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Dr Amy Erickson on Women's Hour

last modified Oct 17, 2017 10:34 AM

Dr Amy Erickson can be heard on Women's Hour discussing the origins of the titles 'Ms' and 'Mrs' and 'Miss'

Dr Renaud Morieux awarded the American Historical Association’s Leo Gershoy Award

last modified Oct 11, 2017 12:04 PM
Congratulations to Dr Renaud Morieux, who has been awarded the American Historical Association’s Leo Gershoy Award for his book, The Channel: England, France, and the Construction of a Maritime Border in the Eighteenth Century (Cambridge University Press, 2016).  
This prize is awarded annually to the author of the most outstanding work published in English on any aspect of the fields of 17th- and 18th-century western European history.

The British Academy has awarded a two-year International Newton Fellowship to Dr. Marie de Rugy

last modified Oct 09, 2017 09:36 AM

burmese mapThe British Academy has awarded a two-year International Newton Fellowship to Dr. Marie de Rugy. Dr de Rugy completed her PhD in Modern History at Université Paris 1 Panthéon- Sorbonne and has published on the history of geography and cartography. She will be working with Dr. Sujit Sivasundaram at the Faculty of History on a project utilising an unique set of Asian maps held in Cambridge and beyond.



Project description:

If the history of cartography has long been focused on European traditions and mapping, my postdoctoral project concentrates on Asian maps used by Europeans during the colonial period.

Drawn on paper or silk, with a pencil or in colour as hastily scribbled sketches or elaborated maps, the cartographic documents that were made in the modern history of Southeast Asia show a high diversity of forms and formats.

A priori, it seems difficult to compare Vietnamese royal geographies, itineraries drawn by Chinese merchants engaged in commerce with Siam (today's Thailand) or local maps drawn by Burmese foresters for the British. The challenge is to understand what these numerous manuscript maps are, who produced them, in which context, with which objectives, and what they revealed to Europeans – or hid from them, without prioritizing simple ‘hybridity.’

Vietnamese maps as well as Burmese maps recently rediscovered in British archives – at the Cambridge University Library and British Library – are waiting for deeper understanding. This project will begin by taking these cartographic documents seriously as historical sources and products of science rather than indigenizing them too easily; it will localise them without isolating them from histories of mapping. It begins also with a commitment to placing these objects of material culture next to each other and cross-contextualising their paths of production and collection. 

Relocating World Christianity. New book by David Maxwell, Joel Cabrita and Emma Wild-Wood

last modified Oct 02, 2017 02:38 PM

Relocating World Christianity.

Cambridge historian and Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical history David Maxwell has published, with Joel Cabrita and Emma Wild-Wood, a new collection on World Christianity. The volume includes a contribution by the History Faculty’s Prof Andrew Preston on the United States and World Christianity.

'Remembering the Reformation’ digital exhibition now open

last modified Sep 22, 2017 10:25 AM

A major new digital exhibition launched on 7 September to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Featuring more than 130 items, it brings together a fascinating array of manuscripts, books and artefacts – from defaced missals and unique incunables to clocks, tobacco boxes, and finger bones – to illustrate how the events that ruptured Western Christendom in the sixteenth century have been remembered, forgotten, contested and re-invented. It offers fresh insight into how the memory of the multiple and competing Reformations – Protestant, radical and Catholic – emerged and evolved in their immediate aftermath and illuminates the complex and divisive cultural legacies that this process has bequeathed to subsequent generations.

The exhibition is the result of a collaboration between Cambridge University Library, Lambeth Palace Library, and York Minster Library. It is the work of a team of historians (Alexandra Walsham and Ceri Law) and literary scholars (Brian Cummings and Bronwyn Wallace) involved in the Arts and Humanities Research Council project ‘Remembering the Reformation’. Based jointly at the Universities of Cambridge and York, this runs for three years from 2016 to 2019. The result of many months of research and visits to a range of museums, libraries, and archives, the exhibition’s themes reflect the four central strands of the AHRC project: (1) Lives and Afterlives; (2) Events and Temporalities; (3) Places, Objects, and Spaces; and (4) Ritual, Liturgy, and the Body. For more information, see the project website:

The exhibition has facilitated new links between academic and library staff in all three partner institutions and fostered many mutually enriching conversations.  We hope that it will stimulate wide interest, contribute to the lively debates that are taking place in this Reformation year, and prove a resource of lasting value in the future.

The exhibition can be viewed at 

and a selection of fully digitised items will be published on the Cambridge Digital Library over the coming months. The exhibition accompanies an international conference at Murray Edwards College, and James Simpson Professor of English at Harvard University will give a public lecture at Great St Mary’s Church ay 6pm on Thursday 7 September, entitled “Stilled Lives, Still Lives: Reformation Memorial Focus”.

The header image depicts the ‘wounded’ Stainton Missal, a volume slashed multiple times by iconoclasts at the pages including the most sacred part of the Catholic mass. The book nevertheless survived in the hands of reformers during the centuries following the Reformation. From York Minster Library, reproduced by kind permission of the parish of Stainton.

V&A museum to host Kepler's Trial: An Opera on Thursday, 9 November

last modified Sep 22, 2017 10:19 AM

Kepler’s Trial, the opera, will be performed in the The Lydia & Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London on Thursday, 9 November 2017.

Organised with V&A Membership in conjunction with upcoming exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics'. The project was conceived by historian Professor Ulinka Rublack whose recent research shines new light on a 400-year-old scandal. The ambitious opera, telling the story of an infamous witch trial, first premiered in October 2016 at St John's College, Cambridge.

A film of Kepler's Trial: An Opera is available online at

Further details on the on the performance at the V&A and booking details can be found at:

Early Modern British History PhD student, Stephen Tong, awarded 2017 Neale Prize

last modified Aug 09, 2017 04:49 PM

Stephen Tong has been awarded the 2017 Neale Prize for his essay ‘The Doctrine of the Sabbath in the Edwardian Reformation.

Sir John Neale Prize in Early Modern British History is awarded annually by the Institute of Historical Research, School of Advanced Study University of London to a historian in the early stages of his or her career.

World History PhD student, Jake Richards, wins 2017 DC Watt Prize

last modified Aug 08, 2017 04:09 PM

Jake Richards, PhD student in World History, has won the DC Watt Prize 2017.

The prize is awarded by the Transatlantic Studies Association for the best paper presented at its annual conference by an early career scholar (including graduate students and those in established posts). Previous recipients include Dr. Bronwen Everill.


Jake’s paper arose from his doctoral work on the legal history of ‘liberated Africans’ in the south Atlantic. He is interested in how ‘liberated Africans’ contributed to, and were shaped by, the transition from slavery to freedom in Cape Town (South Africa), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Rio de Janeiro and Salvador (Brazil). Jake was formally a visiting student in the Department of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University when he delivered the paper at the conference.


More details on Jake’s work:


More details on the prize:

World History PhD student, Steph Mawson, wins 2017 Alexander Prize

last modified Aug 08, 2017 04:07 PM

Steph Mawson picSteph Mawson, PhD student in World History, has won the prestigious Alexander Prize 2017. The Royal Historical Society awards the prize for an essay or article based on original historical research, by a doctoral candidate or those recently awarded their doctorate, published in a journal or an edited collection of essays.


The prize was awarded for her article, ‘Convicts or Conquistadores?: Spanish Soldiers in the Seventeenth-Century Pacific,’ Past and Present, Vol. 232, No. 1 (2016), 87-125.


Further details on Steph’s research is available here:

The prize citation is as follows:


This ambitious and important article examines the ragtag army which colonized the Spanish East Indies during the seventeenth century. Its deep archival research reveals ordinary soldiers to have been quite unlike their stereotypical depiction as conquistadores. They were a motley collection of criminals, vagrants and fugitives, many conscripted and mostly from New Spain, who seldom shared the spoils of conquest with their commanding officers.

The author at once restores agency to these historical figures and displays its narrow limits. Mutiny and desertion were among the few pathways open to the conscripted and the mistreated. Such a small, impoverished and volatile force could not be relied upon to achieve Spain’s imperial ambitions, resulting in the recruitment of increasing numbers of indigenous troops.

The article offers a compelling portrait of the early modern Philippines. Its intertwining of social and military history makes it distinctive among submissions dominated by intellectual history. Its success in ‘[h]umanising and complicating the face of imperialism’ invites historians of empire to take account of the conflicting interests and motives of the colonisers and their correspondingly diverse relationships to the colonised.”

Dr John Slight wins the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize

last modified Aug 02, 2017 05:14 PM

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICWS) has awarded Dr John Slight the Trevor Reese Memorial Prize for his publication 'The British Empire and the Hajj', which explores the interactions between imperialism and Islamic practice.

Originally Dr Slight's PhD dissertation, the book was published when he was a Junior Research Fellow at St John's College

Past Cambridge winners are:  John Iliffe, Chris Bayly, John Lonsdale and David Fieldhouse.

University Library display curated by history fellow, James Poskett

last modified Aug 02, 2017 04:58 PM

Dr James Poskett, a Darwin College research fellow, together with two World History MPhil students, has created the current entrance hall display at the University Library.

The display is part of the India Unboxed series of events.

It is in place until 27th August

The People of India: Anthropology and Visual Culture, 1800–1947

Explore the different visual representations of Indian people produced over the last two hundred years, from the British Raj to Independence. Anthropological theories underwent significant change throughout this period. In the early nineteenth century, anthropologists tended to describe Indian castes and tribes in Romantic terms. But, as the British Empire continued to expand, anthropology was also used to support scientific racism and colonial violence. Despite these troubling legacies, Indians themselves also made extensive use of anthropology. Anthropological theories provided a means to critique the colonial state and bolster a sense of national identity. This display features engravings, lithographs and photographs, following how anthropology was used by both colonial officials and Indians alike.

 You can learn more about the display in this short video, featuring James Poskett and Koyna Tomar: 

Curated by James Poskett, Harry Stockwell and Koyna Tomar drawing on research from the MPhil in World History.

Faculty members elected fellows of the British Academy

last modified Sep 25, 2017 09:08 AM

Congratulations to Professors Alison Bashford, Gary Gerstle and Ulinka Rublack, and Dr Tessa Webber who have been elected fellows of the British Academy.

In all 66 new fellows have been elected. Further information can be found on the British Academy website.

Professor Bashford is leaving the Faculty this autumn for a research professorship at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

Dr Caroline Goodson joins Faculty

last modified Jul 14, 2017 02:13 PM
Dr Caroline Goodson has been appointed to join the Faculty as Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval History.

Dr Caroline GoodsonDr Caroline Goodson has been appointed to join the Faculty as Senior Lecturer in Early Medieval History.  Trained at Columbia University, Dr Goodson has been teaching at Birkbeck College, London.  Her work explores the formation of early medieval societies in the post-Roman world, especially Italy and North Africa, and concentrates on the nature of power in these places, looking at how different groups positioned themselves as successors of the Romans' past glories or innovators in a new world order. She is particularly interested how religious beliefs related to day-to-day experiences (and how these have been transmitted to us through the material and textual records) and how cities facilitated new forms of social interaction and political authority. Her work spans the disciplines of history, archaeology and art history. Dr Goodson works as a field archaeologist and, in addition to excavation, uses standing buildings archaeology, archaeological archives, and material culture studies in her research.  She has also published extensively on medieval documentary and historical texts, such as chronicles, hagiography, and more recently charters and diplomata. 

Dr Goodson takes up her post on 1 October 2017, but she will devote her first year, using a Leverhulme Research Fellowship, to work on her project, ‘Urban Gardening in Early Medieval Italy’.  For further information about this project, see:

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 Jun 30, 2017 03:41 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 Sep 25, 2017 09:09 AM

PhD student Fabrice Langrognet 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!