Lauren McCarthy

Lauren McCarthy

Postgraduate Research Student

Summary: Exploring support for animal welfare and animal rights amongst Black American social justice activists, in the nineteenth and twentieth century United States.

My Research

My research explores the degree to which Black American activists have supported animal welfare and animal rights alongside their commitment to the Black freedom struggle and women's liberation, in the nineteenth and twentieth century United States. Specifically, this research will interrogate how the animal rights movement of the late twentieth century came to be labelled as an overwhelmingly white, female and middle-class cause. It seeks to uncover how and why Black Americans have historically been alienated from this movement and how and why Black American contributions to the theory and practice of animal rights activism have been largely invisible in the historiography.

About Me

I graduated with a First Class Honours in History from the University of Leeds, in 2013. I remained at Leeds to complete an MA in Race and Resistance in 2014. Both my Undergraduate and Masters dissertations focused on the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, a Black female writer of the Harlem Renaissance. My research argued that Hurston not only challenged racism and sexism in her work, but also, at times, highlighted the oppression of non-human animals by human beings. My PhD research has grown out of these projects, seeking to understand the extent to which a long tradition existed where Black American activists identified their own oppression as interlocking with a wider system of domination, which involved the subjugation of non-human animals.

Awards and Prizes

2014: Arts and Humanities Research Council WRoCAH Doctoral Studentship
2013: Arts and Humanities Research Council Block Grant Partnership Studentship (Research Preparation Masters Scheme)
2013: Beresford prize for the best performance in the field of economic and social history finals


Dr Kate Dossett (Primary Supervisor)

Dr Say Burgin (Co-Supervisor)

Academic-related Activities

I take part in the Undergraduate Dissertation Mentoring Scheme.