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Professor Mary Evans

Gender Institute
Email: m.s.evans@lse.ac.uk|

Professor Mary Evans

LSE Centennial Professor 

Gender Institute

Email: m.s.evans@lse.ac.uk|

Room: COL.5.04J, Columbia House, LSE

Mary Evans is LSE Centennial Professor at the Gender Institute. Prior to coming to the LSE as a Visiting Fellow she taught Women's Studies and Sociology at the University of Kent. The primary focus of Professor Evans' work is those narratives (be they fictional or otherwise) through which we construct our social identity. Professor Evans is particularly interested in the part that gender and class play in these narratives and the ways in which narratives of ourselves are a essential part of what we define as the modern.

Experience keywords: feminism; higher education in the UK; class and inequality; gender.

Click here for Professor Evans' LSE Experts| entry

Research Interests

Much of my work has been interdisciplinary and has crossed the boundaries between the Social Sciences and the Humanities. I have longstanding interests in narrative fiction and have written on Jane Austen and Simone de Beauvoir as well as on the genres of auto/biography and (most recently) on detective fiction. In this work my essential concerns are the themes of gender and class : most recently I have become interested in narratives of 'loss' by women who have been upwardly socially mobile.

This theme I intend to make part of a much longer project on the ways in which social class is portrayed and discussed in contemporary Britain, examining the ways in which we 'imagine' both the reality and the relationships of class, how these perceptions are gendered and how they inform the politics of inequality.

At the same time as collecting material for this project I am also working (with Barbara Einhorn) on a book on Gender, Religion and the State which will examine some of the ways in which 'the body' and in particular the female body is a central concern of the state and international politics. We hope to complete this manuscript by mid 2011. I have just completed an edition (with Kathy Davis) entitled Transatlantic Conversations in which feminists discuss the ways in which they encountered the diverse feminisms of Europe and North America.

A final (and continuing ) strand to my work is that of the impact of gender in the academy. The concept of 'Impact' was itself the subject of a successful seminar that, with Sarah Franklin, Clare Hemmings and I organised in April 2010. If the 'mind has no sex' it remains extraordinary that much of academic and intellectual life (outside the Gender Institute) is dominated by men. I have written about the general constraints on contemporary British academics (and the pressures of the changing relationships between the state and the universities) but it is the gender divisions within universities – and the gendered tensions around the definition, choice and judgement of subject matter - that is of particular interest.

I am currently convenor for the undergraduate course Gender, Politics and Civil Society|.

Selected Recent Publications


The SAGE Handbook of Feminist Theory| (eds) Mary Evans, Clare Hemmings, Marsha Henry, Hazel Johnstone, Sumi Madhok, Ania Plomien and Sadie Wearing (2014)

At no point in recorded history has there been an absence of intense, and heated, discussion about the subject of how to conduct relations between women and men. This Handbook provides a comprehensive guide to these omnipresent issues and debates, mapping the present and future of thinking about feminist theory. The chapters gathered here present the state of the art in scholarship in the field, covering: epistemology and marginality; literary, visual and cultural representations; sexuality; macro and microeconomics of gender; conflict and peace. It is an essential reference work for advanced students and academics not only of feminist theory, but of gender and sexuality across the humanities and social sciences.

It is an essential reference work for advanced students and academics not only of feminist theory, but of gender and sexuality across the humanities and social sciences.


Gender: The Key Concepts| (eds) Mary Evans and Carolyn H. Williams (2013)

Featuring Gender Institute faculty, this invaluable volume provides an overview of 37 terms, theories and concepts frequently used in gender studies which those studying the subject can find difficult to grasp. Each entry provides a critical definition of the concept, examining the background to the idea, its usage and the major figures associated with the term. Taking a truly interdisciplinary and global view of gender studies, concepts covered include: agency; diaspora; heteronormativity; subjectivity; performativity; class; feminist politics; body; gender identity and reflexivity. With cross referencing and further reading provided throughout the text, Gender: The Key Concepts unweaves the relationships between different aspects of the field defined as gender studies, and is essential for all those studying gender in interdisciplinary contexts as undergraduates, postgraduates and beyond.



  • Evans, Mary, The Persistence of Gender Inequality


  • Evans, Mary (2011), The Imagination of Evil: Detective Fiction and the Modern World, Continuum Literary Studies, Bloomsbury Academic, London, UK. ISBN 9781847062062


  • Evans, Mary (2010) The universities and the challenge of realism. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 9 pp. 13-21. ISSN 1474-0222
  • Evans, Mary (2010) A mysterious commodity: capitalism and femininity. In: Scott, Jacqueline and Crompton, Rosemary and Lyonette, Clare, (eds.) Gender inequalities in the 21st century: new barriers and continuing constraints. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 275-290. ISBN 978184844438 6


  • Evans, Mary (2009) Can women be intellectuals? In: Fleck, Christian and Hess, Andreas and Lyon, Stina E., (eds.) Intellectuals and their publics. Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, UK, pp. 29-40. ISBN 9780754675402
  • Evans, Mary (2009) The imagination of evil: detective fiction and the modern world. Continuum International Publishing Group, London, UK. ISBN 9781847062062


  • Davis, Kathy and Evans, Mary and Lorber, Judith, (eds.) (2006) Handbook of gender and women's studies. Sage Publications Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780761943907
  • Evans, Mary (2006) A short history of society: the making of the modern world. Open University Press, Maidenhead, UK. ISBN 9780335220687


  • Evans, Mary (2005) Auto/biographical methods. In: Griffin, Gabriele, (ed.) Research Methods for English Studies. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, UK, pp. 31-46. ISBN 9780748621545


  • Evans, Mary (2004) A critical lens on romantic love: a response to Bernadette Bawin-Legros. Current sociology, 52 (2). pp. 259-264. ISSN 0011-3921
  • Evans, Mary (2004) Killing thinking: the death of the universities. Continuum, London, UK. ISBN 9780826488329


  • Evans, Mary (2003) Gender and social theory. Open University Press, Buckingham, UK. ISBN 9780335208654
  • Evans, Mary (2003) Love: an unromantic discussion. Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers Ltd., Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9780745620725


  • Evans, Mary and Lee, Ellie, (eds.) (2002) Real bodies: a sociological introduction. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9780333947517 


  • Evans, Mary (2001) Gender and the literature of the Holocaust: the diary of Etty Hillesum. Women: a cultural review, 12 (3). pp. 325-335. ISSN 0957-4042
  • Evans, Mary, (ed.) (2001) Feminism. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415192835


  • Evans, Mary (2000) Extending autobiography: a discussion of Sylvia Plath's 'The Bell Jar'. In: Coslett, Tess and Lury, Celia and Summerfield, Penny, (eds.) Feminism & autobiography: texts, theories, methods. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 76-88. ISBN 9780415232012


  • Evans, Mary (1999) Missing persons: the impossibility of auto/biography. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415099769
  • Evans, Mary (1999) The culture did it: comments on the 1997 general British election. In: Ray, Larry and Sayer, Andrew, (eds.) Culture and economy after the cultural turn. Sage Publications, London, UK, pp. 229-245. ISBN 9780761958161
  • Evans, Mary (1999) 'Falling in love with love is falling with make believe': ideologies of romance in post-Enlightenment culture. In: Featherstone, Mike, (ed.) Love & Eroticism. Sage Publications, London, UK, pp. 265-275. ISBN 9780761962519


  • Evans, Mary (1998) 'Falling in love with love is falling with make believe': ideologies of romance in post-Enlightenment culture. Theory, culture & society, 15 (3). pp. 265-275. ISSN 1460-3616


  • Evans, Mary (1997) Introducing contemporary feminist thought. Polity Press in association with Blackwell Publishers Ltd., Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9780745614762


  • Evans, Mary, (ed.) (1994) The woman question. Sage Publications Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780803987487


  • Evans, Mary and Morgan, David (1993) The battle for Britain: citizenship and ideology in the Second World War. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415017220


  • Evans, Mary (1991) A good school: life at a girls' grammar school in the 1950s. The Women's Press Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780704342682 


  • Evans, Mary (1989) Reflecting on Anna Karenina. Routledge, London, UK. ISBN 9780415017190


  • Evans, Mary (1987) Jane Austen and the state. Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780422613705
  • Sayers, Janet and Evans, Mary and Redclift, Nanneke, (eds.) (1987) Engels revisited: new feminist essays. Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780422608107


  • Evans, Mary (1985) Simone de Beauvoir: a feminist mandarin. Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780422795104


  • Evans, Mary and Ungerson, Clare, (eds.) (1983) Sexual divisions: patterns and processes. Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780422784405


  • Evans, Mary (1981) Lucien Goldmann: an introduction. Harvester Press, Brighton, UK. ISBN 9780710800671 


  • Evans, Mary and Morgan, David, (eds.) (1979) Work on women: a guide to the literature. Tavistock Publications Ltd., London, UK. ISBN 9780422771306



Mary Evans