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'The beauty of Wolfarth's story telling is hard to convey...

Joanna Bourke, BBC History Magazine

Joanna is a cultural historian, lecturer and editor. According to The Sunday Times, she is 'a brave writer'.

For as long as she can remember, she has been fascinated by how we make sense of our worlds through making things and telling stories.


Her first book, MILK: An Intimate History of Breastfeeding, was published by W&N in 2023. She co-edited the nonfiction book ASIA-ART-ACTIVISM. Her short story, The Pear Tree, won the Urban Tree Writing Prize and she was shortlisted for the 2023 Plaza Prize Prose Poetry Prize. She is currently working on her second nonfiction book. ​

As a specialist in Southeast Asian art history, she has a PhD in history of art and has held lectureships at SOAS, University of Arts, University of Leeds and Sotheby's Institute of Arts. She currently teaches at The Open University. For more information about her academic teaching, publications and research, download her CV here.


As a non-fiction author she explores cultural histories, memoir, feminism, our relationships to landscape, art and architecture, and more. She has written for The Observer, Hyperallergic, History Today and Wellcome Stories. ​

As an editor she specialises in helping writers shape their vision, as well as structural and line edits. 

To work with Joanna, please email

​For book related enquires please contact her agent, Jo Unwin at Jo Unwin Literary Agency

  • About her book Milk: An Intimate History of Breastfeeding here.

  • For regular essays and writing advice sign up to Joanna's Substack here.

  • Want to know more about Joanna's work and ideas? Visit the Podcasts page to listen to her speak or the Writing page for a selection of recent publications. 

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