Research Specialisations

Our shared research interests cut across usual chronological and geographical boundaries. We also contribute to interdisciplinary research centres which include colleagues from the Faculty, the University, and outside.

Cultures of Communication

Issues concerning forms of communication and intellectual exchange are core to the research of several members of the Department, working on medieval, early-modern and modern history.

Democracy and Civil Society

Civil society exists wherever people take control of their lives and come together in groups and organizations to shape the world around them.

Economy and Society

The Economy and Society cluster is a forum for staff and postgraduates to explore the intersections between economic life and the realms of the social, political and cultural.

Empires and Encounters

The Department of History has strong expertise in the study of past empires, and in researching political, cultural, military and economic encounters between populations, often, but not exclusively, in imperial frameworks.

Health, Body and Society

This research cluster explores the experience, representation and treatment of the physical body and mind, exploring topics such as medicine, disability, wellbeing, pain, intoxication and emotion.

Law in Society

The Law in Society research cluster brings together colleagues with an interest in law and legal cultures across chronological and geographical contexts, from the late Roman empire, over the ninth century Frankish world and eighteenth-century London, to the gulags and detention centres of Soviet Russia.

Material and Consumer Culture

Material and consumer culture is an area of research that is producing exciting new interdisciplinary studies in History. Several members of staff examine consumption as an area of social activity which mediates political and personal identities.

Religion, Ideology and Belief

Historians in the Department share an interest in the intersections between politics, identity and religion both in pre-modern and modern societies. They interrogate the ways in which communities of thought are shaped, structured and perpetuated by shared religious ideologies, and they conduct research on the ways in which religious ideologies make it possible to reconcile competing interests and to spur violent conflict.

War and Peace

This cluster brings together colleagues with an interest in war and peace across chronological and geographical contexts, from early modern England and Europe to modern Spain, Britain and the Soviet Union.