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Ms Victoria Dawson

Job: PhD Candidate

Faculty: Art, Design and Humanities

School/department: School of Humanities

Research group(s): International Centre for Sports History and Culture

Address: De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester, UK, LE1 9BH

T: n/a

E: icshc@dmu.ac.uk

W: www.dmu.ac.uk/sportshistory

Social Media: twitter.com/ICSHC


Personal profile

Victoria Dawson is a PhD candidate within the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University. Her doctoral project, Women and Rugby League: Gender, Class and Sport in the North of England, 1895-2010, is supervised by the historian Professor Tony Collins and is funded by The Arts and Humanities Research Council in conjunction with The Rugby Football League and De Montfort University.

Victoria’s work will, for the first time, document the important role women have played within the sport of rugby league. Although it’s often seen as a ‘man’s game’, women have been involved in Rugby League since its inception in 1895. Drawing from extensive archival research, Victoria’s work will, for the first time, document the early history of some of the different, often unacknowledged roles women have played within the sport, as administrators, players, coaches, and supporters, looking at how rugby league engages with, challenges, or reinforces women’s traditional roles in working-class communities.

Victoria gained a first class BA (Hons) in English as a mature student at The University of Hull, before studying for an MA in English Literary Studies at The University of York. Her literary passions range from Renaissance Drama to late-Victoria Gothic Literature.

Victoria can be found on Twitter @VDawsonRL

Research interests/expertise

History, Literature, Gender, Cultural History, Sports History, Women's History, British History, Masculinities, Class, Local Identities, History of Science, Gothic Literature, Literature and Science, Theatre History, Early-Modern Antitheatrical Discourse. 


  • BA (Hons) First Class English (University of Hull) 
  • MA English Literary Studies (University of York) 

Conference attendance

Conference/Symposium Papers:

‘“Jonathan Davies says I’ve gone soft” – Being female in the masculine sphere of Rugby League media’ – Television for Women: An International Conference, May 2013, The University of Warwick.

‘Women and Rugby League Pre-1980: A Preliminary Survey’ - Women and the Football Codes: A Comparative Perspective, August 2012, De Montfort University.

‘“Gay motes that people the sunbeams” - Dust, Death and Degeneration in Bram Stoker's Dracula’ – Bram Stoker Centenary Conference, April 2012, The University of Hull. 

Conference/Symposium Organisation:

Gender, Sport and Leisure Symposium, De Montfort University, August 2013 (Lead Organiser)

The Bram Stoker Centenary Conference, The University of Hull, April 2012 (Organising Committee)

External Guest Speaker

‘“They've a girl as boss of their rugby team!” - The life of rugby league pioneer Kay Ibbetson’ – Hull History Centre, March 2013

‘Women and Rugby League: Uncovering a Hidden History’ – North Lindsey College, January 2013

Victoria Dawson

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