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University of Oxford

UOA 62 - History

RA5a: Research environment and esteem

University of Oxford, UOA 62 History





We submit 92 Faculty postholders for assessment, and a further 24 historians who are members of the Faculty but formally employed in other parts of the University or who are independent researchers. The Faculty of History is the largest History department in the country, and we have one of the biggest concentrations of research historians in the world.  Our size brings challenges in organisation and oversight, but it gives great opportunities for critical masses in research and collaboration – and we are making full use of them. Our research achievement is founded on the enthusiasm and imagination of our staff, world-class research and support facilities, and a vigorous and pluralist seminar culture in which graduate students participate alongside established scholars. This energised research environment and support structure is combined with a democratic system of governance which involves everyone in the research enterprise.


Since 2001, the Faculty of History has followed an integrated strategy of research development. The existing support for individual research initiatives (through generous research leave provision and grants towards research and conference expenses) has been supplemented by a concentrated effort to organise the Faculty as a structured research enterprise. The main achievements have been in personal development, funding, collaboration, and research time. Our approach to personal development has focused on our Research Monitoring Scheme, backed by our Publications Database, to help individuals set and achieve research targets. Our internal research funding has been greatly expanded (providing for research assistance, additional leave, and replacement teaching appointments to ensure that research leave does not impede the research of others), and access to external funding has been assisted by the appointment of a Research Development Officer. We have moved to a new building and established a History Research Hall, with offices, workstations and administrative support for visitors and research projects, and we have developed research links with a number of European and American universities. Alongside the well-established Modern European History Research Centre and the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine, we have five newer research centres. We have also mapped our clusters of research interests, to encourage communication, collaboration and shared interest within the Faculty, with other faculties in the University, and with partner universities in the UK and abroad. Finally, we have managed some shift of duties from teaching to research, by rationalisation and redistribution of teaching. We have developed points-based work management schemes, covering administration, examining and teaching, to ensure a fair spread of duties and maximise the total research effort. 


These improvements in our research organisation have allowed us to develop new areas of research, and in particular to broaden the scope and approach of our effort. The research centres and clusters have facilitated the development of major inter-disciplinary projects, such as those on the History of Childhood, the History of Medicine, and Late Antique Studies. We have also made significant steps in expanding our coverage of extra-European and global history, and have tried to make use of the size and breadth of the Faculty by launching a number of projects in comparative history. This report on these and our other activities follows the pattern of the Panel Criteria document.




The measures just described have helped to create an unusually rich and responsive research environment. It is sustained by the University’s libraries, holding 11 million volumes, a million microfilms and fiches, and 250,000 manuscripts, and by the historic collections of the museums. In such conditions, individual research can flourish and group and collaborative projects are encouraged and maintained.


Research Students


In each year of the current RAE cycle, the Faculty has received between 389 and 536 applications for postgraduate study. We admit about 180 students a year to research-based programmes, of whom roughly half go on to doctorates. Each year about a hundred students a year apply for AHRC and ESRC awards: about thirty are successful, and another fifteen gain ORS and internal university awards. The Faculty itself has raised money from alumni to fund a further five scholarships. At any one time, we have about 450 active research students, the largest number in any Oxford department, roughly five students per Faculty postholder. Half of these students would be from outside the EU. The Faculty’s Director of Graduate Studies and the appropriate ‘interviewer’ for each period or area assess each student’s needs in research training by an initial checklist for student and supervisor: some of the training is supplied by supervisors, some by period-specific courses in research methods, and by language, statistics and palaeography teaching. Progress is monitored by reference to the checklist, by termly supervisor’s and student’s reports, and by formal assessments. At the end of the first and the second year, doctoral candidates are assessed on written work and interview by two historians other than the supervisor, and detailed feedback is provided. Our completion rates for doctoral theses are 85% within five years. Research students are encouraged to give papers to seminars: all give a short paper to the main cluster seminar in their first year, most give a full paper in their third, and many speak at graduate workshops. 


Students are encouraged and helped to organise their own workshops, seminars and conferences, with a £300 grant towards running a one-term seminar and a £400 grant towards the cost of a conference. There has been at least one graduate-organised conference each year, and at least three graduate-organised term-long seminars in each year. An outstanding example of such a conference was the three-day 2002 Graduate Conference in Central European Studies on ‘Contours of Legitimacy in Central Europe’, organised, with financial and administrative support from the Faculty, by two History graduate students and their colleagues from Politics and Literature. The Oxford Historical Monographs series publishes revised versions of the best doctoral theses, after a rigorous refereeing process, and about 90 volumes were published in the assessment period. In addition, the Faculty publishes the best Masters theses each year in ‘Oxford History Online’. In conjunction with the Oxford Learning Institute, the Faculty has a programme of training courses and supervised teaching experience for postgraduates, and the HEFCE-funded Centre for Excellence in Preparing for Academic Practice offers training in the various skills needed for the academic profession. The collegiate university helps postgraduates to begin an academic career by offering three- or four-year junior research fellowships.


Research Income


Eligible research income returned in RA4 totals £4,683,362, with over 80 separate awards made to 42 staff now returned in Categories A and C.  In addition, 29 awards were made to staff who have since moved to other institutions, retired or died. The total research income brought into the History Faculty during the assessment period was over £6 million, over two-thirds of it in research grants and the rest in research fellowships and leave schemes. This represented roughly one grant for every two Faculty postholders, and one leave award for every three. From the medieval clusters, research teams led by Sharpe received grants for two ongoing major projects: £313,716 from the AHRB and the British Academy for Anglo-Norman Acta, and £170,905 (£128,002 from the British Academy, £30,000 from the Pilgrim Trust and £12,903 from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation) for catalogues of medieval libraries. These grants have enabled Sharpe to maintain a core group with a post-doctoral researcher and two research assistants. The late Rees Davies, Watts and Vale received a research interchange grant of £98,794 from the Leverhulme Trust for ‘Power, Authority and Cultural Exchange 1380-1570, Britain and the Netherlands’, which supported a series of six workshops in Oxford and universities in the Netherlands and Belgium. A set of the papers has been published in The Court as a Stage: England and the Netherlands in the Later Middle Ages. Conway and colleagues in the Modern European History Research Centre had £62,229 in funding from the British Academy, Schweizerische Nationalfunds zur Foederung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung and the Wiener Anspach Foundation. These funded, among other things, workshops on Political Violence in Twentieth Century Europe, which produced two volumes of papers, one already published. A Leverhulme Trust Project Grant of £1,109,666 over five years was received jointly by History and International Relations for an interdisciplinary study of ‘The changing character of war’ with Strachan as its co-director.  The grant income secured by the History of Medicine group included a £600,000 Wellcome Strategic Award, £1,121,608 from nine Wellcome Trust project grants and £262,000 from the International Leprosy Association. These grants enabled the continuation and expansion of a vibrant research unit, which usually has a research and support staff of fifteen or more. They have also generated a series of conferences and publications, including a number of monographs and the volume From Western Medicine to Global Medicine, the product of a conference stemming from the Wellcome Trust's Programme Grant on the ‘History of Hospitals Beyond the West’. Brockliss was awarded four grants from the Wellcome Trust totalling £55,343. They brought four research assistants to the Faculty, and enabled him to complete his book on Nelson’s Surgeon (also supporting the accompanying Channel 4 documentary). They also contributed to his book Advancing with the Army, on medicine and the professions in Britain, 1790-1850. 
The development of a Faculty research strategy, internal and external collaborations, and the acquisition of dedicated research space and administrative support produced an energetic drive for awards to commence in 2007.  Mitter (returned under Asian Studies) received a £800,000 Leverhulme Research Leadership Award, for ‘China’s War with Japan, 1931 to the Present: impact, memory and legacy’: the grant will support a research team of five postdoctoral fellows and three graduate students, and will produce a monograph, a collection of essays and a major conference. Gildea and colleagues secured a £532,823 AHRC grant for a comparative study of the dramatic events of 1968 across Europe: as well as the core research term supported by the award, Gildea has involved scholars from 13 countries in the project, with additional Leverhulme funds. Robert Harris has another big AHRC award, with £292,432 for a collaborative study (with colleagues at Dundee) of Scottish towns in the 18th century. Beinart has a £204,000 ESRC grant for work on the links between local veterinary knowledge in South Africa and scientific knowledge. In History of Science, Johnston has £143,000 from AHRC for ‘Architecture, Mathematics, and English Culture, 1550-1750’.


Thirty-three research leave awards were held in the Faculty. There were ten Leverhulme awards, including two research professorships and three major research fellowships. Nine researchers held British Academy/ESRC fellowships, including three Academy research readerships.  Thirteen postholders had awards under the AHRB research leave scheme.


Research Structure


The Faculty has sought to develop its research culture by providing the overall direction, infrastructure and support that encourages individual and collaborative achievement. The Research Monitoring Scheme (explained below under Staffing Policy) signalled our expectations, and significant increases in research funding and administrative support, together with a reduction in teaching hours, facilitated their fulfilment. From 2003-6 the Faculty rented additional research offices, and in 2007 moved to a new building with plenty of space for projects. The Faculty’s own Research Committee has oversight of research policy and local funding, with an annual budget of £23,500 for individual research and conference expenses and £30,000 for research assistance and additional research time. Through the Research Monitoring Scheme and our database of current and projected publications, the Committee has an overview of progress in research and can assess where additional encouragement and support may be needed. The Faculty Board funds an academic Research Coordinator, who advises on external grant opportunities; the Research Director of the Modern European History Research Centre, who fosters collaborations and conferences; and a full-time Research Development Officer, who assists in the formulation of funding applications and provides administrative back-up for applicants and grant-holders. The Research Committee receives termly reports from each of them, as well as reports from the research centres and main projects. The Humanities Division has three Research Facilitators who also provide support, and, at University level, the Research Services unit monitors and prices grant applications and contracts, and provides technical advice.


Research Centres


The Faculty has seven recognised research centres of its own, and participates in other inter-disciplinary centres:  


The Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine (Director: Mark Harrison; Deputy Director: Mahone) has its own premises, library and administrator, funded research fellows and research officers, and participating research associates from within the University, other institutions and overseas. The Unit’s research programme currently focuses on the history of medicine in the tropical world and the history of infectious diseases.


The Modern European History Research Centre (Chair: Gildea; Research Director: Clavin) has its own offices and administrator, and its own series of seminars, international workshops and visiting lectures. The Centre has been notably successful in generating grant applications and collaborations. It is a member of the EurHistXX consortium of twelve research institutes specialising in twentieth century European history. It has joint research programmes with the University of Oslo and the Nederlands Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie on themes in twentieth-century European history and with Princeton University on a comparative study of Europe and East Asia in the 1940s and 1950s.


The Centre for Early Modern British and Irish History (Chair: Heal) was established to foster cooperation and interchange within the unusually large group of Oxford specialists in this area. It holds fortnightly staff workshops for the discussion of work in progress, and an annual conference (on the future of ‘British History’, 2006; on ‘London 1400-1700’, in collaboration with the Centre for Metropolitan History and Bath Spa University, 2007).


The Centre for Visual Studies (Director: Clunas) provides an inter-disciplinary forum for the historical analysis of visual cultures, deploying the University’s wide range of expertise and resources, including world-class libraries and collections of art and artefacts from many periods and places.  With an emphasis on art and culture beyond Western Europe, it hosts visiting scholars and a series of Henry Moore Foundation fellows.


The Centre for the History of Childhood (Director: Brockliss) aims to promote research into the history of childhood and to encourage beneficial links between historians and childcare professionals. It has a five-year themed programme of weekly seminars and annual colloquia, from children and violence in 2003 to children and citizenship in 2007.


The Oxford Centre for Research in American History (Chair: Carwardine) has a weekly seminar, annual conferences and collaborative projects with the universities of Princeton and Virginia. Since 2002 the Centre has won research grants totalling roughly £500,000 from the Mellon Foundation (for microfilm series and research assistants), the U.S. Embassy, the Oxford-Princeton Research Fund and other bodies.


Our American historians also participate, along with the Faculty of English and the Department of Politics, in the Rothermere American Institute. The Institute (Director: Paul Giles) has a new building, a major library, three assistant directors, visiting fellows (fifteen in 2005-6), associate fellows (eleven in 2005-6), and ambitious programmes of interdisciplinary colloquia and three-day conferences. Conferences include ‘American Culture in Europe: Americanisation and Anti-Americanism Since 1945’ (2003), ‘The Reagan Years’ (2005), and World War II and civil rights (2006).


Our newest research centre is the Oxford Centre for Late Antiquity, established in 2007 by historians but bringing in specialists from Archaeology, Byzantine Studies, Classics, Law, Oriental Studies and Theology. The Centre has about thirty members, and an ambitious programme of conferences, workshops and academic visitors. Members of the Faculty are also closely involved in other interdisciplinary centres outside the Faculty, notably the Voltaire Foundation, the Byzantine Studies Centre, and the various area studies centres (such as the European Studies Centre, the Chinese Studies Centre and the Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre).


The History Research Hall, with its own administrator, is the base for the Modern European History Research Centre, the Centre for the History of Childhood, some of our funded projects, research assistants, visiting academics, some graduate facilities, and the administration of English Historical Review. Until we acquired this facility, lack of space made it almost impossible to undertake collaborative research or funded research projects. The new opportunities are reflected in our successful grant applications in 2006-7.


Research Clusters


Underlying our formal centres, and extending beyond them across the entire Faculty, are twenty ‘research clusters’. These focus and facilitate the wide-ranging individual and collaborative research efforts, and between them support almost seventy weekly or fortnightly seminars in any one year. The clusters have provided the context and stimulus for the preparation and writing of many of the major monographs published by Faculty members in the current cycle. The areas and their seminars are:


Late Antique and Early Medieval Europe

This group has interdisciplinary interests ranging from the fall of the Roman Empire to the empire of Charlemagne, embracing political, economic, social and religious history, archaeology and papyrology.  Major monographs published include those by Heather, Ward-Perkins and Wickham.

Members: Abrams, Blair, Heather, Sharpe, Ward-Perkins, Wickham

Seminar:                      After Rome: Aspects of the History and Archaeology of the 5th                           to 7th centuries

Medieval archaeology

Conferences:               Late Antique Archaeology (2001-2007)


Byzantium and the Mediterranean

The group has an unusual concentration of expertise in Byzantine and Mediterranean history from the Roman Empire to the 15th century, with interdisciplinary interests in history, archaeology and literature. Monographs by members of the cluster include those of Holmes and Tyerman.

Members:                     Heather, Catherine Holmes, Tyerman, Ward-Perkins, Whittow,                                  Wickham

Seminars:                     Byzantine Studies

Byzantine Archaeology and Art

Byzantine Church History

Mellon Seminar on the Eastern Mediterranean



Medieval Britain and Ireland

Work in the group is focussed on the development of monarchy, nobility, church and economy  in the British Isles from the Anglo-Saxons, and has generated the monographs of Blair, George Garnett, Kempshall and Sharpe.

Members: Abrams, Barnwell, Blair, Charles-Edwards, George Garnett, Gemmill, Sharpe, Benjamin Thompson, Vale, Watts

Seminars:                     Medieval History Seminar

Medieval English law and government

Social and economic history of the British Isles, 1100-1600

British Academy project: Anglo-Norman Acta


Later Medieval Britain and Europe

The group’s work covers politics, political culture and ideas, religion and warfare, with significant comparative projects and monographs by Forrest, Vale and Watts.

Members: Forrest, Gunn, Kempshall, Mossman, Rosser, Benjamin Thompson, Vale, Watts

Seminar:                      Europe in the Later Middle Ages

                                    Medieval Church and Culture

                                    Medieval Economic and Social History

Collaborative project: Governing Later Medieval France and England

Leverhulme project:            Power, Authority and Cultural Exchange 1380-1570: Britain                          and the Netherlands

Conference:                 War, State and Society in Later Medieval Britain (2006)


Renaissance and Early Modern Europe

The interests of the group spread from Italy to the Netherlands and from France to Bohemia, and embrace culture, politics, religion, warfare and witch-persecution. There have been major monographs from Briggs, Gunn, Parrott, and Roper.

Members: Briggs, Elliott, Gunn, Johnson, Kemp, Nowakowska, Parrott, Roper, Vale

Seminars:                    Early Modern Europe

                                    Italian Renaissance

Conference:                 The Holy Roman Empire (2006)

AHRC project:            England and the Netherlands: War and State Formation, 1477-                           1559                           


Early Modern Britain

This unusual concentration of specialists is producing work on sex, religion, politics, economic activity, diplomacy, culture and civic government, with major monographs by Barnard, Haigh, Heal and Landers.

Members: Archer, Barnard, Dabhoiwala, Haigh, Heal , Clive Holmes, Ingram, Landers, Slack, Sowerby.

Seminars:                    Early Modern Britain

                                    Religion in the British Isles, 1400-1700

                                    Reading texts in Early Modern Britain

                                    Ideas and Belief in Britain 1600-1800

Conference:                Reformation Studies Colloquium (2006)

                                    Royalist capital and republican melting pot: Oxford in the

                                   1640s and 1650s (2006)



Intellectual History: Renaissance to Enlightenment

The group has a wide-ranging conception of intellectual history, not limited to political thought, but extending to natural and moral philosophy, medicine, theology and historical writing.  It has generated the monographs of Brockliss, George Garnett, Hotson, Maclean, Malcolm, Robertson and Young.

Members: Brockliss, Davidson, Evans, George Garnett, Hotson, Maclean, Malcolm, Robertson, Young

Seminars:                   Early Modern Intellectual History: the Republic of Letters

                                   History of the Book 1400-1800

                                   The Enlightenment Workshop


The long 18th Century

This cluster has interests in the evolving relation between the British state and British

society, the working of government, the city of London, and the impact of social and

economic change. It has contributed to monographs by Gauci, Gleadle and a survey by Hannah Smith.

Members: Brockliss, Dabhoiwala, Gauci, Gleadle, Glickman, Robert Harris, Humphries, Innes, Pettigrew, Robertson, Hannah Smith, Young

Seminars:                     The Enlightenment Workshop (with the Voltaire Foundation)

                                    Restoration to Reform (with English Literature)

                                    British History 1680-1840


Later Modern Europe

This group cooperates in large general seminars and in more specific thematic and country seminars. Its particular strengths are in French, German and Russian history, and its interests include children and youth movements, popular culture, and the experience of wars and occupations. There have been monographs by Broers, Clavin, Gildea, Hopkin, Priestland, Service, Stargardt, Strachan, and Zimmer, with major studies by Green and Harris expected soon.

Members: Broers, Buchanan, Caplan, Clavin, Conway, Evans, Gildea, Green, Gregory, Ruth Harris, Hopkin, Humphries, Innes, Mannherz, Priestland, Service, Stargardt, Strachan, Wardhaugh, Zimmer

Seminars:                     Modern European History

                                    Modern European Social and Cultural History

                                    Economic and Social History

                                    Language and History

                                    Modern European Jewish History

                                    Military History

                                    East and East Central Europe

                                    Modern Russian History

                                    Modern German History

                                    Modern French History


Leverhulme Project:             The Changing Character of War 


Project:                       Around 1968: Activism, Networks and Trajectories

Collaborative Project: Europeanization and De-Europeanization (With Humboldt                                             University)

Conferences:               Eight Questions on Writing Contemporary History (2006)

                                    Remembering 1956. Destalinization and Suez after 50 years                                   (With European Studies Centre and European                                                   Humanities Research Centre, 2006)


Politics, Culture and Society in 19th and 20th-century Britain

This is a large cluster with wide interests, but it works together and its members are mutually supportive. The range of topics includes politics, political culture and political ideas, artistic and intellectual life, religion, and sex, drugs and rock and roll. As well as its group projects, the cluster has contributed to monographs by Goldman, Harris, Hawkins, Jackson, Mark Smith, Waller and Young.

Members:  Buchanan, Davis, Ghosh, Goldman, Gregory, Jose Harris, Innes, Jackson, Skinner, Mark Smith, Waller, Whyte, Young

Seminars:                     Modern British History

British History and Politics in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

                                    Biography and History

Themes in the Modern History of Religion

Collaborative projects: Civil society in modern Britain (completed 2003)

                                     Britain and Europe: cultural and intellectual interactions

Conferences and     

Workshops:                 The Political Culture of Victorian Britain (2002)

                                    Claims of Rights: Imagining Democracy (with the Maison                                                 Francaise, Oxford) (2007)


Irish History

This small but energetic cluster has interests in the Irish aristocracy and gentry, 17th and 18th century books and their readers, women, Unionism and the social and intellectual life of Ireland in the 20th century. There have been monographs by Barnard, Foster and Mulholland.

Members: Barnard, Foster, Mulholland, Paseta

Seminar:                      Irish History


History of the United States

The work of the Americanists ranges from colonial Virginia to civil rights and the Johnson administration, via 19th century religion, finance and popular culture, with monographs by Carwardine, Davies, Sexton and Tuck.

Members: Carwardine, Clayton, Davies, Goldman, Pettigrew, Sexton, Peter Thompson and Tuck.

Seminars:                        Research Seminar in American History

Joint programmes:                        Piecing together the Atlantic World (with University of                         Virginia)

                        Mobilising the Moment (with Princeton University)


Global, Imperial and International History

The group’s interests are broad, and it covers a large number of regions (Africa, south, south-east and east Asia, Latin America and Britain’s settler colonies), as well as the history of empire and international history. It also incorporates smaller groups covering particular regions (see below for African, south Asian and east Asian history groups and their publications). It has produced a monograph by Carey, surveys by Darwin and Knight and works by Macmillan.

Members: Beinart, Brown, Carey, Clarke, Clavin, Darwin, Mark Harrison, Jones, Knight, Macmillan, Misra, O’Hanlon, David Washbrook, Sarah Washbrook (together with Brook, Gerth, Konishi and Mitter, returned with Asian Studies UoA).

Seminars:                         Commonwealth History  Research Seminar

                        Graduate Workshop in Imperial and Commonwealth History

                        Postcolonial Graduate Seminar

                        History, Culture and Politics of the Islamic World

                        International History Seminar

                        Latin American Centre Seminar (Area studies with a history                         element)


African History

The group has particular interests in the environmental and medical history of Africa. It has close links with the African Studies Centre at St Antony’s College. Beinart has produced a monograph and survey.

Members: Anderson (returned with Politics), Beinart, Clarke, Mahone.

Seminar:                         African Studies Seminar (Area studies with a history element)


South Asian History

The group has broad interests in the political, cultural, social and medical history of South Asia. There have been monographs by Brown, Mark Harrison and Jones and a survey by Misra.

Members:  Brown, Mark Harrison, Jones, Misra, O’Hanlon, David Washbrook.

Seminar:                        South Asian History

Collaborative Project: Early Modern South Asia: knowledges, networks, agencies

Conference:                        The South-Asian Diaspora (2005)


East Asian History (returned with Asian Studies UoA)

The group is fully integrated into the History Faculty, but also has close links with the University’s Institute for Chinese Studies and the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies. It has particular interests in the cultural and intellectual history of East Asia. A monograph by Gerth and a survey by Mitter have been published.

Members: Brook, Gerth, Mitter, Konishi.

Seminars:                    Chinese Studies Institute Seminar (Area studies with a history                          element)

                                    Nissan Institute Seminar in Japanese Studies (Area studies with                               a history element)


Economic and Quantitative History

This active group has broad interests, including early modern demography, biometrics, transportation, nineteenth-century social history and consumption in the twentieth century.

Members: Oxley, Offer, Humphries, Landers

Seminars:                    Seminar in Economic and Social History

                                    Workshop in Economic and Social History


Science, Medicine and Technology

The group’s interests stretch from early scientific instruments and medical practitioners to smallpox in India and ideas of madness in modern Africa, by way of military and naval medicine and French scientific thought and institutions in the 19th century. There have been monographs by Fox, Mark Harrison and Pelling.

Members: Bennett, Brockliss, Clarke, Corsi, Fox, Mark Harrison, Johnston, Jones, Kemp, Mahone.

Seminars:                        History of Science, Medicine and Technology Reading Group

                        Problems in the History of Science and Technology

                        Medicine, Surgery and Culture

                        Research Seminar in the History of Medicine

Conferences:                         From Western Medicine to Global Medicine (2004)            

                                    Science, Disease and Livestock Economies (2006)


History of Art and Visual Culture

The members of the cluster work on topics as diverse as miracle-working images in late-medieval Italy and material culture in Ming China, as well as topics in high art from the Renaissance onwards. There have been monographs by Clunas, Kemp, and Wright, and significant catalogues by Kemp and Rosser.

Members: Clunas, Kemp, O’Mahony, Rosser, Whistler and Wright.

Seminars:                        History of Art Seminar

                        Medieval Visual Culture

                        Department-Ashmolean-Oxford Brookes Joint Seminar


Gender, Childhood and Education

Members of the group work on the regulation of sexual behaviour, the intellectual, political and social roles of women, and the economic position of women and children. There are monographs by Gleadle and Humphries, and major studies by Dabhoiwala and Ingram on sex are expected soon.

Members: Brockliss, Dabhoiwala, Jane Garnett, Gleadle, Humphries, Ingram

Seminars:                    History of Childhood Workshop 

                                    Gender, Culture and Society in Britain and Europe 1450-1900

                                    Gender and History Reading Group

Conference:                 Women and Education in Britain, 1800-1930 (2004)



Research Infrastructure and Resources


The infrastructure supporting research is extensive and growing. There are unparalleled research resources in the Bodleian Library, with its expanding manuscript collections: the Carte, Rawlinson and Tanner collections have long been key sources for 17th century British history in particular, and the Library has acquired major collections of modern political papers, including the Conservative Party archive and the papers of James Callaghan, Barbara Castle, Geoffrey Howe, Harold Macmillan and Harold Wilson. These resources are supplemented by the Faculty’s own research and lending library (with 85,000 volumes and 43 journal series) and by college libraries (many of which have important research collections and original materials). Most postholders also have book-purchase allowances from their college. The on-line and digitised resources provided by the University are expanding rapidly, with the Royal Historical Society’s on-line bibliography and the searchable Oxford Dictionary of National Biography among those most frequently used by historians. Sources for American history are increasing particularly fast, thanks to a £255,000 grant from the Mellon Foundation for microfilm collections, and to purchases by the Bodleian of digitised versions of American newspapers and political papers.


Computers are available for use by readers in the Bodleian, the Faculty has its own computer room with 18 workstations, and there are six ‘hot-desks’ in the History Research Hall for visiting historians and retired staff. The Faculty makes an allowance to individuals of £1,600, depreciated over four years, for the purchase of computing equipment, and half of our postholders have additional allowances from their colleges.


Postholders may apply to the Research Committee for grants up to £1,000 p.a. towards research travel and assistance, and conference expenses, and most of them also have access to funds from colleges. Besides conferences organised and funded by the Faculty and its centres, contributions of up to £1,000 p.a. are available to individuals wishing to organise their own conferences. In addition, special grants of up to £5,000 have been made for research and editorial assistance, or to reduce teaching load while an important project is completed. The University has recently established its John Fell Research Fund, with £5 million p.a. for both large and small grants towards pilot and start-up costs, and for other forms of research support and teaching replacement. Among the Faculty’s first grants from the Fund, in 2006-7, were £36,000 to Sharpe for his ‘Barons of the Shire’ project, £30,000 to Evans and Clavin for a collaborative study of ‘Nation and Empire in the 19th Century’, and £99,000 to Mitter for teaching replacement so he can concentrate on his Leverhulme project. The Humanities Division is allocated £275,000 p.a. from the John Fell Research Fund to disburse itself. The JFRF replaces and much expands the University’s Research Development Fund, which had awarded the Faculty seven grants totalling £140,828 in the assessment period, mainly for pump-priming and start-up costs. The University recognises that external funding for research in Humanities is limited, and seeks to provide its own support.


‘Oxford History Online’ has been developed as an electronic facility to publish discussion papers, work-in-progress and finished articles, as well as to showcase the best of each year’s BA and Masters theses. We aim to give this new development a high profile in our research effort.


Research Management


While the Faculty Board and the Research Committee do not seek to define research areas, they do develop the conditions within which research can flourish – time, equipment, finance, source material, and a mutually supportive research ethos. Postholders have an obligation to conduct research to the satisfaction of the Faculty Board, and the Research Monitoring Scheme (RMS) provides a mechanism for this to be checked and any necessary encouragement and support offered. RMS and our mapping of research clusters have encouraged more discussion of research topics among colleagues, and this has contributed to the development of centres (such as the new Centre for Late Antiquity) and joint projects (such as Britain and Europe). The Board’s officers have adopted a proactive role in identifying possible joint projects,  producing two major Leverhulme bids and two major AHRC Resource Enhancement bids (jointly with the Bodleian Library). Since 2001 historical research in Oxford has been turned into a well-supported collective enterprise, central to the working life and consciousness of the whole Faculty.


Staffing Policy


New Staff


All new recruits to the Faculty (except new professors) are allocated a mentor and an assessor, each to serve for five years: this applies to both early career researchers and established scholars migrating from elsewhere. A mentor is responsible for advising and supporting a new postholder in all aspects of his or her professional life, including the discussion of research plans, publication strategies and time management. There is also a single adviser to new staff, who may supplement the support given by the mentor. An assessor is responsible for assuring the Faculty Board of the quality of a new postholder’s work, including research and publications, after two years and towards the end of the five-year probationary period. This period may be extended if progress in research is thought insufficient, and in a few cases reappointment until the retiring age has been conditional on publication. It is common to invite new arrivals to give a paper to an appropriate seminar, to ease contacts and integration into a research cluster. Most new staff will join a small tutorial team in their own college, and fellow-tutors will take an interest in a new colleague’s research and see its encouragement as part of the integration of new arrivals into the work and ethos of the collegiate university. Both Faculty and the colleges seek to limit the other responsibilities of staff in their probationary period, so that they can establish a research reputation.


The Faculty and the colleges of the University contribute to the career development of young scholars by appointing and nurturing junior research fellows and temporary lecturers. Colleges fund a significant number of fellowships, and usually a dozen of them are held by young historians (3 already have publications and appear in RA2). They participate fully in the seminar programmes of appropriate centres and clusters, and some organise their own seminar series (for example ‘Power Elites: Politics, Culture and Society in Britain, 1450-1650’ in 2007, organised by Paul Cavill, now at Bangor). The Faculty organises mentored training in lecturing. These fellowships are, of course, possible because of the inherited endowments of colleges, but they make an important contribution to early careers and to the continuance of historical research and teaching as a profession. It is our policy to replace colleagues on funded research leave by whole-year fixed-term appointments, thus providing another early rung on the career ladder.


During the assessment period, at least 23 research fellows, 12 doctoral students and 2 temporary lecturers have moved on to tenure-track positions at British and continental universities, including four at Oxford, three each at Cambridge and Liverpool, and two each at Bangor, Birmingham, Durham, St Andrew’s, Sheffield, and York.


Research Monitoring


A major innovation since 2001 has been the introduction of the Research Monitoring Scheme (RMS). Each Faculty postholder (and any other historian who wishes to join the scheme) is set an agreed five-year publications target and asked to produce a plan of how this will be achieved. Each researcher is allocated two specialist reviewers with similar research interests, and the three meet once each year to discuss progress and up-date five-year rolling plans. The reviewers then report to a sub-group of the Research Committee, which considers whether additional support is needed to help an individual achieve his or her goals. In part, this is a monitoring scheme: more importantly, it is an encouraging scheme, giving each researcher an opportunity for detailed discussion of ideas and strategies with fellow experts – and in a very large faculty, it is usually possible to ensure that the reviewers are experts. The scheme is valued, especially by younger staff: its implementation has been overseen and approved by the Oxford Learning Institute, as a pilot now followed by other departments.


Research Skills


The most important way in which research skills are acquired and enhanced is by the regular discussion of research methods and work with like-minded colleagues, and this has been encouraged by cluster-mapping, RMS, and the workshops and seminars. More formally, the Language Teaching Centre supports staff learning, and the Computing Service, the Humanities Computing Centre and Bodleian Library staff provide courses and individual support. Library staff have made a particular contribution with classes tailor-made for historians on the efficient use of digitised materials, search engines and e-resources such as the RHS Bibliography and on-line primary sources.


Research Time


There is a standard research leave entitlement of one term’s sabbatical for six terms of service, and applications for supplementary AHRB/C research leave are encouraged: 21 Faculty postholders applied to the AHRB/C scheme, and 13 were successful. The Humanities Division now funds successful applicants for a third term to give a whole year of additional leave, and it will give its own awards to compensate for the cutback in the AHRC scheme. The Faculty also supports applications for other research leave schemes, and seeks to construct financial packages for replacement appointments that ensure additional burdens will not fall upon remaining staff. In addition, the Faculty itself has funded one-term buyouts from college tutorial teaching to enable major projects to be completed. We have also negotiated with colleges a reform of syllabus and teaching to achieve a significant reduction of the tutorial teaching duty, the freed time being specifically allocated to research. Our traditional method of examining undergraduates by small examinations boards, which impacted on the summer research of examiners, has been replaced by a general involvement in annual examining, and we have points systems for the allocation of duties that preserve research time for all staff. Our aim has been to maximise the time available for research without diminishing the quality of our educational provision.


Recently-appointed Staff


In the last three years of the assessment period Clunas, Corsi, Forrest, Gerth (modern Chinese history, returned under Asian Studies UoA), Robert Harris, Hopkin, Hotson, Jackson, Konishi (modern Japanese history, returned under Asian Studies) Oxley, Mahone, Mannherz, Hannah Smith, Whyte, Wickham, Wright and Zimmer were appointed to permanent posts in the Faculty. Forrest, Jackson, Konishi, Mahone and Whyte were early-career appointments, though Forrest, Jackson and Whyte already had experience of working in Oxford as junior research fellows. The others were established academics moving from other universities. All were able to join an appropriate research cluster with a cooperative ethos – Wickham took over leadership of the main medieval history seminar, and Forrest continued his membership of the late medieval group; Hotson joined the intellectual history group; Harris and Smith provided a significant reinforcement to the eighteenth-century Britain group; Hopkin, Mannherz and Zimmer joined the large later modern Europe group and the Modern European History Research Centre, where there are colleagues with similar interests; Jackson and Whyte joined the cluster of late-modern British historians; Clunas and Wright joined the History of Art and Visual Culture group; Oxley joined the Economic and Quantitative History group; Gerth and Konishi have joined the Global History group and, with Mitter and Brook, have established the East Asian history group; Corsi has taken a prominent position in the history of science, medicine and technology group, and Mahone joined the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine as its deputy director. All have published since their appointment here or have material in press, and some are developing new areas of research: Hotson is now working on millenarianism in early modern Europe; Smith on the army in early 18th century Britain; Hopkin on oral culture in 19th century France; and Zimmer on religion and identity in late-19th century Germany. 


Research Strategy


The key components of the research strategy set out in 2000 have been achieved. The hoped-for reduction in teaching hours has been implemented, and new courses reflect the research interests of staff. New provisions for additional research leave and remission of other duties have been introduced, dedicated research space has been acquired, external funding has been sought, and more collaborative projects have been established (see the description below under External Environment). The Faculty website is much more informative and sophisticated, with a whole new research section, and we are developing a web-based system for pairing students and tutors to allow more specialisation in teaching and free additional time for research.


Significant efforts have been made to broaden the scope of the Faculty’s research, in both disciplinary and geographical terms. Interdisciplinary research seminars and workshops include those on late antique and early medieval archaeology, the Enlightenment Workshop, the History of the Book and the History of Childhood workshop. We have appointed two new historians of art, and created a position in social history with a social science orientation. We are also committed to expanding our geographical range and strengthening our global history group, and this will be assisted by Mitter’s Leverhulme award. We have recruited one Japanese and two China specialists, another Americanist and an expert in the history of psychiatry in east Africa, and in the next five-year period we plan to make appointments in the histories of the Balkans and the Islamic world, and in comparative and global history.


We have also made efforts to encourage communication between different area specialists by developing projects in comparative history. The Leverhulme and AHRC projects on England and the Netherlands between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, a joint project with Princeton on post-1945 Europe and East Asia, and the joint project with the University of Virginia, ‘Piecing Together the Atlantic World’, are among the research enterprises with a significant comparative element.


Most of the research work listed as in progress in 2000 has been completed and published, notably the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography in 2004 and on-line updates and themed essays since. Of thirteen monographs in progress then listed under staff still in post with us, eleven have been published and those by Davidson (on the Venetian Inquisition) and Benjamin Thompson (on alien priories) are not quite complete at the end of this assessment period.


For the years 2008-12, our collective and individual strategies are in place. At the collective level, the most appropriate research strategy for a diverse faculty such as ours is a research development strategy, enabling the research work of individuals and groups. The growth of our research activity will be boosted by the planned move of Humanities faculties in 2012 to a purpose-built Humanities Centre on the site of the old Radcliffe Infirmary, with a unified Humanities first-level research library and a Humanities Research Centre. This will assist inter-disciplinary research, and provide even more space for collaborative projects, visiting scholars, and the involvement of research-active retired colleagues in the work of the Faculty. A key ambition for the future is the creation, in cooperation with the Bodleian, of a Modern British Political Archives Centre, to catalogue and exploit the Library’s political papers, but to make this effective we will require external funding – which is being pursued.


Major individual and group projects now in train will be completed by 2012. These include: Barnard’s study of print culture in Ireland 1680-1800, supported by a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship; Susan Brigden’s ongoing project on ‘Sir Thomas Wyatt and his friends’, also funded by a Leverhulme fellowship; Carey’s book on the independence struggle in East Timor, incorporating complex field work and interviews, funded in part by the Faculty; Corsi’s study of the Italian Geological Survey; Davis’s ground-breaking work on crime, disorder and popular culture in London in the 1950s and 1960s; Dabhoiwala’s imaginative study of attitudes to sex in 17th and 18th century England; Gleadle’s work on women, gender and politics in Britain 1780-1860; Ruth Harris’s book on the Dreyfus affair, with research supported by the British Academy and supplemented by Faculty funds; Humphries’s book on child labour in the Industrial Revolution; O’Hanlon’s  work on intellectual history and social change in early modern India; Parrott’s book on armies and politics in early modern Europe; and Whittow’s study of ‘The Feudal Revolution’. The Oxford team led by Jose Harris will publish a collection of essays arising from a continuing workshop series on cultural contacts between Britain and Europe, and Sharpe’s research group, funded primarily by the British Academy and AHRB, will complete their eight-volume edition of the charters of William II and Henry I.


Contributions to the broader research environment  


Journal and series editors


Four of the five main UK history journals, EHR, P&P, EconHR, TRHS, are edited from Oxford; the major exception is HJ. Archer is Literary Director of the Royal Historical Society, responsible for both TRHS and the Camden series. Waller was editor of EHR 2003-6, and read about 240 submitted articles. Conway has been reviews editor since 2006. Roper and Wickham edit Past & Present: Wickham read about 200 submissions to the journal, and Roper more. Clavin edits Contemporary European History and Humphries Economic History Review. Strachan is editor of War and History, and Parrott is reviews editor. Young co-edits History of European Ideas. Blair is general editor of Oxford Medieval Texts and of Oxford Studies in Archaeology and History. Beinart is general editor of the St Antony’s/Palgrave Series in African History, Caplan is general editor of the Palgrave European Studies series, Knight was editor of the Cambridge Latin American monographs series in 2001-2, and Strachan is general editor of the Hodder Modern Wars series, and of Cambridge Military Histories. Whyte is editor of the Oxfordshire Records Series.


Refereeing manuscripts etc.


Seventy-seven academic staff refereed a total of 454 book manuscripts for publishers, and 86 refereed 618 article manuscripts for journals (excluding manuscripts read as editors or members of editorial boards). Briggs read 15 book manuscripts, Caplan 19, Clavin 14, Evans 14, Foster 10, Gunn 11, Offer 11 and D. Washbrook 13. Among younger colleagues, Hopkin, Sexton, Hannah Smith and Zimmer read for publishers. Fifty-one postholders refereed 223 project proposals for research councils and other funding bodies, including overseas bodies such as the  Fonds zur Foerderung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung (Austria); the Australian Research Council (2); Fondation Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique (Belgium)and Université libre de Bruxelles; Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada; Grantova Agentura (Czech Republic); Flemish Research Council; Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbuettel (2); Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute; Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences (8); Israel Science Foundation (2);  Padua University; Norwegian Funding Council; NOW Council for the Humanities; National Research Foundation, South Africa; Schweizerische Nationalfunds zur Foederung der Wissenschaftlichen Forschung; and the National Science Foundation (USA).


Among younger colleagues, Kempshall read for Journal of Medieval History, OUP and Brepols, while Mahone referees for Social History of Medicine. Jay Sexton refereed for Journal of American Studies and Patterns and Prejudice, and for CUP and Alabama UP.


Those who read as editors or members of editorial boards are noted elsewhere.




Ninety-five postholders contributed a total of 781 reviews in academic journals, plus another 72 reviews in publications such as TLS, LRB and History Today – almost 9 reviews per postholder. Abrams wrote ten reviews, Broers 10, Conway 25, Darwin 14, Evans 22, Foster 10, Gunn 18, Green 13, Haigh 22, Robert Harris 37, Mark Mark Harrison 36, Heal 11, Hotson 15, Parrott 16, and Robertson 10. Younger colleagues were also active: Mossman wrote seven reviews, Hopkin 16, Sexton 5, Whyte 24  and Zimmer 6.




Conference organisers


The major roles played by Oxford historians can best be demonstrated by a broadly chronological list. Mark Smith was on the organising committee for ‘Currents in World Christianity’ conferences in Oxford in 1999, Cambridge in 2001 and Pretoria in 2002, and he was the primary organiser of an international conference on ‘British Evangelical Identities’ at Cambridge in 2004. Ward-Perkins was organiser of the ‘Late Antique Archaeology’ conferences in Oxford each year from 2001 to 2007. Beinart co-organised conferences in Oxford (2002), Fort Hare, South Africa (2003), Oxford (2004) and Princeton (2005). In 2002, Ghosh and Goldman organised the Oxford conference on ‘The Political Culture of Victorian Britain’ and Knight ‘Caciquismo in Modern Mexico’, also in Oxford.  Strachan arranged ‘The British Army and the Lessons of War’ at the Strategic and Combat Services Institute in 2003. In 2004, Mark Harrison organised ‘From Western Medicine to Global Medicine’, and Ruth Harris and Roper organised a conference in celebration of the work of Olwen Hufton, all in Oxford. Judith Brown organised a conference of the Anglo-Japanese historians’ network in 2004, and the ‘South Asian Diaspora’ conference in 2005, again in Oxford. John Davis was chair and organiser of the Urban Network at the European Social Science History conferences in 2004, 2006 and 2007. In 2005 Caplan organised the conference on ‘Technologies of Identification in Britain and its Empire’, and in 2007 she organised the ‘Remembering 1956’ conference, Carey organised a conference on the tsunami, Catherine Holmes organised ‘Unities and Disunities in the late-medieval East Mediterranean World’, all in Oxford. In 2006 Robert Evans organised the European Science Foundation’s conference on ‘The Middle Ages and Medievalism in the Writing of National History’ in Oxford, and he, Parrott and Roper organised the Oxford conference on ‘The Holy Roman Empire, 1495-1806’. Also in 2006 Conway and Gildea staged an Anglo-French conference on ‘Eight Questions on Writing Contemporary History’, and Gunn organised ‘War, State and Society in Late Medieval Britain’, both in Oxford. Strachan organised a conference in Hamburg on the Battle of Jutland, and Whittow organised a panel on the economy for the International Byzantine Conference. Peter Thompson organised the 2006 conference of the Early American Historians of Great Britain in Oxford, and convened ‘New Research Directions in Early American History’ at the Huntington Library, San Marino. Sharpe organised conferences on early English shire towns in Oxford in 2006 and 2007. In 2007 Archer co-organised an interdisciplinary conference ‘London in Text and History’ in Oxford, Clavin organised a conference on ‘The Value(s) of International Organisations: Historical Reflections’, and Jane Garnett co-organised the international workshop ‘Beyond the Western Canon? How to Talk about Global Relations in the (Post-)Colonial Context’, all in Oxford.


Among younger colleagues, Gleadle organised  the ‘Women and Education in Britain, 1800-1930’ conference in Oxford in 2004, and Hopkin the ‘Spaces and Places’ strand for the Social History Society conferences at Rouen in 2004, Dublin 2005 and Reading 2006. In 2006, Tuck co-organised a conference on the struggle for racial equality in the USA, Sexton co-organised the BrANCH conference and Jackson co-organised a conference on ‘The Conceptual History of Social Justice’, all in Oxford. Wills co-organised ‘The Politics of Domestic Authority in Britain 1800-2000’ meeting in Cambridge.


Exhibitions also contribute to the enhancement of the subject. In 2005 Foster co-curated ‘Conquering England: the Irish in Victorian London’ at the National Portrait Gallery, Jane Garnett and Rosser staged their ‘Miraculous Images’ exhibition in Genoa and Oxford. In 2006 Kemp was curator of the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ exhibition at the V & A, and director of the ‘Universal Leonardo’ project and exhibitions.


Collaborative projects


The most important collaborative history project organised from Oxford was the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, funded primarily by Oxford University Press, edited by Brian Harrison and then taken over after publication by Goldman. The collaboration involved 9,800 different authors in fifty-one countries, and was directed and managed by staff of the History Faculty. Seven of the thirteen consultant editors were drawn from the History Faculty, as were forty-six of the 388 associate editors. Of the 50,000 biographical entries, 3016 were written by 368 academic staff of Oxford University and 4601 were written by 37 research staff recruited for the project and employed by the History Faculty: 15% of the entries were written by Oxford staff. ODNB staff undertook four major preparatory research projects costing £450,000: on birth, marriage and death certificates; on probate and wills; on systematic searches of the National Register of Archives and national sound, film and television archives; and on searches finding portraits of more than 30,000 subjects. The project also generated 32 seminars in Oxford in 2002-4, on general and specific problems in biography, and on the biographies of particular individuals and groups. The ODNB was published on schedule in 2004, and since then the project has continued to employ researchers who have produced on-line updates, new biographies and themed articles. Among the many awards ODNB has received are: the Longman-History Today Trustees Award for the promotion of History; the Dartmouth medal of the American Library Association; and the Besterman/McColvin medal of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.


Members of the Faculty are involved in direct collaborations with colleagues in a dozen countries, besides the multi-member projects such as those funded by the European Science Foundation. From our medieval clusters, Sharpe leads a major project on medieval library catalogues (funded by various bodies), with cooperation from colleagues in Australia, Canada, Denmark and the USA. Watts and Vale, with J-P Genet (Paris I) have directed an imaginative series of annual Anglo-French colloquia on ‘Governing Later Medieval France and England: Office, Network and Idea’, funded by CNRS and Paris I. The programme also includes Forrest and Benjamin Thompson, and will produce a series of jointly-written Anglo-French essays on comparative topics, to be published in both French and English. Rosser was a participant in international projects  on  ‘Sacred Space’ (with Moscow), on ‘The Common Good’ (with Ghent), on ‘The Mediterranean in History’, involving colleagues from Poland, and on ‘Guilds in History’, directed from Trier. And Wickham is co-organiser of a team studying ‘La seigneurie au moyen age’, with colleagues in Paris and Salamanca. In the Renaissance cluster, Gunn and Vale organised a collaboration with the Netherlands Research School for Medieval Studies on ‘The Social and Cultural Means of Power in the Low Countries, England and Beyond, 1380-1570’. In the later-modern Britain cluster, Jane Garnett initiated a collaborative project on ‘Redefining Christian Britain: post-1945 Perspectives’, planned with colleagues from Royal Holloway and Vancouver and bringing in several others. Jackson is a member of an international network of young intellectual historians based at New York University. The modern Europe cluster has been the most active. Clavin has been involved in organising a number of collaborations: with Marc Flandreau (Sciences-Po, Paris) on international financial advising, 1850-2000 (funded by the French government); with Helge Pharo and others (Oslo) on the Norwegian peace tradition (funded by the Norwegian government); and with Youssef Cassis (Geneva) on the emergence of the international civil servant. Clavin and Conway, with colleagues at the Humboldt University, Berlin, have organised a joint project on Europeanisation and De-Europeanisation in twentieth century Europe, with funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and AHRC. Conway was co-director of the team on Political Legitimacy in Europe 1930-50, in the ESF project on ‘The Impact of National Socialist and Fascist Rule in Europe’, and Gildea was team leader of the ‘Daily Life’ theme. Among the Americanists, Tuck is the only British member of the core organising team of a six-year project (funded by the German government) on the impact of the US civil rights movement on Europe. From the global history cluster, David Washbrook is co-founder and organiser of the Global Economic History Network (with support from the Leverhulme Trust), with conferences in London, Irvine CA, Utrecht, Lausanne, Istanbul and Pune. In History of Medicine, Mark Harrison has co-organised a series of workshops on the relationship between disease and international history, with colleagues from Kyoto and Osaka.


Theses Examined


Fifty-two postholders examined a total of 194 doctoral and habilitation theses: Evans examined 11, David Washbrook 12 and Wickham 10. Overseas doctorates were examined at Bordeaux III, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Grenoble, Haifa, Lille (2), Paris IV, Paris X, Nantes and Strasbourg; Wageningen (Holland); the University of Central Europe, Budapest; Calcutta; Pisa, Siena and Venice; Uppsala; Princeton and Rutgers. Habilitation theses were examined at Paris I (twice), Paris IV, Paris X, Lille, Tours, Leipzig and Vienna.


Research Tools


Archer is general editor of the important RHS Bibliography of British History, and has devoted four hours each week to it throughout the assessment period: the 2007 AHRC assessors described it as a ‘superb, user-friendly database’ and ‘an outstanding resource’. Barnard compiled a Guide to the Sources for the History of Material Culture in Ireland. Gleadle is compiling a database of women’s non-fiction writing in Britain, 1780-1860. Mulholland has edited a digital research collection of Northern Ireland Cabinet Papers, 1921-72. Pelling’s database of physicians and medical practitioners in London 1550-1640 (2004) is housed at British History Online. Sharpe is compiling a database of English royal acta 1066-1199. Sharpe’s cumulative index of authors, titles and identification notes for 8,000 texts from medieval libraries is on the Faculty’s website, as is Goldman’s catalogue of the publications of the Social Science Association. Briggs’s database of Lorraine witchcraft trials is listed as an output in RA2.


With specific funding from the University, in 2004 the Faculty established a Prosopography Centre, directed by Katharine Keats-Rohan. In its two-year programme, the Centre organised an international conference in 2005 (with speakers from 13 countries), arranged the translation to English of a manual produced in the University of Ghent, devised an online tutorial on prosopographical methods, compiled a bibliography of over 500 titles, and established a website that hosts the manual, tutorial, bibliography, a directory of projects and an online journal. Much of this material has been published in Prosopography Approaches and Applications: a Handbook (2007).





Assessors for tenure, promotion and appointment to chairs


The following colleagues were asked to serve as assessors: Barnard for promotions at Manchester, King’s London, Queen’s Belfast, University College, Cork, University College, Dublin, Sunderland and Ulster; Beinart for the Smuts Chair in Cambridge and promotions at Warwick and SOAS; Broers for promotions at Florida State and Georgia Tech; Brown for the Smuts chair in Cambridge; Caplan for promotion or tenure at Ann Arbor, Berkeley, Franklin and Marshall, Notre Dame, Pennsylvania, Ohio State, Oregon and the University of Southern California; Carwardine for the American Studies chair at Sussex; Charles-Edwards for the University of Wales (Bangor, Lampeter, Aberystwyth: Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies), University College Dublin, University College Cork and Cambridge; Clavin for a promotion at Oslo; Clunas for promotion or tenure at Brown, British Columbia, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Academica Sinica Taipei, Brandeis; Conway for tenure at Northwestern and for promotion at the Open University; Davies for Princeton; Gildea for Sussex. Evans is on the electoral boards for the Ecclesiastical History and Modern History chairs at Cambridge, and served on promotion committees at Aberdeen, Bangor, KCL, St Andrews, UCL, Vienna, Warwick. Haigh was an assessor for promotion to chairs at Claremont Graduate School and Colby College. Jose Harris is on the electoral boards for the Modern History chair and the Social and Political Science chair at Cambridge. Ruth Harris was an assessor for promotions at Boston College, NYU and Sydney; Mark Harrison for promotions at Acadia, UCL, Kent and Minnesota; Knight served at California San Diego, Chicago, Illinois and Texas at Austin; and Robertson for promotions at Concordia Montreal, Connecticut, Glasgow and SUNY Stony Brook.


Distinctions and Prizes


The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2007. The late Rees Davies and Brian Harrison were knighted, and Olwen Hufton was made DBE. Carey was made a member of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator (Portugal) and awarded the Silver Independence Medal (East Timor), and Macmillan was made Officer, Order of Canada. Conway was elected a member of the Academie Royale de Belgique, Barnard and Charles-Edwards were elected an Honourable Member of the Royal Irish Academy, Evans was elected an honorary member of the Learned Society of the Czech Republic, Strachan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Elliott and Wickham were made soci of the Accademia nazionale dei Lincei. Fox was awarded the Oskar von Miller Gold Medal of the Deutsches Museum in 2004, and was made Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2005. Charles-Edwards and Malcolm were elected Fellows of the British Academy in 2001, Sharpe was elected in 2003, Clunas in 2004, Carwardine in 2006, Barnard in 2007, and the following are also Fellows: Evans, Foster, Jose Harris, Kemp, Knight, Maclean, Offer, Service, Slack and Wickham. During the assessment period Rees Davies FBA died, and several Fellows retired: Hufton, Maddicott and McKibbin. Brown was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Natal, Elliott by Complutense University, Madrid and College of William and Mary; Evans by the Charles University, Prague, Foster by TCD, the National University of Ireland Queen’s University, Ontario, Macmillan by University of King’s College, Halifax, Royal Military College, Kingston, and Ryerson University, and Strachan by the University of Paisley. Beinart won the UCU Life-Changers Award for doctoral supervision in 2007.


Broers won the Prix Napoleon for The Napoleonic Empire in Italy. Carwardine was awarded the 2004 Lincoln Prize, the first British historian to be thus recognised. Clunas won the Iris Foundation Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Study of the Decorative Arts in 2001. Elliott was awarded the Francis Parkman Prize by the Society of American Historians in 2007. Gildea’s Marianne in Chains was awarded the 2002 Wolfson History Prize, and it was also shortlisted for the George Orwell Prize and the British Academy Book Prize. Gleadle and Mitter won Philip Leverhulme prizes in 2004, and Paseta in 2007. Gleadle’s manuscript on women and political subjectivity is a winner in the British Academy’s post-doctoral monograph competition. Green’s Fatherlands was shortlisted in Das Historische Buch in 2002, and Mark Harrison won the Templer Medical Book Prize for Medicine and Victory in 2005. Robert Harris won the HJ Dyos Prize in 2005. In 2003 Hopkin was awarded the RHS’s Gladstone Prize, and in 2004 Landers’s The Field and the Forge was shortlisted for the British Academy Book Prize. Macmillan’s Peacemakers was awarded the Duff Cooper Prize for History or Biography, 2002, the Hessell-Tiltman Prize (PEN UK) for History, 2002, the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction, 2002, and the Canadian Governor-General’s Award for Non-Fiction, 2003. Mitter was one of only two scholars in the humanities to receive Leverhulme Research Leaderships Awards in 2007. Parrott’s Richelieu’s Army was runner-up for the RHS/History Today first book prize in 2001, and Roper won the Sixteenth Century Studies Association’s H J Grimm Prize for Witch Craze. The Society for Military History’s distinguished book award went to Strachan in 2003. Ward-Perkins was awarded the 2006 Hessell-Tiltman History Prize for The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilisation, and Wickham won the Wolfson History Prize in 2006. Heather’s Fall of the Roman Empire was one of the Sunday Times top five history books of 2005. Brockliss’s Nelson's Surgeon won a prize given by the Royal Society of Medicine, and the film associated with the book, ‘Trafalgar Battle Surgeon’ (Channel 4), won the Royal Television Society’s award for the best history TV film in 2006


Editorships of journals and monograph series are listed above as contributions to the broader research environment


Major lectures, keynote addresses and invited conference papers


Carwardine gave the Birkbeck Lectures (Cambridge) and the Stenton Lecture (Reading), both in 2004, and was Schwartz Distinguished Speaker, New York Historical Society in 2007. Charles-Edwards gave the Denys Hay lecture (Edinburgh) and the Beckett lecture (Queen’s University Belfast).  Clunas gave the Benenson Lecture at Duke in 2003, the Annual Art Department Lecture at the University of Chicago in 2004 and the Frank Davis Lecture at the Courtauld in 2004. Evans gave the Creighton Lecture at London University in 2007. The Wiles Lectures at Queen’s University Belfast were given by Foster in 2004 and Haigh in 2005. Foster also gave the Neale Lecture at UCL, the Corish Lecture (National University of Ireland) and the President’s Lecture at University College Cork in 2002; the DB Quinn Lecture (Liverpool) in 2004; the Fennell Lecture (Edinburgh) and the Creighton Lecture in 2005; and the Warton Lecture at the British Academy in 2006. Evans gave the first Masaryk lecture at KCL in 2001, the Maczak lecture at Warsaw in 2006, and the Oskar Halecki lecture at Leipzig in 2007. Goldman gave the Seymour Lectures in Biography in 2006 in Australia. Jose Harris gave special lectures at the University of Julin (Manchuria) and the Papal Dominican University in Rome in 2002, and the TH Marshall Lecture at Southampton in 2005.  Ruth Harris gave the GL Mosse Lectures at Wisconsin in 2006, Hawkins gave the Runcie Lecture at the Graduate Theology Foundation, United States, and Innes gave the Neale Lecture in 2001. Macmillan gave 14 named and keynote lectures, including the Skelton Memorial  Lecture, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ottawa and the Distinguished Lecture Series, Atkinson College, York University. Maddicott gave the British Academy Raleigh Lecture in 2001 and Oxford’s Ford Lectures in 2003. Sharpe gave the O’Donnell Lectures in Oxford in 2004 and at the University of Wales in 2007. Strachan gave the Liddell Hart Lecture at KCL in 2002, and the Mountbatten Lecture (Edinburgh) in 2005. Stargardt gave the Holocaust Memorial Day Lecture at the Imperial War Museum in 2006, and Wickham gave the Trevelyan Lectures (Cambridge) in 2003.


Keynote conference lectures were given by: Archer (The Mid-Atlantic Conference on British Studies, 2006); Barnard (several conferences including several conferences including the Royal Irish Academy and the National University of Ireland, Dublin); Broers (Utrecht 2004, Messina and Emory University, HMS Victory, the National Maritime Museum, and the German Historical Institute, Washington DC, 2005); Judith Brown (Australian Asian Studies Association, 2004); Carwardine (Anglo-American Conference, 2006); Clavin (Copenhagen, 2005); Clunas (British Association for Chinese Studies Conference, 2002, and the Finnish National Summer School in Art History, Turku, 2006); Elliott (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 2001, Williamsburg, 2004 and KCL, 2004); Evans (Academy Institute of History, Warsaw, the Academy Institute of History, Prague, the Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies, Aberystwyth, the Diplomatic Academy, Vienna, SSEES and UCL); Foster (Dublin, Florence, Prague, Tours and Virginia); Gleadle (Manchester); Goldman (North American Conference on British Studies, 2004); Heal (Mainz, 2005); Innes (Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, 2003); Service (Irish Slavonic Association, 2004); Sharpe (Royal Irish Academy, 2003); Stargardt (Hamburg Institute for Social Research, 2006); Strachan (the Society of Military Historians conference at Calgary 2001, and Glasgow 2004).


Broers gave invited papers at thirteen conferences between 2001 and 2006. In addition to the many talks he gave as editor of ODNB in 2005, Goldman gave papers at the 2001 anniversary conference of the Great Exhibition in Cambridge and at the Georgia Museum of Art in 2002, at Lancaster and at CRASSH (Cambridge) again in 2004. Mark Harrison gave papers at nineteen overseas conferences and seminars. Offer gave papers at conferences in Dublin, Rome, Zurich and New York. Robertson gave invited lectures at Chicago, Budapest and Naples; invited conference papers at Teramo, Italy, and the Folger, Washington DC; and several seminar papers elsewhere. His book The Case for the Enlightenment was discussed at a special colloquium at Sussex. Sharpe gave invited lectures at ten overseas venues. Stargardt gave papers at fourteen seminars and four conferences. Ward-Perkins spoke at conferences in Heidelberg, Liverpool, Munster, Padua and Vercelli, and was invited to discuss his The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilisation at Liverpool, Padua and UCLA.


Among younger colleagues, De Bellaigue delivered papers to the IHR and the Center for British Studies, University of California at Berkeley. Kempshall gave invited papers at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes in Paris in 2003 and at a conference organised by Paris IV and Rouen in 2005. Mahone delivered sixteen papers at conferences etc. in Africa, the USA and Britain. Sexton gave invited lectures at UCD and at the University of California at Davis. Tuck gave lectures at anniversary meetings on Little Rock school integration and the Baton Rouge bus boycott, and papers at Oxford, Cambridge and Sheffield.  Zimmer gave a paper at Ann Arbor in 2003, at the invitation of the editors of Comparative Studies in Society and History.



Editorial Boards


Evans serves on the editorial boards of EHR, Welsh Historical Review, Austrian Studies, Central Europe, Austrian History Yearbook and Cesky Casopis Historicky. He is chairman of the Oxford Historical Monographs committee, and other members have included Rees Davies, Jose Harris, Robertson, Service, Slack, Ward-Perkins and Watts. Fox sits on the boards of History and Technology, Archives internationale d’histoire des sciences, Revue de synthese, Revue d’histoire des sciences, Annals of Science, Oxford Review of Education and Sciences et techniques en perspective. Wickham is on the boards of Early Medieval Europe, Medievales, Archaeologia medievale, Hispania, Pyreneae and the Journal of the South African Society for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. Foster, Ruth Harris, Innes, Knight and Slack are on the editorial board of Past & Present: Foster and Harris each read more than 70 submissions to the journal. Rees Davies, Jean Dunbabin, Evans, Maddicott and Slack served on the advisory board of EHR. Caplan and Stargardt are on the board of German History, and Caplan is also on the board of History Workshop Journal and the German Historical Perspectives series. Abrams is on the boards of  Medieval Scandinavia and Viking and Medieval Scandinavia; Carwardine of American 19th Century History and Journal of Ecclesiastical History; Clunas of Journal of Design History, Journal of Early Modern History and Cultural and Social History; John Davis of Twentieth Century British History; Goldman of Oxford Review of Education; Gleadle of Women’s History Review; Jose Harris of Contemporary European History and Journal of Modern European History; Robert Harris of the Journal of British Studies; Mark Harrison of Social History of Medicine and the New Perspectives on South Asian History series; Heather of Liverpool UP’s Translated Texts for Historians series; Hopkin of Cultural and Social History; Hotson of The Seventeenth Century and Intellectual History Review; Humphries of Explorations in Economic History, Women’s History Review and Feminist Economics; Knight of Journal of Latin American Studies; Misra of Journal of Global History; Roper of Past & Present publications, Past and Present Supplements Series, and CUP’s New Studies in European History series; Rosser of Midland History; Service of Revolutionary Russia and Europe/Europa (Rome); Strachan of Small Wars and Insurgencies and Militargeschichtliche Zeitschrift;  Benjamin Thompson and Watts of The Fifteenth Century; and Young of Eighteenth Century Thought.


Research Awards


Barnard and Carwardine held Leverhulme Major Research Fellowships, Jose Harris and Hufton held Leverhulme Research Professorships, and Brian Harrison held a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship; Hotson, Knight and Peter Thompson each had a British Academy Research Readership and Stargardt a one-year Senior Research Fellowship. Ruth Harris had a British Academy major research grant, and Abigail Green had two Academy small research grants. AHRB/C project funding was awarded to Clavin, Ghosh, Gildea, Goldman, Gunn, Robert Harris and Johnston, and Dabhoiwala, Fox, Ghosh, Haigh, Heather, Hopkin Humphries, Kempshall, Paseta, Robertson, Benjamin Thompson, Tuck and Watts had AHRB/C research leave awards. Mark Harrison had four very large project grants from the Wellcome Trust. Sharpe has had research grants from the British Academy, AHRB, the Aurelius Trust, the Isaac Newton Trust, the Delmas Trust, the Pilgrim Trust and the Marc Fitch Fund, as well as from the University’s Research Development Fund.




Evans was chair of Section H10 of the British Academy 2001-4, and was succeeded by Foster for 2004-7. Clunas is on the committee of H11 and the China Selection Panel, Offer is on the committee of S2, Service on the committee of H10, Sharpe chairs the Medieval Texts committee, Jose Harris and Innes are members of the Social and Economic Records committee, and Charles-Edwards is grants officer for the medieval section. Archer and Clive Holmes are on the Council of the RHS, and Maddicott is chair of the council of the Pipe Roll Society. Archer sits on the IHR publications committee and the AHRC Peer Review College. Barnard is on committees of the Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Britain; Brown is a governor of SOAS and Bath Spa, was a member of the Indo-British Round Table, and is on the Scholars’ Council of the Kluge Centre of the Library of Congress. Carwardine is a member of the BrANCH executive and Darwin is on the advisory council of the Institute for Commonwealth Studies. Elliott is a member of the Scientific Committee of the Prado Museum, Madrid, the chair of the Advisory Council of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, London, and the Chair of the Council of the Omohundro Institute of early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia. Evans chairs the Forum of British, Czech and Slovak Historians and is a Trustee of the Wiles Fund, and Fox was the first president of the European Society for the History of Science, 2003-6. Robert Harris was a member of the AHRC working party on the future of the postgraduate competition. Hopkin is on the committee of the Social History Society. Hotson is a member of the executive committee of the Folger Shakespeare Library, and of the Centre for Renaissance Studies at the Newberry Library. Humphries chairs the Royal Economics Society’s women’s committee, and is a trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research. Offer is a member of the council and the executive committee of the Economic History Society, and Sharpe is president of the Surtees Society. Mark Smith is Honorary Librarian of the Royal Historical Society, and member of its Council and Publications Committee. Strachan is a member of the councils of the Army Records Society and the National Army Museum, and is part of the ‘virtual’ panel reviewing British Defence Doctrine for the armed forces. Ward-Perkins and Wickham are on the council of the British School at Rome. Whyte is on the board of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. Archer, Caplan, Darwin, Roper, D. Washbrook and Wickham serve or served on AHRC panels. Foster is a member of an evaluating panel for the Irish Research Council for the Humanities and Social Sciences.




The following books by Faculty members have been translated into foreign languages in the period: Briggs’s Witches and Neighbours (Chinese); Carwardine’s Lincoln (Portuguese); Clunas’ Superfluous Things and Elegant Debts (Chinese), his Art in China (Korean) and his Fruitful Sites (Japanese); Conway’s Collaboration in Belgium (French); Elliott’s Empires of the Atlantic World (Spanish). Gildea’s France since 1945 (Chinese); Ruth Harris’s Lourdes (French); Jose Harris’s William Beveridge: a Biography (Japanese); Macmillan’s Peacemakers (Albanian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, French, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish); Roper’s Witch Craze (German); Sharpe’s Titulus (Italian); Strachan’s The First World War: a New Illustrated History (Dutch, German and Spanish, French and Italian). Books by Service have been translated into Bulgarian, Castilian, Czech, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Korean, Latvian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Russian. Stargardt’s Witnesses of War has been translated into Dutch, German and Italian. Tyerman’s Short Introduction to the Crusades has been translated into Chinese and Greek, and his God’s War into Estonian.


Visiting Fellowships etc.


Abrams was visiting professor at the centre for Viking and Medieval Studies at Oslo in 2003, and Archer was a visiting fellow at the Folger in 2005. Blair was distinguished visiting scholar at UCLA in 2004, and Broers was a member of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton in 2003. Clavin was visiting fellow at the Nobel Institute in Oslo in 2006, and Conway held the Chaire Walter Ganshof van der Meersch at the Free University of Brussels in 2005-6. Davies was visiting professor of World Politics at Virginia in 2005-6, Evans was visiting professor at Leiden in 2005, and Foster was a visiting fellow at Princeton in 2002 and at Newfoundland and Valencia in 2006. Fox was a visiting professor at Johns Hopkins University in 2007. Goldman was a visiting research fellow at ANU, Canberra, in 2006, and Jose Harris was Visiting Research Professor at ANU and a Professorial Research Fellow at SAS, London. Mark Harrison was a visiting fellow at Calcutta in 2004, Heather was a senior fellow at Dumbarton Oaks in 2005, and Hotson was a research fellow at Goettingen in 2001 and Wolfenbuettel in 2002. Innes was visiting fellow at the Humanities Research Centre, Canberra, in 2001, and visiting professor at Munich in 2004. Service was distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University in 2004-5 and 2006. Stargardt was visiting fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and visiting professor at the Free University of Berlin hosted by Kocka in 2006-7. Whittow was visiting professor at the Poitiers Centre d’Etudes Supérieures de Civilisation Médiévale in 2006, and Wickham was professeur invité at the College de France in 2002. Zimmer was a Humboldt fellow at Tuebingen in 2004-5.


Visits from Overseas Researchers  


Twenty-five postholders were visited by senior foreign scholars who wished to consult or work with them: the visitors included Hoebelt from Austria; Bosworth and Macleod from Australia; Jolivet from Canada; Quevedo from Columbia; Guo Fang from China; Maiste from Estonia; Bely, Francois and Schaub from France; Karchava from Georgia; Biskup, Kocka  Externbrink and Weisbrod from Germany; Das, De Souza and Pati from India; Pancaldi and Guagnini from Italy; O Riain from Ireland; Takada from Japan; Zamponi from Italy; Cools and Spierenburg from the Netherlands;  Garbo and Myhre from Norway; Budnitskii from Russia; Barona from Spain; Siebenhuener from Switzerland; Blackbourn, Cressy, Gross, Livesey, Midelfort, Parker and Schama from the USA. Beinart organises the African Visiting Fellows programme, which hosts 1-3 visiting scholars from Africa, and hosted a number of South African visitors under the Oppenheimer Visiting Fellow Programme.


Radio and Television Appearances


Fifty-two colleagues appeared in radio or television programmes, with eight appearances on ‘In Our Time’ and five on ‘Night Waves’. Three had their own historical series: Haigh wrote and presented the five-part Radio 4 series ‘We Elizabethans’ (2003); Misra wrote and presented the three-part ‘An Indian Affair’ on Channel 4 (2001); and Strachan the ten-part First World War series for Channel 4.