The Team

Rachel Thomson is Professor of Childhood & Youth Studies at the University of Sussex and one of the original research team for the WRAP project. This was her first grown-up job after studying sociology at the University of Manchester and she went from this to work at the newly founded Sex Education Forum at the National Children’s Bureau in London between 1990-1996. Rachel has worked as a researcher and teacher at London South Bank University, The Open University and the University of Sussex-  leading projects on the transitions to adulthood, new motherhood and digital childhoods. She is sociologist and a feminist researcher committed to knowledge-generation and positive social change.

Sharon Webb is a Lecturer in Digital Humanities at the University of Sussex, History Department and a member of the Sussex Humanities Lab. Sharon is a historian of Irish associational culture and nationalism (eighteenth and nineteenth century) and a digital humanities practitioner, with a background in requirements/user analysis, digital preservation, digital archiving, text encoding and data modelling. Sharon also has programming and coding experience and has contributed to the successful development of major national digital infrastructures.

Sharon’s current research interests include community archives and identity, with a special interest in LGBTQ+ archives, social network analysis (method and theory), and research data management. She holds a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award 2018 on the topic of community archives and digital preservation, working with a number of community projects, including Queer in Brighton.

Ester McGeeney is a Research Fellow at the University of Sussex and a youth worker at the Devon based youth work organisation SPACE. In 2013 Ester completed a PhD exploring young people’s understandings and experiences of ‘good sex’, partly funded by the national young people’s sexual health organisation Brook. Post-PhD Ester continued to work with Brook where she led on an ESRC funded project that explored ways of reanimating data from her PhD to create a series of short films. Ester is also currently working in Wales to support the development of a new national Relationships and Sexualities Education Curriculum and with researchers at the University of Exeter to develop the Sex and History project, which uses historical objects and other archive materials to facilitate learning about sex and sexuality.

Niamh Moore is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh and has a background in interdisciplinary feminist studies. As part of Feminist Webs for over twelve years, she has supported transgenerational oral history, the creation of the Feminist Webs Archive and production of The Exciting Life of Being of a Woman: A Handbook for Women and Girls. Based on research with women environmental activists on the west coast of Vancouver Island, she has written The Changing Nature of Eco/feminism: Telling Stories from Clayoquot Sound, and created the related online archive of activist oral history interviews She has co-authored The Archive Project: Archival Research in the Social Sciences. She is committed to archiving activist and academic research as a way of sustaining and sharing knowledge.

Ali Ronan is a founder member of Feminist Webs and currently Chair of The Proud Trust, an LGBT+ charity in Manchester working with young people across the north west of England. Her background is in youth and community work: working on a number of arts based projects since the early 70s including detached projects with young women in Blackburn throughout the 80s and with young men in Oldham in the 90s. She has also been involved as a volunteer facilitator in a community based conflict resolution organisation since 2001. From 2001- 2013 Ali worked on the Youth and Community Work course at Manchester Metropolitan University while completing her PhD on Anti-war women in the north west during WW1. 

Since 2013 Ali has been working as a community/feminist historian with groups across the north west focusing on women pacifists and  agitators in the early 20th century. They have made films and curated exhibitions about these women, many of whom have been forgotten. At the moment Ali is working on a small exhibition with local volunteers, about a pioneering garden suburb in Manchester built in 1908 and housing many early socialists and suffrage activists. 

Ali still works in schools and with young people and clearly remembers that the WRAP papers were both inspirational and reaffirming in those dark days of the late 80s.