Summary of Staff Research Interests
Our staff have a wide range of research interests in the field of history.
My interest spans the later Middle Ages, largely in England and France but also looking to the Iberian Peninsula, Italy and the Holy Land. The two broad areas of my research are radicalism – in terms of both political thought and action on the ground – and war – in terms of both culture and individual experience. My early research falls into the first category, exploring the role of bishops in rebellion and revolution in thirteenth-century England, looking at the interaction of political thought and action in the age of Magna Carta and the Montfortian revolution. My monograph (Bishops in the Political Community of England, 1213–1272) was published with OUP in January 2017. My current project, a book on Simon de Montfort earl of Leicester (d.1265), spans both interests, for Montfort led a cohort of nobles in seizing power from the king and establishing a council to govern indefinitely – England's first revolution – amassing a vast popular following, many of whom died with him on the battlefield in 1265 fighting as avowed crusaders. More broadly, this research places Montfort's career, and the way in which he cultivated his reputation as leader, in the context of the unique and vigorous identity of the Montfort family, who operated as crusaders across Europe and the Middle East. My next major area of research will be the soldier of later medieval England, bringing together social, cultural and intellectual history in order to explore the experiences and cultures of troops operating in the British Isles and France between the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries, as well as the shifting patterns of thought concerned with soldiers and their roles and responsibilities in conflict.
Largely focusing on the seventeenth century, but stretching from 1500 to the present, my research concerns are with the nature of community, its formation and incorporation within or exclusion from community; with the nature of historical knowledge, and the role of the historian. This has been applied to the fields of British and Irish, Scandinavian, Dutch and Spanish European communities; those of the Eastern seaboard of the Americas; and to the exploration of non-traditional source materials to recover historical knowledge.
I am a historian of medieval Britain and Ireland, with research interests ranging from the sixth century to the twelfth. My work knows no borders, focusing on maritime connections and now-lost kingdoms. Particular areas of interest are the Irish Sea region in the Viking Age, and 'Middle Britain' (northern England and southern Scotland) prior to the Anglo-Scottish border. My monograph investigates links between the kingdom of Northumbria and the Gaelic-speaking world, and I have also worked on connections between Northumbria, Strathclyde and Wales. I have been involved in funded projects on Furness Abbey’s links across the Irish Sea and contacts between Britain and Brittany. I am interested in interdisciplinary work, for example combining historical and linguistic evidence through the study of names. I am the Director of the Regional Heritage Centre.
I work in Digital Humanities and am particularly interested in using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) with texts as well as the more traditional quantitative sources. I have used these approaches to study a range of topics from historical demography to Lake District literature. This research has been the subject of a number of major projects including the European Research Council funded Spatial Humanities: Texts, GIS, Places and the Leverhulme Trust funded Geospatial Innovation in the Digital Humanities. For much more on my research see my personal website.
The Vietnam War; U.S. Military Justice and Constitutional Law; War and Commemoration; The Representation of the History of Race and Slavery in Museums and Commemorative Sites; International Law and War Crimes; Oral History; Memory; Military Veterans and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Tim Hickman is a cultural historian whose research is in the literary and visual culture of the United States in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is interested particularly in the social and political outcomes of contrasting constructions of 'modernity' between 1870 and 1920. An important element of that culture was the formulation of the concept of (drug) addiction and the medico-legal policies formulated to remedy the condition. This latter interest has led to further publications that examine drug laws and drug culture in more recent American society. All of his work demonstrates a special interest in the construction of race, class and gender difference in the United States.
Michael Hughes is a historian of nineteenth and twentieth century Russia,with a particular interest in the development of Russian conservative thought from 1815 down to the 1917 Revolution (particularly thinkers within the Slavophile tradition). Much of his recent work has focused on Anglo-Russian relations, seeking to place formal diplomatic relations in the context of wider cultural exchange, while his current research project explores the development of transnational revolutionary networks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Hughes also has a long-standing interest in the role of religion in international politics.
Mark read Contemporary History at the University of Leicester before completing his doctoral research at the University of Kent. His research focuses on campaigns conducted by human rights organisations during the Cold War, and on activism more broadly in contemporary history. His recent monograph, British Human Rights Organisations and Soviet Dissent, 1965-1985 (Bloomsbury, 2016) is the first piece to critically assess the campaigns for Soviet dissidents from a number of human rights organisations, including Keston College, the Women's Campaign for Soviet Jewry, the Working Group on the Internment of Dissenters in Mental Hospitals, the Campaign Against Psychiatric Abuse, and Amnesty International. This monograph argues that although activists played an important role in broader awareness of Soviet human rights violations, it was not until conditions in international relations were right in the mid-1970s that they began to obtain recognition.
Mark's current research focuses on the history of Amnesty International, an organisation that has become synonymous with human rights concerns in the twentieth century. Despite this position, the influence of Amnesty International on the wider political process has been relatively understudied, something his research is aiming to address. He is particularly interested in how organisations such as Amnesty International functioned during the Cold War, when human rights issues were often at the forefront of international relations. Alongside this, Mark is interested more broadly in the history of human rights, dissent, and activism.
Theodora Jim is an ancient historian working on the religion and culture of Ancient Greece. Actively engaged in anthropological approaches and questions of religious psychology, she studies Greek Religion in comparative and interdisciplinary contexts; in particular, she is interested in how the Greeks’ religious behaviour was shaped by their beliefs and religious presuppositions. Her current project investigates the concept of ‘salvation’ and compares the Greek concept to that in Christianity and Chinese religions.
I’m very interested in interdisciplinary research, particularly looking at the intersections between Humanities and all sorts of technology. In collaboration with scholars in Computer Science, History, Archaeology, Geography, Natural Sciences, Literature, Linguists, Media, and Sociology, I’m currently working in a diverse range of topics that include:
- The use of Corpus Linguistics, spatial technologies and interactive visualisation to explore the relationship between places, topics, and concepts in Medieval Romances.
- Geographical Text Analysis to examine 19th Century historical and literary corpora;
- Spatial analysis with GIS to study Early Medieval landscapes;
- Text, data mining and network analysis to explore the History of Science and the Medical Humanities;
- Image Processing techniques to record and analyse historic graffiti.
See examples of my work:
In recent years my research has focused on the notion that contemporary developments in the biomedical sciences signal a rupture in the history of modern governmental formations. I am now in the process of turning the insights into the relationship between contemporary historical, philosophical and sociological understanding of the relationship between knowledge and power thus gained into resources for the development of a more critical understanding of bio-heritage and the processes involved in its construction. In so doing, I find myself revisiting my earliest work on the development of agricultural practices and the evolution of environmentalist sensibilities.
Corinna Peniston-Bird's work on oral testimonies is centred on the relationship between memories and cultural representations. Her research on gender focuses on femininities and masculinities at war, most recently represented by a co-edited collection (with Dr Emma Vickers) on Gender and the Second World War: Lessons of War. She is currently working on gendered commemoration, with a particular focus on British war memorials. Her interest in untraditional source materials is reflected in a jointly edited collection with Dr Sarah Barber entitled History Beyond the Text: A Guide to the Use of Non-Traditional Sources by Historians (London: Routledge, 2008) which introduces research students to methodologies and theories of how to engage with sources ranging from the visual (photographs, film) to the oral (personal testimony), to the material.
The history of Germany in the 19th and 20th century, modern Germany within Central Europe, and Kulturkritik in comparative perspective. Current research interests include films relating to National Socialism, hero cults in German history and the history of the life reform movement.
I trained as a cultural historian of modern France with a particular focus on colonialism and race. I am especially interested in the theory and writing of history, questions of identity and memory and the relationship between history and other disciplines in the arts and humanities - literary criticism, anthropology and psychology in particular.
My research interests lie within the cultural and political history of modern South Asia. For details of my current research see my research webpage: The Hindu Temple and Modernity. I am also very interested in the practises through which monuments in India are selected, conserved and inhabited; a project which emerged from my photographic work at the Kalkaji Mandir in Okhla.
My broad and interdisciplinary research interests include the history of the family and community relations, history and literature, and the social and cultural history of the English Bible from the early modern period to modernity. I also have an interest in Jewish cultural history in the twentieth century.
Dr Taylor's work explores the cultural, political, and legal dimensions of economic change in Britain since the 1700s. He has published on subjects ranging from the rise of the corporation, the early history of corporate governance, and the regulation and punishment of commercial fraud, to the history of the financial press and literary representations of commerce. His latest research explores the history of advertising in Britain in the early twentieth century.
John Welshman's research interests are at the interface of contemporary history, social policy, and public health. His current work falls into five main areas: · the use of autobiographical material in the writing of history; the history of the debate over transmitted deprivation in the period 1972-82, and its links with current policy on child poverty and social exclusion; the history of the concepts of unemployability and worklessness; the history of tuberculosis, medical examination, and migration, in both the UK and Australia; and the history of care in the community since 1948, especially for people with learning disabilities.
My research focuses predominantly on the international history of the Cold War. While the initial focus was on the role of neutrality and Britain in the East-West struggle, I am currently working on the Cold War in the so-called Third World, specifically in Sub-Saharan Africa and in relation to Britain's and France's postcolonial security roles in this region. Meanwhile, I have also carried out research on peacekeeping in Africa, and the transformation of European armed forces since the end of the Cold War. Prior to moving into and beyond the Cold War, I carried out research on volunteers in the Waffen-SS.