhD with the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure at the University of Cambridge, in 1989. She took up a postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Essex before her appointment in 1993 as Lecturer in social and economic history at the University of Bristol. In 2000 she was appointed an Australian Research Council QE11 Research Fellowship at the University of Western Australia, where she also became Convenor of the ARC Network for Early European Research. She was appointed Professor of History at the University of Tasmania in 2006. In 1995 she was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and in 2007 of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2007; in 2010 she became the Academy's honorary treasurer.

Sharpe's research interests have centred on the history of human wellbeing in England and the British colonies from around 1600 to1900. She has researched and published on the history of women, children, demography, poverty and textiles from seventeenth to nineteenth-century Britain. As an economic and social historian she is interested in the history of everyday life, for example, dress and food, as well as historical geography and spatial history. With her interests in issues about displaced children, adoption, orphans, fostering and the methodology of related research, she is collaborating with the Demographic Database at Umea University, Sweden, on the history of fostering and foster parents.

Sharpe has been the early modern editor for the Gender in History series with Manchester University Press (formerly Longman) since 1994. Her authored and edited books include Chronicling Poverty: The Voices and Strategies of the English Poor 1640-1840 (1997); Women's Work: The English Experience 1650-1914 (1998); Adapting to Capitalism: Working Women in the English Economy, 1700-1850 (2000); Women, Gender and Labour Migration: Historical and Global Perspectives (2001); and Accommodating Poverty: The Housing and Living Arrangements of the English Poor c.1600-1850 (2011). Since moving to Australia she has engaged with Tasmanian history, including, with an interdisciplinary research team, work towards an historical atlas of Hobart and Tasmania.

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