Dr Wendy Toon

Senior Lecturer in American History

History, Politics and Sociology

Contact Details

email: w.toon@worc.ac.uk

Wendy Toon is an historian of the United States of America, specialising in the twentieth century. She is currently writing Images of the Enemy: American Constructions of the Germans and Japanese in World War Two (Routledge, forthcoming).

Wendy joined the University of Worcester in September 2002. She previously held positions at Staffordshire University and Keele University, and was a Royal Historical Society Fellow (Peter Marshall Fellowship) at the Institute of Historical Research.  

She is Deputy PhD Course Leader for the School of Humanities.

Teaching & Research


Wendy Toon's modules at the University of Worcester include:

The American Century, 1917-2001

Japan's World, 1854-1951

The "Good War": The USA and World War Two


Current Research

Wendy Toon is a member of the International Studies Research Group and the Constitutions, Rights and Justice Special Interest Group at the University of Worcester, and is an elected Council Member of Worcestershire Historical Society.

Her research is in modern American History, World War II, propaganda and Women's History. Dr Toon has been awarded research grants from the following bodies to support her research: The Rockefeller Foundation, The David Bruce Centre, The Royal Historical Society, The Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute, The Truman Library Institute, The Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, The John-F.-Kennedy-Institut, Freie Universität Berlin, The Socrates-Erasmus Council, The Roosevelt Study Center, the Netherlands and the Institute of Historical Research (Scouloudi Historical Award).

Current research projects include a conference and public exhibition focussing on ‘Pro- and Anti-War Voices’ scheduled for November 2023. This draws on recent Oral History research conducted in the United States regarding women’s role in the anti-Vietnam War movement and archival research at various US Universities regarding the World War II antiwar group, We, The Mothers Mobilize for America.

She has presented her work at seminars in the Institute of Historical Research, London; De Montfort University; Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts Seminar Series, University of Worcester; Cardiff University; and at conferences across the UK and in the USA.

Since November 2010 Dr Toon has been the organiser of the Women's History Network Midlands Region annual conference at the University of Worcester. Previous conferences have focussed on the following topics:

2010 - ‘Twentieth Century Women: Culture, Media and Leisure’

2011 - ‘10 Years On: The Diversity of Women’s History’

2012 - ‘Women and Science’

2013 - ‘Military Women’

2014 - ‘The First World War: Culture and Society’

2015 - ‘The First World War: Nursing’

2016 - ‘Volunteers and Voters: The First World War and its Legacy’

2017 - ‘North American Women and World War One’

2018 - ‘Women’s Suffrage, Politics and the Public Sphere’

2019 - ‘Women of the Far Right’

2021 - ‘Women in Sport’ (in collaboration with the British Society of Sports History) 


She was also part of the Organising Committee for the British Society of Sports History Annual Conference, University of Worcester, September 2017. 


Research Students

  • Maddie Hale, PhD, ‘With the Womenfolk’: Women’s Features in Japanese American Assembly Center Newspapers during 1942’
  • Joseph Rix, PhD, ‘The Lewis-McChord Free Press: GI Political and Social Consciousness in the Vietnam War’
  • Abbie Sands, MRes, ‘East Coast Newspapers’ Coverage of the Japanese and Their Treatment of POWs during World War II’


Former Research Students

  • Maddie Hale, MRes, ‘‘I am an American’: Identity and Citizenship in Japanese American Assembly Center newspapers during 1942’, awarded 2023
  • Elizabeth Powell, MRes, ‘The Lives of British Army Schoolmistresses, 1900-1925’, awarded 2022
  • Jade Buttery, MRes, ‘The United States Government’s Response to Nazi Persecution and Mass Extermination of European Jewry, 1938-1945’, awarded 2021
  • Thomas Village, MRes, ‘‘The women will pick up the flag the men let fall!’: We, the Mothers, Mobilize for America Respond to World War II’, awarded 2019
  • Johnathan Bull, MRes, “‘Hysterical bigotry’: Oriental Stereotypes in Puck Magazine’, awarded 2018

Professional Bodies

Dr Toon is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Council Member (Elected), Worcestershire Historical Society

Member, British Association of American Studies

Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations

Member, American Historical Association

Member, Organization of American Historians


‘“Probably the most perfect symbol of our democracy”: The Army, Sports, and the Re-education of German Youth during the Early American Occupation of Germany, 1945-46’, (forthcoming)

Images of the Enemy: American Constructions of the Germans and Japanese in World War Two, (Routledge, forthcoming).

‘“Real war ammunition:” Artists for Victory, the National War Poster Competition, and the Hostile Imagination on the United States World War II Home Front,’ Journal of American Culture, Vol. 45, No. 1, March 2022, pp. 63-85.

'Women and the military: who will answer the call?' Women's History Magazine, Issue 76, Autumn 2014, pp. 4-5.

Editor, Special Issue, Women's History Magazine: Military Women, Issue 76, Autumn 2014.

Contributor, James G. Ryan & Leonard Schlup (eds.) Historical Dictionary of the 1940s. Armonk, New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 2006, pp. 13-14, 16-17, 152, 172-73, 201-02, 235-36, 286-87, 350.

External Responsibilities

Dr Wendy Toon has peer reviewed for the publishers Ashgate, Blackwell and Longman/Pearson, and the Women's History Magazine and Journal of War and Culture Studies.

She has published book reviews in Women's History Review, History, American Studies Today, Journal of American Studies, Reviews in History and the European Journal of American Culture.

She has also been an External Examiner.