Jessica Clark

Associate Professor

Dr. Jessica Clark

905 688 5550 x4303

Jessica Clark (B.A., Trent; M.A., York; M.A., Ph.D., Johns Hopkins) teaches courses in the history of Britain and its empire. Before joining the department, she taught at McGill, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her research interests include modern British cultural and social history, focusing on the ways that consumption, labour, and gender shaped urban space—and lived experiences—in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Clark’s first book, The Business of Beauty: Gender and the Body in Modern London (Bloomsbury 2020), charts the role of London-based entrepreneurs in creating a commercial beauty culture while navigating widespread critiques of beautification through the nineteenth century. Other work appears in the Women’s History Review, Gender and Material Culture in Britain after 1600 (Palgrave 2015), and the Victorian Periodicals Review. She is currently working as volume editor of A Cultural History of Beauty: The Age of Empire (Bloomsbury, forthcoming) and as co-editor, with Nigel Lezama, of Canadian Critical Luxury Studies: Recentering Luxury (Intellect, forthcoming). She is also a co-editor on The Recipes Project, a scholarly blog that showcases international research on food, magic, technologies, medicine, beauty, and more.

Clark’s current research explores histories of nationalism, identity, and belonging in Britain via a focus on smell. “Scents of Change: Experiencing Modernity in Britain, 1880-1930” mobilizes historical descriptions of smell to analyze circulating ideas about modern experience more generally, including the ways that certain groups—such as the urban poor and foreign nationals—were included and excluded from dominant narratives of national belonging. The project was awarded a SSHRC Insight Development Grant in 2018.

Dr. Clark welcomes inquiries from prospective MA candidates working in the history of Britain and the British world; gender, race, sexuality, and class in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; and the history of the senses. She is on leave until July 2021.


The Business of Beauty: Gender and the Body in Modern London (London: Bloomsbury, 2020)


“Grooming Men: the Material World of the Nineteenth-Century Barbershop,” in Gender and Material Culture in Britain since 1600, eds. Hannah Greig, Jane Hamlett, and Leonie Hannan. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 104-119.

Journal Articles:

“‘Will You Give me Your Opinion?’: Mundane Beauty in the Englishwoman’s Domestic Magazine, 1860-1875,” Victorian Periodicals Review 52, no. 3 (Fall 2019): 540-565.

“‘Clever Ministrations’: Regenerative Beauty Techniques at the Fin De Siècle,” Palgrave Communications 3, no. 47 (December 2017), 13pp.

“Buying Beauty: Female Beauty Consumption in the Modern British World,” History Compass 14, no. 5 (May 2016): 206-217.

“Pomeroy v. Pomeroy: Beauty, Modernity, and the Female Entrepreneur in Fin-De-Siècle        London,” The Women’s History Review 22, no. 6 (2013): 877-903.


HIST 1F92 Lords of the Sea: British Maritime History, 400-1800

HIST 1P91 Trendsetting: Global History and Fashion since 1750

HIST 2F20 The History of Britain, 1485-2000

HIST 3P01 British Empires, 1500-1960

HIST 4P37 Cultures of Consumption in the British World, 1750-1950

HIST 4P39 Gender and Empire in the British World

HIST 4P70 Seminar in Academic Publishing


HIST 5V54 History of Sexuality

HIST 5V62 History of the Senses

2018— Amanda Balyk, “‘An Atrocious and Abominable Offence’: Textual Representations of Abortion and Shame in England, 1850-1870”

2017—Emily Byrne, “Representations of Royalty: the Utilization of Gender in Royal Funeral Sermons of the late Stuart Period”

2017—Sarah Krul, “Women in The Private Life of Henry VIII: a Gender Analysis”

2016—Victoria Cosby, “Representation versus Reality: The Girton Girl in the Popular Periodical Press and at University”

2016—Emma Green, “Literature versus Legal Proceeding: Popular representations of pickpockets and their impact on the legal treatment of juvenile criminals in mid-nineteenth-century London”

2015—Allan Edgington, Disastrous Blunders: the story of the Leeds Organ Crisis, 1827”

2014—Joel Brouwer, “‘When thou goest out with the host against thine enemies, keep thee then from all wickedness’: Scriptural Instruction and Encouragement for Parliamentary Soldiers in The Soldier’s Pocket Bible (1643)” (co-supervision)

2017   Brock University Award for Excellence in Teaching for Early Career Faculty