skip to primary navigationskip to content

History Faculty Newsletter January 2019

Newsletter, winter 2018-19

EAT FEAST FAST: the art of food in Europe (1500-1800)

Figure 3 EAT FEAST FAST.jpg
Photo courtesy The Hamilton Kerr Institute/Chris Titmus
Food is familiar and vital to all of us – as growers, preparers and consumers – but its ubiquity and omnipresence in our lives belies the complexity of our relationship, and that of past generations, to food and eating. Food defines us as individuals, communities, and nations – we are what we eat and, equally, what we don’t eat. When, where, why, how and with whom we eat are crucial social and cultural identifiers. The upcoming EAT FEAST FAST exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum draws out some of these relationships within a deliberately broad thematic framework, focusing on Britain and Europe from 1500 to 1800, in an age when local food cultures were transformed by global networks.

Read more


The 'hidden histories' of women at Trinity

AmeliaHutchinson profile

The more I looked, the more ways I found in which women had influenced the College,' discovers Amelia Hutchinson (Trinity 2017) as she dives into archival research to mark the 40th anniversary of female undergraduates being accepted into the College.

Read more

The South Sudanese peanut economy and women's war histories


'In Ariath, a small market town in the north-west of South Sudan – from which it is a day's walk north into southern Darfur and a few day's walk west into the Central African Republic – most women's income is peanuts, both literally and figuratively,' writes Dr Nicki Kindersley, describing her study of the history of conflict economies in this African borderland. The project, for the UK Government, is providing perspectives that are vitally important for our understanding of shifting global economic systems.

Continue reading

Staff News


New appointment: Professor Samita Sen

'I joined the Faculty of History as the Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History in November 2018. I had obtained my PhD from this Faculty in 1992 and continued as a research fellow at Trinity College for another two years. I have from time to time visited Cambridge for brief stints in the intervening years, but to all intents and purposes I return now to Cambridge (and to Trinity as a teaching fellow) after nearly 25 years. This is a homecoming of a different sort', writes Samita.

Continue reading

sen cr


Philip Leverhulme Prize for new history of Arab political thought

Senior Lecturer Dr Andrew Arsan is working on a new history of Arab political thought and intellectual culture from the 1860s to the 1920s.

'I can still recall the exact moment I found out I'd been awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize. There I was, going through my emails while cradling the phone to my ear, on hold, of all things, with HMRC on a wet, dreary October afternoon, when a message from the Leverhulme Trust sailed into my inbox.'

Continue reading

Butrus al Bustani cr
Image of logo for Podcast piece

Cambridge American History Seminar podcast

The Cambridge American History Seminar brings in academics who are at the top of their field from around the UK and the USA to present on, and get feedback about, work in its early stages of development. Since October, PhD candidate Lewis Defrates has been interviewing speakers for a podcast series that explores the new boundaries of their work for a wider audience...and asks interviewees what their favourite album is.

Read more

Figure 1 George Severs group photo
Photo courtesy RCN Libraries

Graduate research puts history of HIV/AIDS activism ‘on the record’

July 2018 saw the 22nd World AIDS Day Conference take place in Amsterdam. The city also hosted an AIDS Cultures and Histories Festival, providing opportunities for historic and artistic reflection on HIV and AIDS, and the impact the epidemic has had (and continues to have) on individuals and communities in Europe and across the world.

London also played host to an AIDS Cultures and Histories Festival: more than 30 separate events and ongoing projects took place across the capital. These included talks given by second-year PhD student George Severs.

Continue reading