Dr Laura Brace

Associate Professor in Political Theory

School/Department: History Politics and International Relations, School of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2799



I studied at the University of Manchester for my BA in Politics and Modern History and then for my PhD on tithes and ideas about property in the seventeenth century. I joined the University of Leicester in 1994 and have worked here as a lecturer and then associate professor in political theory ever since. I am currently Deputy Head of the School of History Politics and International Relations.


My research focuses on the ways in which political ideas are underpinned by relations of ownership possession and exchange particularly in the contexts of slavery and its afterlives. I explored these themes in my 2018 monograph for Edinburgh University Press The Politics of Slavery and in a volume of essays edited with Julia O'Connell Davidson Revisiting Slavery and Antislavery (Palgrave 2018). Most recently I have written a journal article published in Atlantic Studies in 2020 exploring the contested meanings of JMW Turner's 1840 painting the Slave Ship and what they tell us about the representation of slavery in the past and the present. I am currently working on a project looking at the relationship between Mary Wollstonecraft and modern feminism and how we should bring her into the present.


'Fallacies of hope: contesting narratives of abolition in Turner's Slave Ship', Atlantic Studies, 2020, 17:4, 441-461

'Family', in Sandrine Berges, Eileen Hunt Botting and Alan Coffee (eds) The Wollstonecraftian Mind. London and New York: Routledge 2019, 441-452


I have supervised PhD students working on feminist theory the history of environmental political thought and trafficking and modern slavery. I am keen to supervise research students who are interested in political thinkers and theories of property in slavery (both past and present) and in feminist theory and practice. This could include research projects exploring land labour and dispossession and /or self-ownership and body politics with a focus on gender and race.


I convene the second year module on the history of political thought PL2011 Political Ideas and the final year modules PL3060 Feminism and PL3121 The Politics of Slavery. I also contribute to the MA module PL7095 Global Ethics in Practice and supervise dissertations for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

All my teaching is informed by my research and focuses on questions around who counts as the subject of politics.

Press and media

Mary Wollstonecraft and her representation in the present Commemorations and representations of slavery and of the Zong massacre in particular The connections between transatlantic slavery and the discourse of 'modern slavery'

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