Dr Gary Rivett

School of History, Philosophy and Digital Humanities

Honorary Research Associate


Originally from south London, I received my Ph.D from the University of Sheffield in 2010.

From 2010-2013, I was the Postdoctoral Research Fellow on the Leverhulme Trust-funded International Research Network, The Comparative History of Political Engagement in Western and African Societies, which was based at the University of Sheffield in the Centre for the Study of Democratic Study.

I am currently Lecturer in Early Modern History at York St John University. 

Research interests

General Research Interests

My research interests centre on the social, intellectual, cultural and political history of early modern Britain, and include an interest in political and print cultures during the English civil wars, revolution and commonwealth; sixteenth- and seventeenth-century historical consciousness, scholarship and writing; the history of institutions, information-gathering and surveillance; and the discourses and practices of peace and peace-making in seventeenth-century Britain. I have longstanding interests in historical, social and memory theory and concepts of time and change.

Current Research

My current research grows out of my doctoral work, titled ‘Make use of both things present and past’: Thomas May’s Histories of Parliament, Printed Public Discourse and the Politics of the Recent Past, 1640-1650’, which will result in a monograph called Conflicted Pasts: Historical Culture in the English Civil Wars.

My future projects will examine practices of information-gathering and surveillance developed by parliament developed during the English Revolution. I am also in the early stages of developing a new research project, titled ‘Peace and Security in the Early Modern Europe’, which will explore how ideas of peace were discussed, put into practice and contested. I also intendto produce a one volume comparative history of popular protest in the Early Modern World.

I have given research papers in Sydney, Venice, London, Cambridge, Sheffield, Reading and Berlin.

Professional activities and memberships
  • Member of the ‘Renaissance Society of America’.
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Public engagement

Committed to working with members of the public to create stories about their past, I am, with Dr Adrian Bingham, a co-director of ‘Stories of Activism in Sheffield, c. 1960-2012’. Working closely with activists and campaigners from the City of Sheffield, the project collects and archive campaign materials and oral testimonies from Sheffield’s activists. More information