Thomas Dixon

Dr Thomas Dixon is an academic historian, writer and broadcaster with expertise in all aspects of the Victorian period and in the new field of the history of emotions.

Thomas has worked as a presenter, consultant and contributor on a range of television and radio projects. In 2010 he presented a BBC Horizon documentary, based on his award-winning book about science and religion. He was an historical consultant and interviewee for Jo Brand’s 2011 documentary ‘For Crying Out Loud’ (BBC Four). He worked as a consultant and also appeared on the three-part BBC Two history series, Stiff Upper Lip, which was presented by Ian Hislop. On BBC Radio, Thomas has written and presented Margaret, Are you Grieving? A Cultural History of Weeping for Radio 3 and, in 2014, a major new history series for Radio 4, Five Hundred Years of Friendship.

Thomas is a Senior Lecturer in History at Queen Mary, University of London, where he teaches courses on Victorian life, thought, and culture, including attitudes to sexuality, religion, empire, race, crime, madness, and deviance. He has particular expertise on the life, career, and downfall of Oscar Wilde, and on the history of sexual attitudes. He is Director of the Queen Mary Centre for the History of the Emotions, and edits and contributes to the Centre’s popular blog. His current research is about the histories of stoicism and sensibility in Britain, seeking out the origins of the idea that Britons are particularly resilient and reserved, as well as turning up surprising examples of tearful and emotional episodes of British history over the last five hundred years. Thomas asks whether, as a nation, we really did lose touch with our feelings during the era of the ‘stiff upper lip’. His book, based on this work, is provisionally entitled Weeping Britannia: Portrait of a Nation in Tears.  

Thomas’s areas of expertise also include the histories of science, medicine and psychiatry, and the history of ideas, philosophy, religious thought, and education. In all his work he aims to connect big ideas with everyday life, social change, and the histories of art, literature and culture.

Read more about Dr Thomas Dixon’s work  at his Queen Mary, University of London staff page.

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