skip to primary navigationskip to content


Site News

Professor Alex Walsham C.B.E.

last modified Jun 20, 2017 01:27 PM

Congratulations to Alex Walsham who has been awarded the C.B.E. in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

More information here

Professor Tony Badger is new president of the Historical Association

last modified Jun 20, 2017 09:36 AM

Professor Tony Badger was Paul Mellon Professor of American History here  from 1991 until 2014.

He has just been elected President of the Historical Association

More information here

Professor Peter Mandler awarded four year ESRC grant

last modified Jun 14, 2017 12:02 PM

Peter Mandler has been awarded an ESRC research grant to run a four-year project on 'Secondary Education and Social Change in the UK since 1945', with former Cambridge PhD students Laura Carter and Chris Jeppesen, to start October 2017.  

The project will use qualitative as well as quantitative material from the birth-cohort studies, other social surveys, school and local authority archives and oral histories to track the effects that universal secondary education - suddenly achieved after the Second World War - had on the individual life course, career aspirations and achievements, and the experiences and identities of specific communities.

Partner organizations include the Historical Association, the Sutton Trust, and History & Policy.  A public engagement fellow will join the team after two years to reach out to schools around the country, in conjunction with the Historical Association.  It is hoped to join hands too with many other projects now awakening to the significance of mass education in recent history.  The project hopes to put education back into our understanding of modern British social history, as one of the crucibles of identity and experience across the life-course, not for some but the whole of the population.

Dr. Stuart Middleton Receives a Fulbright Award

last modified Jun 07, 2017 11:38 AM

Dr. Stuart Middleton, a research fellow at Fitzwilliam College, has received a Fulbright Award to enable him to research at New York University, on one of the most well-regarded and impactful scholarship programmes in the world.


As a participant, Stuart has been selected to research the networks and debates that linked progressive intellectuals in Britain and America between the 1930s and the late 1950s, using a set of unique archival holdings in New York, Boston, Washington DC, Illinois, Tulsa, Stanford, and Los Angeles. This programme of research will enable him to reconstruct the first complete intellectual history of transatlantic progressive politics between the 1930s and 1950s. It will re-contextualise some of the most influential figures in twentieth-century literature, criticism, and philosophy, including John Dewey, Cyril Connolly, and George Orwell (who was an influential contributor to the magazine Partisan Review in the 1940s).

By tracing the development of transatlantic progressive politics over this period, his research will also demonstrate how the conditions for the acceptance of early neo-liberalism were established in Britain and America. Whilst at NYU Stuart will also contribute to the New York-Cambridge Training Collaboration, an innovative partnership between NYU, Columbia, and Cambridge for doctoral students in twentieth-century British history.


Stuart said: “I’m very excited by this award, which is a unique opportunity in my career as a historian. International collaborations between individuals and institutions are increasingly important in the humanities, but opportunities for sustained periods of research abroad are rare. Participating in the Fulbright programme, with its incredible institutional support and global network of alumni, is a fantastic way to build those collaborations in my field. In addition to seeing American academic institutions and research cultures from the inside, I’m looking forward to living in New York City with my family and to experiencing something of the diversity of American culture in the Midwest, Oklahoma, and California.”

Dr Tom Hamilton publishes new book

last modified May 10, 2017 03:21 PM

Tom Hamilton (Trinity) has just published Pierre de L’Estoile and his World in the Wars of Religion in The Past and Present Book Series with Oxford University Press. This book gives a new account of France’s sixteenth-century troubles from the perspective of an extraordinary Parisian diarist and collector, Pierre de L'Estoile (1546-1611).

Tom studied History in Cambridge, Lille, Oxford, and Paris. He returned to Cambridge in 2015 as a Junior Research Fellow at Trinity College. His work focuses on early modern French and European history. Currently he is exploring the role of criminal justice in the making of the ancien régime in France. 


Hamilton cover

History PhD student shares fifth annual Bill Gates Sr. Award

last modified May 09, 2017 04:37 PM

PhD student Fabrice Langronet is the joint winner of the fifth annual Bill Gates Sr. Award in recognition of his outstanding research and social leadership.

The award winners are chosen from among the cohort of Gates Cambridge Scholars by their peers.


Fabrice was was recognised for his innovative research on migration history, which he explores from the vantage point of a tenement unit in the northern suburbs of Paris at the turn of the 20th century.


More information here

Graduate Prizes recently awarded

last modified Apr 11, 2017 12:56 PM

Members’ History Fund Prizes 2017

The managers of the Member’s History Fund awarded the first prize to Mr Emiliano Travieso (Economic & Social History) and the second prize to Mr Maxwell Jones (Political Thought and Intellectual History). The Member’s History Prizes are awarded annually for the best MPhil dissertation on an historical subject submitted during the academic year preceding the year of award.


Prince Consort & Thirlwall Prize 2017

The managers of the Prince Consort & Thirlwall Fund awarded the 2017 prize and Seeley Medal to Dr Liesbeth Corens for her PhD dissertation “Confessional mobility, English Catholics and the southern Netherlands, c.1660-1720” . The prize is awarded for a dissertation involving original historical research submitted by either a graduate of the University or an individual registered as a graduate student.

Historical Journal seeks proposals in new initiatives

last modified Apr 10, 2017 11:14 AM

The Historical Journal has announced two new initiatives and is inviting the submission of proposals.


‘Retrospects’ are digital collections of articles from across the archive of The Historical Journal. The editors call for proposals from scholars interested in introducing and curating such digital collections. This initiative is intended to highlight both long-standing and emergent concerns addressed by the The Historical Journal.

See here for further information

Special Issues

‘Historical Journal Special Issues’ will be published annually and will be collections of cutting-edge articles linked by an overarching theme of wide interest across the historical profession. We are interested in considering proposals on any subject so long as the individual essays are excellent and the collection as a whole is coherent.

See here for further information

Dr William O’Reilly to be Visiting Professor at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

last modified Apr 10, 2017 10:58 AM

Dr William O’Reilly has been invited to Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne as Visiting Professor or four weeks (March-April). Dr O’Reilly will deliver lectures at Paris 1 and at Sciences Po on the subject of early-modern Central European History.

Dr Zoë Groves has been appointed Lecturer in Modern Global, Colonial and Postcolonial History at the University of Leicester

last modified Apr 10, 2017 10:56 AM

Zoë joined the History Faculty as temporary Lecturer in African History in 2013 and has taught widely in African and World History at Cambridge. She completed her PhD at Keele University under the supervision of David Maxwell and went on to become a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. Zoë’s research interests lie in African urban history, migration, and transnational movements in central and southern Africa. She recently completed a book manuscript on Malawian migrants in urban colonial Zimbabwe, c.1900-1965. Her current project explores histories of migration and settlement between South Africa and Zimbabwe in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Dr Suzanna Ivanic appointed to permanent post at the University of Kent

last modified Mar 07, 2017 12:41 PM

Dr Suzanna Ivanič been appointed Lecturer in Early Modern European History 1450-1700 on a permanent basis at the University of Kent starting in September 2017.

She completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Cambridge [BA (Fitzwilliam), MPhil (Fitzwilliam) and PhD under the supervision of Ulinka Rublack (Gonville and Caius)]. Her doctoral research on religious materiality in seventeenth-century Prague analysed inventories and objects to reveal the beliefs, practices and identities of Prague citizens during the Counter-Reformation. She is currently completing a monograph based on my doctoral dissertation. In 2016-17 she has been acting as Temporary Lecturer in Early Modern European History at the Faculty of History teaching both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Medieval Studies website now live

last modified Feb 28, 2017 10:14 AM

A Medieval Studies website at the University of Cambridge is now live at

The website aims to provide a virtual space for members of different departments and faculties across the university as well as visitors. It will facilitate access to information about seminars, conferences, and events pertaining to any aspect of medieval studies across the entire university. Ultimately, we also hope to foster interdisciplinary collaborations.

Please send your medieval news to the team via

We thank those who made this possible:
Conor O'Brien (History)
Gabriel Byng (History and Art History)
Matthew Champion (Formerly JRF in History, now Birkbeck)
Orietta da Rold (English)
Marcel Elias (English)
Caitlin Ellis (Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic)
Claire Ratican (Archaeology)
Seb Falk (History and Philosophy of Science)
Jennifer Pollard (English Faculty IT Officer)
The History Faculty for financial support and the English Faculty for IT support

New language routes added to History/Modern Languages joint tripos

last modified Feb 27, 2017 10:53 AM

The Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages is pleased to announce that applicants to the joint tripos for History/ML (HML) will be able to choose from four more language routes starting in 2018.

Prospective students applying for 2018 entry will be able to choose from Italian (post A-Level and ab initio), and Spanish, German and Portuguese (ab initio). The course, which welcomes its first cohort of students in October 2017, currently offers the opportunity for students to take French, German and Spanish (all post A-Level), and Russian (post A-Level and ab initio).

More information here

Dr Andrew Arsan to be guest lecturer at the Université libre de Bruxelles

last modified Feb 21, 2017 03:59 PM

Dr Andrew Arsan, University Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Cambridge, is the holder of the 2016-2017 Ganshof van der Meersch Chair at the Université libre de Bruxelles.

In March this year he will present a series of lectures on "European Order and Middle Eastern Disorder, 1798-2016".

More information

Memorial Service for Professor Jonathan Simon Christopher Riley-Smith

last modified Feb 10, 2017 12:49 PM

A Memorial Service for Professor Jonathan Simon Christopher Riley-Smith, M.A., Litt.D.,  Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History from 1994 - 2014, and Fellow of Emmanuel and Queens’ Colleges, will be held in Great St Mary’s Church at 1 p.m. on Saturday 11 March 2017.




History Today

Professor Rublack to discuss Luther at LSE Festival

last modified Jan 27, 2017 02:27 PM

On Wednesday 15th February, Professor Ulinka Rublack will be part of a panel discussing the character of Martin Luther, at an event hosted by BBC Radio Three programme Free Thinking at the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2017


For more information visit the LSE website

James Poskett, appointed Assistant Professor at University of Warwick

last modified Jan 20, 2017 01:01 PM

Congratulations to James Poskett, Adrian Research Fellow at Darwin College, who has been appointed Assistant Professor in History at the University of Warwick, starting September 2017.

James' doctoral work considered the global history of phrenology. He was an important part of the Faculty's AHRC network project, 'Exploring Traditions: Sources for a Global History of Science.' His most recent article is published by 'The Historical Journal':

Many congratulations to James!

Professor Biagini on Radio 4's 'In Our Time: Garibaldi and the Risorgimento'.

last modified Dec 02, 2016 03:42 PM

 On Thursday Professor Eugenio Biagini was one of the speakers on 'In Our Time: Garibaldi and the Risorgimento'.


The link is: BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time, Garibaldi and the Risorgimento

RHS Presidential Lecture: Peter Mandler

last modified Nov 23, 2016 04:32 PM

Colleagues are reminded that Professor Peter Mandler will be giving his final Royal Historical Society Presidential Address on Friday, 25 November.  The series, 'Educating the Nation', has explored causes and consequences of Britain's transition to mass education in the twentieth century: this fourth lecture concerns 'Subject Choice'.  The lecture is open to all, at 6 pm in the Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre at University College London on Gower Street.

Peter is at the end of his term as RHS president: he deserves our congratulations on his successful tour of duty and our thanks for many services to our profession.

Dr Lawrence Klein, Chair

New ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership

last modified Nov 21, 2016 04:54 PM

The Faculty of History is pleased to participate in a new ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership at the University of Cambridge.  A range of studentships are available across the social sciences at Cambridge; if you are interested in how society works and how it can handle global challenges, a DTP studentship will give you a world-class training programme, with access to leading international scholars both at Cambridge and other DTPs, and a wide community of fellow social scientists.

 You can find out more about ESRC DTP studentships here:


Dr Berend on Radio 4 In Our Time - Thursday 24th November

last modified Nov 21, 2016 04:52 PM

Dr Nora Berend will be on BBC Radio 4 In Our Time on 24 November, talking with Melvyn Bragg about the Baltic crusades

Dr William O’Reilly appointed Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest

last modified Nov 17, 2016 10:35 AM

Congratulations to Dr William O’Reilly who has been appointed the first ever permanent Fellow of the Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest.

Dr O’Reilly spent the academic year 2015-16 at the IAS as a Senior Fellow, researching and writing a biography of Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (1685-1740) and now becomes the first full-time Fellow of the Institute in its history.

Saul Dubow elected Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History

last modified Oct 19, 2016 09:41 AM

The Faculty of History is very pleased to announce the election of Saul Dubow as the next Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History.  He succeeds Megan Vaughan, now Professor of African History and Health at University College London. 

Born in Cape Town, Professor Dubow did his BA at the University of Cape Town and his doctorate at Oxford.  After a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London, he taught at the University of Sussex before moving to Queen Mary, University of London, in 2012 as Professor of African History. 

In his area of research expertise, nineteenth- and twentieth-century South Africa, he has made major contributions to the understanding of the systems of racial segregation and apartheid through linked studies of its ideological, intellectual, cultural and institutional aspects.  His interests include transnational and world history and, in particular, the growing field of global intellectual history. 

His first book, Racial Segregation and the Origins of Apartheid (1989), opened up hitherto under-researched aspects of the institutional, ideological and intellectual underpinnings of early twentieth-century segregation in South Africa.  His interest in the salience of ideas and the workings of dominant ideologies found further expression in Scientific Racism in South Africa (1995) and  A Commonwealth of Knowledge:  Science, Sensibility and Colonial Identity in South Africa (2006), which addressed the relationship between social and scientific thought, national identity, and political power in South Africa over nearly two hundred years. 

His most recent major work was Apartheid 1948-1994 (2014), a new interpretation.  His shorter books include a well-received and widely used history of the African National Congress (2000) and The Struggle for Human Rights in South Africa (2012).

Dr Nora Berend will be on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking on Wednesday 19th October

last modified Oct 17, 2016 11:55 AM

Dr Nora Berend will be on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking programme on the Hungarian referendum and the anniversary of 1956, discussing Hungary's relations with Muslims and Islam in the Middle Ages and early modern period and how these are distorted in modern political memory.

Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith 1938-2016

last modified Mar 10, 2017 09:36 AM

Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith died on Tuesday, 13 September 2016, at the age of 78.  Professor Riley-Smith was a distinguished medievalist and for many years the Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History and a Fellow of Emmanuel College.

Born on 27 June 1938, he was educated at Eton College and Trinity College Cambridge.  He received the BA (1960), MA (1964) and PhD (1964) and in 2001 was honoured with the LittD, all from Cambridge.

After his education, Professor Riley-Smith taught first at the University of St Andrews and then at Cambridge, from 1972 to 1978.  From 1978 to 1994, he was professor of history at the University of London and then returned to Cambridge as Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History.  In the late 1990s, he was Chair of the Faculty of History.

He was a leading figure in the study of the Crusades, producing many works, both academic monographs and works of general interest, from 'The Knights of St John in Jerusalem and Cyprus, c.1050-1310' (1967) and 'The Feudal Nobility and the Kingdom of Jerusalem, 1174-1277' (1973) to 'The Crusades, Christianity, and Islam' (2008) and 'The Knights Hospitaller in the Levant 1070-1309' (2012).  He was the editor of 'The Atlas of the Crusades' (1991) and 'The Oxford Illustrated History of the Crusades' (1995).  Professor Riley-Smith was a founder and president of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East.


A former student of Professor Riley-Smith adds:
He held the important posts of Chair of the Board of Management of the Institute of Historical Research in 1988-94, Chair of the Victoria County History between 1989 and 1996, and head of the department of history at Royal Holloway between 1984 and 1990.
He was the president of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, which is mentioned in the article, between 1987 and 1995. It is a very successful academic society with hundreds of members in many countries and its own journal, and the conferences it organises are the largest gatherings of historians of the crusades and the Latin East on the academic calendar.

He supervised over thirty doctoral research students, a very large number for a non-scientist, and many of them have gone on to successful academic careers.

Among his other books were What were the Crusades? (1977), which has been through four editions and has been very influential, and The First Crusaders (CUP, 1997), which was very well received and was completed during his tenure as Dixie Professor.

There is some more detail, and Professor Riley-Smith's qualities, achievements and personality are well captured, in Jonathan Phillips' obituary of him in History Today.


New Tripos in History and Modern Languages

last modified Mar 16, 2017 02:28 PM

The Faculty of History and the Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages are delighted to announce that undergraduates at Cambridge will be able to read for a degree in History and Modern Languages from 1st October 2017.

The new four-year degree represents an exciting opportunity for those wishing to pursue their interests in both History and Modern Languages. Students will study one foreign language throughout their course, and they will be able to choose from a rich selection of courses offered by both Faculties. Like other language students, they will spend their third year studying or working abroad thereby immersing themselves in the language, culture, and history of a foreign country. This degree will also provide opportunities to work with historical sources in foreign languages.

Students will conduct intensive study in language, culture, film, the history of political thought, as well as in a wide variety of modern British, European, American and World history. In the third year abroad, they will prepare a dissertation relating to the history, thought or culture of the country in which they are living. In their final year, they may also do an optional dissertation to replace any paper from either History or Modern Languages.

Initially, the languages offered will be French, German, Russian and Spanish. Russian may be learned from scratch or studied following on from an A-level (or equivalent).  French, German and Spanish will be post A-level only.   

More information is available here.

New Tripos in History and Politics

last modified Mar 16, 2017 02:28 PM

The Faculty of History and the Department of Politics and International Studies are delighted to announce that undergraduates at Cambridge will be able to read for a degree in History and Politics from 1st October 2017.

The new degree represents an exciting opportunity for those interested in both History and Politics.  Students will be able to choose from a rich selection of courses offered by the History Faculty and the Department of Politics and International Studies, together with a course unique to the new degree entitled ‘Evidence and Argument’. This has been specifically designed for the first year of the programme and will bring together key thinking from both disciplines. 

Students will also have the chance to conduct intensive study in political science, the history of political thought, a wide variety of modern British, European, American and World history, conceptual issues in political science, and quantitative methods. In the third year, students will be able to choose from a wide range of subjects offered in Politics, International Relations and History and may also do an optional dissertation.

More information is available here.


Cambridge PhD student wins two Economic History Society prizes

last modified May 05, 2017 11:50 AM

At this year's Economic History Society Conference in April, Cambridge PhD candidate Charles Read's thesis:  "British Economic Policy and Ireland, c.1841-53" was awarded the Thirsk-Feinstein PhD Dissertation Prize for the best PhD thesis in economic and social history completed at any university in 2016 and his article "Laissez-faire, the Irish Famine and British Financial Crisis" won the T.S. Ashton Prize for the best article published in the Economic History Review (the economic history journal with the top impact citation score in the world) in 2015 and 2016.

In 2014 he won their New Research Prize, making him the only person
to have ever won all three of the Economic History Society's major
academic awards.

New joint degrees start October 2017

Upcoming events

Alternatives to free trade

Jul 08, 2017

JCR TV Room, Sidney Sussex College

Upcoming events