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University of Hull

UOA 62 - History

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

1.  Executive Summary


The research effort of the University of Hull’s UOA 62 has made a significant, positive contribution to the health of the discipline of history during the census period. This is evident in the quality, volume and diversity of research outputs detailed in RA2, and in the many and various professional responsibilities assumed by the university’s historians, as indicated in section 6 below. It is also apparent in the success of Hull’s history community in developing its human and material resources since the last RAE. In this regard, the following achievements are especially noteworthy: 


  • research-active personnel: the History Department, which provides the core of the UOA, has enhanced its human resource through the recruitment of four professors (Bankoff, David, Smith SD, Wilson), three lecturers (Evans, Macleod, Prior), three RCUK Academic Fellows (Biskup, Hamilton, McCarthy), and two Research Fellows (Barnard, Spicksley). This has reinvigorated the UOA’s research portfolio, which in addition to areas of established excellence, comprises several developing and already productive specialist interests together with emerging fields of great promise;


  • research income: the UOA has generated over £3.84 million in research income during the census period. This has funded a range of international, interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research investigations into major historical themes of great relevance to contemporary society, including the forced and free movement of people, the degradation by humans of natural marine and terrestrial resources, and the role of ideas and ideology in conditioning patterns of change;


  • research infrastructure: the physical resources of the UOA have been augmented by the acquisition and equipment for research purposes of Oriel Chambers (for the Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation [WISE]) and Blaydes House (for the Maritime Historical Studies Centre [MHSC]).


Hull’s historians have thus assembled the research resources - both human and physical - that will help to sustain the professional development of the study of history beyond 2008.

2. Research Strategy 


The research strategy of Hull’s history community has four overarching aims:


  • to enhance historical knowledge and understanding by conducting research investigations in accordance with the highest professional standards;


  • to disseminate research findings via publication in books, journals, websites and other media, through the provision of research-informed learning modules to full- and part-time postgraduate and undergraduate students, and through conference presentations and talks to the wider public;


  • to cultivate a working environment that is characterised by a supportive, inclusive and productive research culture;


  • to develop areas of established research strengths (e.g. economic, intellectual, military, maritime history), while fostering research activity in innovative, complementary and interdisciplinary fields (e.g. environmental, diaspora history).


This strategy integrates with, and contributes to the fulfilment of, the University’s research strategy. Its implementation entails three key elements – research structure, human resources and material resources – which are discussed in sections 3, 4 and 5 below.



3. Research Structure


The organisational framework within which historical research takes place is designed:


  • to promote the initiation and execution of scholarly, innovative and high-impact research investigations by historians working in teams or individually;


  • to facilitate productive interaction between colleagues within the UOA, and collaboration with researchers in other institutions, disciplines and countries.


To meet these objectives, the framework is sufficiently well-defined to accommodate and facilitate collective research effort, yet sufficiently flexible to furnish individual researchers with every support in their pursuit of particular interests, enabling them to respond swiftly to scholarly trends and funding opportunities. It comprises two parts:



a.       Administrative Structure


Hull’s UOA 62 is largely based in the History Department. However, as befits an inherently interdisciplinary subject, history within this University is also studied by colleagues working in other departments, notably Humanities, Social Policy, Law, Geography and Modern Languages. The research effort is managed within a three-tier structure based on the operation of three committees: University Research Committee (URC); Faculty Research Executive (FRE); and the History Departmental Research Committee (HDRC). The work of these committees is co-ordinated through interlocking membership, with two representatives from HDRC sitting on FRE, which in turn delegates two colleagues to serve on URC.  


URC assumes overall responsibility for promoting and monitoring the research activity of staff and postgraduates throughout the institution. It is supported by two administrative units: 


         the Research Office advises staff on external funding opportunities, assists in the preparation of research proposals and administers research grants, including the institution’s own Research Support Fund;


         the Graduate School administers the Postgraduate Training Scheme as well as managing a building which offers dedicated workspace and IT facilities to research students.


Responsibility for managing research in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is devolved by URC to FRE. This committee promotes research activity through the provision of strategic funding (£10,000 p.a.) to sustain small-scale and pilot projects, and funds to support overseas conference attendance, archive visits and the purchase of research materials. FRE is also responsible for granting and monitoring research leave, the implementation of the Faculty’s research ethics policy and the ranking of bids by Faculty members for University research investment funds. 


Within this framework, HDRC is charged with the day-to-day management and support of staff and postgraduates engaged in historical research. This entails:


         devising and applying a research strategy (see section 2);


         authorising payments to support research activity (up to £500 per staff member and £150 per postgraduate p.a.);


         arranging annual review sessions to monitor the progress of doctoral projects;



         ensuring that supervisors of research students are fully trained;


         organising the fortnightly and year-long departmental research seminar series;


         liaising with FRE and URC; 


         co-ordinating, in conjunction with the Head of Department (HoD), the submission of research leave applications to FRE.



b.  Operational Structure


In seeking to optimise its contribution to historical knowledge, the UOA has devised an operational structure that accommodates and fosters the personal initiative of researchers, the interaction of scholars working on common themes, the execution of team-based projects and the development of specialist research units. This structure has four elements:


iIndividual Research 


In line with the profession as a whole, all of Hull’s historians pursue their own research agendas. This is evident in the submission for assessment of 54 single-authored monographs, peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters in books (see RA2). The fruits of Hull’s individual researchers have also been disseminated via the publication of edited versions of the medieval texts of Peter of Celle (Haseldine), the eighteenth-century letter book of Joseph Symson (SmithSD), and documents relating to the decolonisation of Malta (Smith SC).


ii.  Research Groups 


While pursuing their own research interests, most of Hull’s historians interact with colleagues in one of four thematically-defined research groups. The activities of these groups vary. In some cases, colleagues collaborate by initiating and executing research projects, co-authoring publications and providing team-based, research-informed learning programmes. In others, the interaction is less formal and entails such collegial activities as reading and commenting on draft manuscripts and research proposals, advising on sources and literature, and sharing ideas. The development of these thematic concentrations is designed to break down the barriers that conventionally divide medieval, early modern and modern historians. It also informs the History Department’s staff recruitment strategy. For example, Prior and Biskup were appointed partly because their research interests complemented those of the intellectual history group, while Macleod and David were recruited to augment the military and imperial history group. The research interests of Capern, Crouch and Grabbe cut across the thematic divides, thereby facilitating interaction between groups. This was also a factor in the appointment of Bankoff, whose environmental perspective addresses issues that chime with the interests of the economic and military historians, and Wilson, whose work on early modern German-speaking Central Europe embraces themes that mesh with the totalitarian, intellectual and military groups. The four research groups are:


         Economic, Social & Business History (Bankoff, Capern, Crouch, Pearson, Richardson, Smith SD, Spicksley, Turner)

The UOA’s economic and social historians are pre-eminent in their particular research areas: British and European agriculture (Turner); transatlantic slave trade (Richardson); slave plantation economics (Smith SD); business networks (Pearson, Richardson); insurance and corporate governance (Pearson); medieval social structures (Crouch); women's property and capital in early-modern England (Capern, Spicksley); disasters in economic and social development (Bankoff).



         Totalitarian Regimes (Biskup, Grieder, Morgan, Talbot, Wilson

The three modern historians researching in this area are concerned with both the repressive and consensual workings of twentieth-century totalitarian systems. They have particular strengths in Fascist Italy (Morgan, Talbot) and Communist East Germany (Grieder), while Morgan’s output also embraces the interwar and wartime authoritarian and totalitarian regimes of Europe writ large. Biskup and Wilson provide this group with a long-term perspective on the social and political implications of state development in Central Europe.


         Intellectual History (Bagchi, Biskup, Burgess, Capern, Grabbe, Haseldine, Lloyd, Prior, Strugnell, Wilson)

The interests of Hull’s intellectual historians range from biblical times to the early modern period.  Particular strengths lie in medieval intellectual history (Haseldine), classical and Reformation theology (Grabbe, Bagchi), the history of early modern political thought (Burgess and Prior), the linguistic shaping of gender in the seventeenth century (Capern), theories of state formation (Wilson) and the Enlightenment (Biskup and Strugnell). Burgess and Lloyd are engaged in JISC- and British Academy-funded work with colleagues at the University of East Anglia to develop a Virtual Research Environment for the history of early modern political discourse. 


         Military & Imperial History (Ayton, Bankoff, Crouch, David, Grabbe, Macleod, Omissi, Smith SC, Wilson)

The members of this research group are internationally recognised for their expertise in the medieval military aristocracy (Crouch), the military history of fourteenth-century Europe (Ayton), the Thirty Years War and early modern military culture (Wilson), the military dimensions of Asian societies since 1800 (Omissi and David), modern British military history (David and Macleod), the cultural history of the First World War (Omissi and Macleod), British imperialism and decolonization from the 1870s to the 1980s (Omissi and Smith SC). The role of conflict in ancient Israeli history, and the impact of war on the environment, are themes investigated respectively by Grabbe and Bankoff.




iii.  Team-based Projects


The History Department, through its staff development mechanisms (see section 4b), encourages its researchers to engage in collaborative work where this is likely to yield efficiency gains in the research process. In consequence, three types of team-based project have been undertaken in the census period. 


First, research networks have been established to explore particular themes. For instance, Haseldine is co-organiser of the ‘Medieval Friendship Network’, funded by the British Academy, while two of Grabbe’s research outputs were generated through his engagement in the European Seminar on Methodology in Israel’s History, a network of classical and biblical scholars established to focus on issues – sources, methods, historiography and cultural meanings – that underpin all historical scholarship. Burgess, in collaboration with Lloyd, won Leverhulme Trust funding to construct a network of a dozen European scholars of political thought, while Gorski drew upon the University of Hull’s research investment funds to organise an international network of maritime labour historians; both of these networks have already yielded an edited volume and both are continuing. 


Second, a number of externally-funded resource enhancement projects have been undertaken. Grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) have enabled Richardson to create an online bi-lingual version of his seminal Transatlantic Slave Trade Database, and Palmer to develop his ground-breaking work on the Domesday Book into ‘An electronic edition [with] interlinked translation, facsimile, databases, mapping, scholarly commentary, software’ (graded as ‘outstanding’ by the AHRC). Neave has raised funds to render the culturally significant Nunburnholme monuments at Warter (Yorkshire) accessible to researchers, while the research datasets developed as part of the History of Marine Animal Populations (HMAP) and ‘Integrating Multiple Demands on Coastal Zones’ (INCOFISH) projects (see MHSC below) comprise validated historical evidence that is disseminated to a global audience of researchers. 


Third, Hull researchers have devised, managed and completed large-scale analytical projects, generally with the support of a salaried postdoctoral research assistant. Turner’s research into English agricultural production 1700-1914 (sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Pearson’s pioneering study of corporate governance during the British industrial revolution (ESRC) and Richardson’s continuing investigation into the Transatlantic slave trade (Wellcome Trust) are prime examples of how this mode of enquiry can generate rigorous, productive research activity.  




iv. Research Units 


The University fosters innovation in research through the operation of units designed to facilitate the interaction of researchers based in different faculties and departments, and the promotion of sustainable activity of international significance. Two such research units have been developed by Hull’s History Department. They are:


 Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE) 

(Richardson, Turner, Smith SD, Lovejoy, Hamilton, McCarthy, Spicksley, Evans)

Directed by Richardson, with Turner as one of two associate directors, WISE currently embraces eight historians and six colleagues from Social Policy, Law and Modern Languages. Its remit includes research on historical and contemporary aspects of slavery and emancipation. A key new strand in WISE scholarship is diaspora studies, to which the University made three academic appointments in 2006-7 (McCarthy, Evans and Smith SD [the UK’s first Professor of Diaspora Studies]).These investments reflect the University’s commitment to the expansion of WISE. The unit’s research themes are: the past in the present; movement and identity; boundaries of freedom and coercion. Their exploration involves interdisciplinary methodologies, the application of new research techniques and the building of innovative research and learning networks. The latter extend to Emory, Yale, Connecticut and Williamsburg (USA), York (Canada), CRNS Paris (France), Cave Hill (Barbados), the Mauritian Government and UNESCO’s Slave Route Project. Through its networks WISE delivers research-based materials to schools and colleges worldwide. These include an Atlas of Slavery (Yale); an online database of slave voyages (Emory); and a documentation project on the life of Venture Smith (Connecticut and York). Scholars in WISE have been advisors for new slavery museum exhibits (Hull, Liverpool, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, National Maritime Museum), catalogues of slavery records (The National Archives), inventories of historical sites (HLF), and official publications (Diverse Britain 2007 and Bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act 1807-2007). WISE protects, preserves and disseminates materials relating to historical and contemporary aspects of slavery. It creates electronic archives and promotes collections of microfilm, microfiche and other materials. It has sponsored four international conferences in 2006-07 (including one in Ghana); it will support up to six more by 2009. The institute is a key national and international venue for research into slavery and emancipation, past and present. 


Maritime Historical Studies Centre (MHSC) (Starkey, Gorski, Barnard, Robinson, Heywood)

The MHSC is directed by Starkey. All of the unit’s staff are directly engaged in its research work and research-informed learning programmes in maritime history. Its overarching aim is to enhance knowledge and understanding of the role of the seas and oceans in the human historical process. Particular attention is afforded to two themes: the development of sea transport since c.1500; and the interaction of human and natural factors in the evolution of marine environments over the long term. These themes are investigated by individuals and on a team basis, with significant contributions provided by colleagues in History (notably Bankoff), Geography (Atkinson), Politics (Martin) and Computer Science (Chapman). The MHSC is a partner in three major international, interdisciplinary research projects. First, together with the universities of Roskilde (Denmark) and New Hampshire (USA), it leads the HMAP programme. This pioneering initiative involves 30 research teams in 18 countries and is designed to assess the degree to which human fishing activity has shaped, and been shaped by, the evolution of selected marine environments. Second, the MHSC leads workpackage 2 of the EU-funded INCOFISH project, a task which entails co-ordinating the research efforts of partner institutions in South America and Europe. In both projects, the MHSC is responsible for compiling and validating sets of historical data that are accessible and searchable online. The third project, ‘Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning’ (MARBEF), is an EU-funded Network of Excellence (56 partner institutions). The MHSC contributes to the socio-economic strand of this project, in collaboration with colleagues in other Hull UOAs (Atkins [Business], Barnes [Law], Elliott, Burdon [Biological Sciences]). 

4.  Human Resources


Seven senior staff retired from the UOA within four years of RAE 2001. In responding to, and anticipating, such personnel changes, the History Department, with full support from the University and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, has endeavoured to enhance its human resource through the implementation of a strategic recruitment policy and a concerted effort to develop the research skills of the UOA’s staff and research students. This is evident in the following respects:



a.       Staff Recruitment


The University considers the staffing requests submitted by departments in the annual planning round, as well as supporting their efforts to raise external income to strengthen staffing in prioritised research areas. The rationale of History’s staff recruitment policy, as demonstrated by the posts established, and appointments made, during the census period, is to: 


  • provide research leadership: the University re-established the History Department’s senior professorship, the ‘G.F. Grant Chair’, after a lapse of six years. Wilson, an experienced and prolific researcher, now holds this post and will be responsible for directing the UOA’s research effort through the next census period. The appointment of a new Professor of Modern History (Bankoff) provides additional research leadership in the field of contemporary global history;


  • strengthen existing research groups: University and external resources have been assembled to augment History research units and research groups through the establishment of the following posts and fellowships: WISE – Evans, Hamilton (RCUK), Smith SD and Spicksley (Nuffield); MHSC - Barnard (Sloan Foundation); intellectual history - Biskup (RCUK) and Prior; military/imperial history - David and Macleod;


  • develop new research areas: environmental and diaspora history have been identified as exciting and developing fields of enquiry that mesh with Hull’s maritime, slavery and cultural interests. The posts held by Bankoff, McCarthy (RCUK) and Smith SD have been founded to promote research in these areas;


  • sustain initiatives: succession planning informs the Department’s recruitment policy, with new staff appointed to maintain Hull’s interests in particular research fields beyond the retirement of key individuals. The recruitment of young scholars with proven research capabilities - Biskup, Hamilton, Macleod, MacCarthy and Prior – is indicative of this strategic thinking.




  1. Staff Development


A key objective of the research strategy of Hull’s history community is to realise the potential of its research-active staff in terms of skill acquisition, job satisfaction and career progression. The following measures are taken to achieve this:


  • research monitoring: the University requires its academic staff to complete a monitoring form, which constitutes, along with individual research plans, the basis of an annual (twice-yearly for RCUK Fellows) review of each individual’s past research performance and future plans conducted by the Head of Department and Director of Research. Such issues are also integral to the formal Staff Appraisal meetings organised by the Faculty and held every two years;


  • workload adjustment: the contribution of each member of staff to the Department’s workload is measured annually. Adjustments are made to enable staff to achieve their research goals; for instance, Gorski and Morgan were provided with teaching relief to facilitate the completion of monographs, while Richardson and Turner were seconded for the 2006-07 session to develop the WISE initiative;


  • mentoring: new members of staff are mentored by an experienced colleague during their probationary periods (normally two years). This entails regular meetings between the two colleagues and the completion of an annual progress report for submission to the HoD and Dean of Faculty  (see RA5c);


        work experience: during the census period, the research skills of nineteen individuals were enhanced through their employment as research assistants or fellows on externally-funded projects led by Burgess/Lloyd, Palmer, Richardson, Pearson, Starkey and Turner. Two of these researchers (Barnard, Spicksley) now form part of Hull’s History submission, while eight others hold positions in UK and foreign universities (Freeman [Glasgow], Hodgson [Nottingham Trent], Taylor [Lancaster], Wilcox [Greenwich]) Ferreira [Virginia], Vos [Emory], Machado [NYU], Florentino [Fedreal, Brazil]); 


  • courses and events: as well as the research training courses provided by the University’s Staff Development Unit, a session of the History Department’s annual ‘away day’ is invariably devoted to an aspect of the Department’s research effort; e.g. PhD supervision ( 2005), external grant applications (2007);


  • research training seminars: the History Department’s fortnightly research seminar series provides a forum in which the UOA’s staff and postgraduates, as well as external speakers, present their research findings.   




  1. Research Students


An average of 27.95 research students p.a. were registered in the UOA during 2001-2007, and a total of 37 MA dissertations and 35 PhD theses were completed during this period. 


The UOA endeavours to enhance the skills and career prospects of these students through the provision of:


         research training: the MA in Historical Studies (which superseded the MA in Historical Research in 2005) is constructed around a core of research training modules which meets the standards set by the AHRC and ESRC. The UOA’s PhD and MPhil students are required to complete the University’s Postgraduate Training Scheme before their theses can be submitted. This entails gaining 60 credits from a range of modules designed to enhance the research and presentational skills of students, and to provide them with training in such professional activities as writing, delivering conference papers and teaching;

         focused study: the MA in Historical Studies is organised into ‘tracks’, which enables students to focus on particular subject areas – slavery and emancipation, maritime, economic and business, totalitarianism, intellectual, military – arising out of, and complementing, the UOA’s research units and groups. Doctoral candidates are also selected according to the ‘fit’ of their topics with established and emerging research interests;

         supervision schedules: in accordance with the University Code of Practice on Research Supervision, a minimum of nine supervision sessions p.a. is provided for full-time students (six for part-time students), as well as an annual review meeting at which a member of HDRC appraises the student’s progress and schedule of work;

         financial support: research students are each allocated £150 per annum to contribute towards the travel and subsistence costs of research work in archives beyond Hull.


The UOA also seeks to induct its research students into the historical community by actively encouraging them to engage in: 


         research seminars: History research training seminars are regularly delivered by doctoral students. One seminar per year is organised under the Royal Historical Society Postgraduate Speakers scheme, while meetings are occasionally convened by postgraduates, such as the day conference on medieval military history organised by Lambert and Simpkin in April 2007, which was addressed by doctoral candidates from Aberdeen, Cambridge, Cardiff, Glasgow, Newcastle and Hull;

         conference and workshop participation: FRE allocates funds to enable research students to present their findings at international conferences; e.g. Capes, Dean, Hagmark and Sherit respectively addressed meetings in New Hampshire, Kalamazoo, Fremantle and Faro during the census period;

         publication: where appropriate, supervisors advise postgraduates on publishing the fruits of their research. Among those who have done so is Thornton, whose thesis on seventeenth-century political thought has yielded a monograph and two journal articles; 

         teaching: doctoral students are generally offered the opportunity to contribute to undergraduate teaching; e.g. Dean, Lambert, MacCarthy, Sketchley and Wright undertook teaching duties in 2006-07. 


During the census period, at least seventeen History research students gained academic and other employment related to their research at Hull (academic - Barnard at Hull, Byrne at Liverpool, Evans at Hull, Hall at Peterborough, Hodgson at Nottingham Trent, Hunter at Memorial, Newfoundland, Simpkin at Reading, Spicksley at Hull, Suonpaa at Edge Hill, Wilcox at Greenwich; subject-based - Borman at the National Archives, Boyce at Hull University Archives, Hagmark at Åland Maritime Museum, Capes at Hull Museums, Michell at the National Maritime Museum, Bloomfield and Haxhaj at Lloyd’s Register).

5.   Material Resources


To facilitate the research work of the UOA’s staff and postgraduates, the History Department, supported by the University, seeks to generate the income, infrastructure and resources that serve to create and sustain an enabling and productive research environment. The success of this strategy during the census period is apparent in three respects:



a.       Research Income


Research income totalling £3.84 million [spend £3.67 million] was generated by members of the UOA during the census period. This represents a 1000% increase on the research income returned in RAE 2001. This funding has been awarded by the following agencies:


UK Research Council Grants                           993,000

UK Charity Grants                                           287,000

UK Learned Society Grants                               79,000

UK Heritage/Local Authority Grants               2,150,000

European Grants                                             117,000 

US Charity Grants                                           214,000


Total                                                           3,840,000


Notable successes have been achieved by the following research groups within the UOA:

         WISE: awards of £1.037 million by Yorkshire Forward, £300,000 by European Regional Development Fund, £126,900 by Hull City Council, and £50,000 by English Heritage to renovate and equip Oriel Chambers; £300,000 by Yorkshire Forward for conference organisation;  £150,000 by SRIF and £90,000 by Yorkshire Forward for resources (Richardson/Turner);


         MHSC: four Sloan Foundation grants amounting to $3,800,000 to fund the History of Marine Animal Populations project (Barnard/Starkey – Principal Investigators [PIs]). EU grants of £38,000 and £58,000 in respect of Hull’s participation in the Marine Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning (MarBEF) network of excellence and the INCOFISH research project (Starkey – PI);


         economic and business history: awards of £19,252 (Leverhulme), £308,166 (AHRC) and £156,211 (Wellcome Trust) to investigate various aspects of the history of slavery (Richardson – PI); an ESRC grant of  £222,248 to fund research into insurance and corporate organisation (Pearson – PI); and a continuation of an ESRC grant of £166,000 awarded in 1999 and continued to 2002 on agricultural sustainability (Turner – PI);


         intellectual history: award of £110,855, with an additional award of £8,500 by the Leverhulme (Lloyd/Burgess - PIs) to fund a project on early modern European political thought; total funding of £227,149 (JISC, British Academy), shared with UEA, for development of a VRE in the history of political discourse 1500-1800;


         RCUK Academic Fellowships: these awards amount to £875,000, which has been invested strategically in the appointment of staff to promote the UOA’s interests in diaspora studies (McCarthy), slavery studies (Hamilton) and intellectual history (Biskup).


This research income has enabled substantial improvement and enrichment of the environment in which History research is undertaken at Hull through the provision of:


  • research-active staff to undertake rigorous, innovative investigations into themes as diverse as human rights, marine environmental history and early modern political discourse;


  • research staff to assist the data-gathering and analytical work of research-active staff, and provide research experience to further the careers of post-doctoral researchers;


  • dedicated space to accommodate research staff and equipment (notably IT hardware) at Blaydes House and Oriel Chambers as well as an empathetic learning environment for the provision of research-informed programmes;


  • financial support for research activity, including travel to archives and libraries, copying and acquisition of research materials, and dissemination costs (especially conference attendance).


The UOA is therefore engaged in research initiatives that have progressed beyond the start-up stage into sustainable programmes that are enriching the discipline, not least by training the next generation of historians.



b.       Infrastructure


Hull’s history community has benefited greatly from the acquisition, renovation and equipment of two listed buildings situated on the High Street in Hull’s ‘Old Town’. Oriel Chambers, a nineteenth-century house adjacent to the Wilberforce and Streetlife Museums, serves as the home of WISE. These premises provide office and library space, seminar and conference rooms, and state-of the art IT facilities for up to 30 staff, fellows, MA and PhD students, as well as two lecture theatres, each with a capacity of 60. Blaydes House is dedicated to the research effort of the MHSC. This eighteenth-century merchant’s residence provides space for seven computer workstations (specifically for the use of research students and research assistants), as well as a specialist maritime history library, a server to accommodate the datasets and websites generated as part of the research process, and four meeting and teaching rooms. 


The University provides staff rooms equipped with computers and printers for each member of the UOA’s research-active staff, and computer facilities are available for research students in the History Department and the Graduate School, as well as Oriel Chambers and Blaydes House.



c.       Research Resources 


The University’s Brynmor Jones Library (BJL) holds:


         significant printed collections that support research in the UOA, including the Collaboration and Resistance Collection, the South and South East Asian Collection, and extensive holdings in medieval French literature, modern Dutch history, and early modern English Books on microfilm. It has an excellent collection of TNA Calendars, HMC Reports and related materials, as well as many other research collections in microform. There has been a rapid expansion of digital and web-based research resources, including Early English Books Online, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, The Times Digital Archive, the ‘Making of the Modern World’ and British Parliamentary Papers;


         important documentary collections in an Archive Office staffed by specialist archivist. These holdings include East Riding landed family papers, Quaker records, the archives of shipping firms such as the Wilson Line and John Good & Sons, and substantial collections relating to modern Labour and socialist politics. This resource will be greatly enhanced in 2009 when the University Archives will be amalgamated with the holdings of Hull City Record Office and Hull Local History Library in a purpose-built History Centre funded chiefly by a grant of £7.5m from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 


WISE and the MHSC both maintain specialist research resources, comprising extensive collections of primary printed and documentary sources (in microfilm), secondary works, photographs and artefacts.







6.  Esteem Indicators


The contribution of Hull’s historians to the welfare of their profession, and the high regard in which their research efforts are held by the scholarly community, can be perceived at national and international levels in the special achievements, appointments and commissioned activities of the UOA’s staff during the census period.




a.   Special Achievements 


i.         Prizes 


         Pearson was awarded the 2004 Wadsworth Prize for Business History (for his book, Insuring the Industrial Revolution) by the UK Business Archives Council.


         Pearson was awarded the 2002 Newcomen-Harvard Best Article Award for Business History (for his article, ‘Moral Hazard and the Assessment of Insurance Risk’) by the Newcomen Society of the United States and Harvard Business School.


         Smith SD was awarded the 2002 Walter Muir Whitehill Article Prize in Early American History by the Colonial Society of Massachusetts.


         David was shortlisted for the 2002 Westminster Medal for Military Literature (for his book The Indian Mutiny: 1857).



ii.       Continuation Funding


The high quality of the research undertaken in the UOA was recognised in the award of grants to continue or build upon the following projects:



         Transatlantic Slave Trade (Richardson): initial award by Leverhulme Trust; subsequent grants from AHRC and Wellcome Trust.


         WISE (Richardson/Turner): initial award by Yorkshire Forward; concurrent/subsequent grants from Hull City Council, ERDF, English Heritage, SRIF and the EU.


         Intellectual history (Burgess/Lloyd): initial award by Leverhulme Trust; subsequent grants from JISC and the British Academy.


         History of Marine Animal Populations (Starkey/Barnard): initially funded in 2001, this project was awarded two-year funding extensions by the Sloan Foundation in 2003, 2005, 2007.


         Domesday Book (Palmer): initial award by AHRC; subsequent grant from AHRC Resource Enhancement Scheme.





b.   Appointments 


i.         Committee Membership (UK)


  • Ambler, Haseldine: Council, LincolnRecords Society.


  • Burgess: Council, Royal Historical Society; Steering Committee, History UK (HE); AHRC Peer Review College for History; AHRC Postgraduate Peer Review Panel for History.


  • Capern: Council, Economic History Society; Council, Historical Association; membership secretary, Women’s History Network, 2002-04.


  • Crouch: Council, Pipe Roll Society; Vice President, Charles Homer Haskins Society, 2000-05.


  • Grabbe: AHRC Peer Review College for Theology.


  • Hoppen: Fellow, British Academy.


  • Pearson: ESRC Research College.


  • Robinson, Starkey: British Commission for Maritime History.


  • Smith SC: Council, Friends of The National Archives.


  • Spicksley: Council, Economic History Society.


  • Turner: Steering Group, English Heritage/Buckinghamshire Historic Landscapes Project.



ii.    Committee Membership (International)


  • Ayton: Trustee, Battle of Crécy Trust.


  • Bankoff: International Organising Committee, Philippine Studies; Senior Member, German Federal Government Network on Disasters.


  • Barnard: Technical Committee, Ocean Biogeographical Information System (Rutgers University, USA).


  • Grabbe: Executive Officer, European Association of Biblical Studies.


  • Macleod: Secretary, International Society for First World War Studies.


  • Richardson and Lovejoy: UNESCO’s Slave Route Project.


  • Starkey: European Committee, Census of Marine Life; President, North Atlantic Fisheries History Association.


         Talbot: Executive Committee, Society for Italian Studies.


  • Wilson: essay prize judge, German History Society, 2001-05.


iiiResearch Fellowships


  • Bagchi: Visiting Scholar, Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford, 2005.


  • Bankoff: Visiting Research Fellow, German Historical Institute (Washington DC), 2005; Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, 2003-04; and Wageningen University (Netherlands), 2002-03.


  • Crouch: Fellow, Institut Universitaire de France, 2004.


  • Heywood: Visiting Professor, University of Chicago, 2005 and 2006; Visiting Professor, University of Cyprus, 2006-07; Caird Fellow, National Maritime Museum, 2003.


  • McCarthy: John David Stout Research Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, 2005; Caird Senior Research Fellow, National Maritime Museum, 2004.


  • Prior: Visiting Fellow, Wolfson College, Cambridge, 2004-06; short-term Visiting Fellowships, Bridwell Library, Southern Methodist University, 2002.


  • Richardson: Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Gilder-Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition, Yale University, 2004.


  • Smith SD: Visiting Paul W. McQuillen Memorial Fellow, John Carter Brown Library, 2005; Visiting Fellow, All Souls College, Oxford, 2006; Visiting Fellow, Beinecke Library (Yale University), 2007.




iv.   Editorships and Membership of Editorial Boards


  • Ayton, Bagchi, Crouch: advisory board, Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe (Brepols).


  • Bagchi: associate editor, Reformation (Ashgate).


  • Bankoff: guest editor, Philippine Sociological Review, 2002; editorial boards, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Philippine Geography Journal.


  • Burgess: international scientific committee, Cité: Philosophie, Politique, Histoire (Paris).


  • Capern: series editor, ‘Gender and History’ (Palgrave).


  • Crouch: editorial boards, Haskins Society Journal, Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series.


  • Eltis: editorial boards, Slavery and Abolition, Histoire Sociale, Encarta African.


  • Gorski: reviews editor, Mariner’s Mirror; editorial board, Northern Mariner; advisory panel, Chadwyck-Healey’s British History On-Line.


  • Grabbe: series editor, ‘Library of Second Temple Studies’, ‘European Seminar in Historical Methodology’ (both T & T Clark International); advisory board, Henoch.


  • Haseldine: series editor, ‘Philicitia: Studies in Medieval Friendship and Networks’ (Brepols).


  • Lovejoy: editor, African Economic History.


  • Lloyd: editorial board, French History.


  • Omissi: steering committee, Cambridge History of Warfare.


  • Richardson: editorial board, Slavery and Abolition.


  • Starkey: joint editor, International Journal of Maritime History; joint series editor, ‘Exeter

Maritime Studies’ (University of Exeter Press); series editor, ‘Studia Atlantica’; editorial board, Mariner’s Mirror.


         Strugnell: general editor, Raynal’s Histoire; editorial board, ‘Diderot Studies’.


         Talbot: editorial board, ‘Italian Series’ (Troubador Publishing). 


         Turner: editorial boards, Agricultural Economic History, Agricultural History.


  • Wilson: editorial advisory boards, International History Review, and H-HRE; joint series editor, Studies in European History (Palgrave).



c.   Commissioned Activities


       i.   Contributions to Scholarly Collections and Series 


Members of the UOA were invited to contribute to the following publications: 


  • Biographical Dictionary of British Economists (Pearson).


  • Cambridge Economic History of Modern Britain: Vol. II Economic Maturity, 1860-1939 (Turner).


  • Cambridge World History of Slavery (Richardson).


  • Dictionary of Labour Biography (Capern).


  • Enciclopedia Italiana (Grabbe).


  • Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (Grabbe).


  • Encyclopaedia of Islam (Heywood).


  • Europe, 1450-1789: An Encyclopedia of the Early Modern World (Wilson).


  • International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (Wilson).


  • Macmillan History of World Trade since 1450 (Pearson, Richardson, Starkey).


  • New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible (Grabbe).


  • Oxford Bible Commentary (Grabbe).


         Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Ayton, Burgess, Capern, Crouch [section editor], Heywood, Lloyd, Omissi, Pearson).


         Oxford Encyclopedia of Dead SeaScrolls (Grabbe).


         Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History (Pearson, Richardson, Turner).


  • Oxford Encyclopedia of Maritime History (Starkey, Robinson).


  • Southeast Asia: A Historical Encyclopedia from Angkor to East Timor (Bankoff)


  • Times Atlas of World History (Wilson)


  • World Fascism. A Historical Encyclopedia (Morgan).





ii.       Invited Lectures


Keynote or plenary lectures were delivered to major international conferences by: 


         Ayton: ‘War, State and Society in Medieval Britain’, Oxford, September 2006.


         Burgess: ‘Cultural Translations’ Conference, Melbourne 2006.


         Hamilton: ‘Scotland, Union and Empire’, Edinburgh, November 2007.


         Richardson: ‘Identities Conference’, Edge Hill, 2005; ‘David Brion Davis Lectures’, Yale 2007.


         Starkey: ‘Northern Seas’ Conference, Bremen, August 2003; ‘Oceans Past’, Kolding, October 2005.


         Wilson: ‘XXVI Irish Conference of Historians’, Ulster, May 2003; ‘Conference on Revolutionary Europe’, North Carolina, February 2004.



Invited lectures were delivered by members of the UOA to international conferences in the following overseas regions: 


         Northern Europe (47): Ayton; Bankoff (2); Barnard (2); Biskup (2); Burgess (4); Crouch (5); Eltis (2); Evans (2); Gorski (2); Grabbe (2); Lovejoy; Macleod (2); McCarthy; Omissi; Pearson (3); Richardson; Spicksley; Starkey (5); Turner (2); Wilson (6).


         Southern Europe (6): Barnard; Gorski; Grabbe (3); Macleod.


         North America (41): Bankoff (4); Barnard (2); Biskup; Burgess; Crouch (3); Eltis; Evans (2); Grabbe (10); Hamilton; Lovejoy (3); McCarthy; Pearson (3); Prior (3); Richardson (3); Starkey; Turner; Wilson.


         Central & South America (5): Lovejoy (3); Starkey (2).


         Asia (3): Bankoff (3).


         Africa (4): Eltis; Lovejoy; Richardson (2).


         Australasia (7): Bankoff; Biskup (2); Eltis; Lovejoy; Spicksley; Starkey.




iii.   Conference Organisation


Members of the UOA convened the following conferences:


In Hull


         Ambler/Burgess: ‘Reformulating the Reformation’, 2001.


         Burgess: ‘1603: Consequences of the Accession of James I’, 2003.


         Capern/Spicksley: ’Women, Wealth and Power’, 2004.


         Gorski: ‘Maritime Labour Network’, 2006.


         Grabbe: ‘AHRC Archaeology of Ancient Israel’, 2007.


         Grieder: ‘In the Shadow of the Superpowers: Europe during the Cold War’, 2004.


         Richardson/Turner/Hamilton: ‘The Writing on the Wall’, 2006; ‘Twenty-first Century Slavery’, 2006; ‘Slavery: Unfinished Business’, 2007. 


         Smith SC: ‘Reassessing Suez Fifty Years On’, 2006.


         Starkey: ‘Beyond Shipping & Shipbuilding’, 2003.





         Burgess: ‘Religion, Law and Philosophy’, Budapest, October 2003.


         Grabbe: ‘Anglo-Israeli History Conference’, Tel Aviv, April 2007


         Haseldine: ‘Medieval Friendship Conferences’, Brussels 2006, Oslo 2006, Vienna 2007, Nicossia 2007.


         Macleod: ‘International Society for First World War Studies Conference’, Washington DC, September 2007.


         Pearson: ‘Internationalisation of Insurance’, Zurich, October 2006.


         Richardson/Turner/Hamilton: ‘The Bloody Writing is For Ever Torn’, Ghana, August 2007.


         Starkey: INCOFISH workshops, Kiel, September 2005; Tallinn, March 2006; Galapagos, July 2007.




iv.   External Examining and Peer Review 


Members of the UOA served as:


         external examiners for research degrees at nineteen UK and eight overseas universities (Aarhus, Debrecan, New England (NSW), Poitiers, Potsdam, Southern Denmark, Western Australia [2], Woollongong).


         reviewers of book proposals and manuscripts for Berg, Boydell, Brepols, Cambridge UP, Curzon Press, Earthscan, Longman, Manchester UP, Oxford UP, Macmillan, University of Pennsylvania Press, Princeton UP, Routledge, I.B. Tauris, Tuckwell Press, UCL Press, University of South Carolina Press, Exeter UP.


         referees of grant applications: American Academy in Berlin (Wilson); AHRC (Burgess, Grabbe, Morgan, Richardson, Wilson); Australian Research Council (Burgess); Belgian Science Policy Office (Starkey); British Academy (Starkey); Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (Wilson);  ESRC (Crouch, Morgan, Pearson, Starkey, Turner); Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities (Grabbe); Israel Science Foundation (Grabbe); Leverhulme (Pearson, Richardson, Starkey, Turner); Nuffield  (Richardson); Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (Prior, Grabbe, Turner).


         professorial appointments at the universities of Haifa (Grabbe), Lewis & Clark, USA (Omissi), Malta (Starkey), Nottingham Trent (Burgess), Old Dominion, USA (Starkey).



v.   Expert Testimony 


  • Bankoff: Independent Review Body on Hull Floods (Hull County Council, 2007).


  • Omissi:  Witness Statement to High Court re: Compensation of Gurkhas in the British Army (‘The Queen [On the Application of Pahalman Gurund and Others])’, 5 February 2003.  Published (19pp + 151 appendices).