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Dr Charles Read awarded prize by International Economic History Association

last modified Aug 20, 2018 10:50 AM

Congratulations to Dr Charles Read who has been awarded a prize by the International Economic History Association (IEHA) for the best dissertation in nineteenth-century economic history completed in 2015, 2016 or 2017 at any university in the world, which was awarded at the 18th World Economic History Congress hosted last week at MIT in Boston.


The research for his PhD has previously also won the Thirsk-Feinstein PhD Dissertation Prize, the T.S. Ashton Prize and the New Researcher Prize of the Economic History Society (EHS). No one scholar has ever before won all three EHS prizes, never mind an IEHA prize as well.




Dr Read presenting his research at the 18th World Economic History Congress

Cambridge is the best place to study History

last modified Aug 08, 2018 02:38 PM

Cambridge is the best UK university at which to study history, according to the Telegraph.

Dr Emily Jones wins Longman-History Today prize

last modified Jul 30, 2018 11:53 AM

Jones Burke


Congratulations to Dr Emily Jones who has won the Longman-History Today Book Prize 2018 for her book Edmund Burke & The Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830–1914, published by Oxford University Press.

More information here

Professors Chatterji and Bourke elected to British Academy

last modified Jul 25, 2018 11:35 AM

Congratulations to Professors Joya Chatterji and Richard Bourke who have both been elected to the British Academy.

More information on the new BA fellows can be found here.

Durham University awards honorary degree to Professor John Morrill

last modified Jul 02, 2018 11:00 AM

Congratulations to Professor John Morrill, who has been awarded an honorary D.Litt (Doctor of Letters) by Durham University.

More information can be found here


Alan Packwood and David Reynolds at GW Bush Centre in Dallas discussing Churchill's leadership - a video

last modified Jun 28, 2018 02:27 PM

The Art & Leadership of Winston Churchill


On the 26th June, the Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, Allen Packwood, and Professor of International History, David Reynolds took part along with Professor David Woolner, Senior Fellow and resident historian of the Roosevelt Institute,  in a panel discussion at the George W Bush Presidential Center on Churchill's leadership. 

A video recording of the event can be found here.

Dr Stefan Hanß going to Senior Lectureship in Manchester.

last modified Jun 25, 2018 04:38 PM

Dr. Stefan Hanß, of St John's College, currently a Research Associate in Early Modern European Object History, is moving to the University of Manchester in September where he will be taking the position of Senior Lecturer in Early Modern History.

Academic promotions for Drs Berend, Webber and Watkins.

last modified Jun 14, 2018 12:48 PM

The History Faculty is delighted to congratulate Dr Nora Berend and Dr Tessa Webber on their promotion to Professor, and Dr Carl Watkins on his promotion to Reader.

Cambridge postdocs on History Today book prize shortlist

last modified May 15, 2018 05:03 PM

Emily Jones (JRF-Pembroke) and Tom Lambert (CTO-Sidney Sussex) have both been shortlisted for the Longmans/History Today 2018 Book Prize.


More information on the History Today site

Dr Nora Berend given honorary doctorate by University of Stockholm

last modified May 11, 2018 12:42 PM

Congratulations to Dr Norah Berend who has been awarded an honorary doctorate by the Unversity of Stockholm

The entry on the University website reads as follows:

Nora Berend is Reader in European History at the University of Cambridge, and Fellow of St Catharine’s College. She is best known for her work on medieval religious minorities, and on processes of Christianization. She explained the complex position of religious minorities in society in her prize-winning At the Gate of Christendom: Jews, Muslims and ‘pagans’ in medieval Hungary (c.1000 – c. 1300) (2001). As a visiting professor at Stockholm University she has fostered collaborative research on medieval Scandinavia and stronger ties for medievalist graduate students and scholars between Stockholm and Cambridge.

Memorial Sevice for Professor Peter Spufford, Saturday 5th May

last modified May 02, 2018 04:09 PM

A memorial service for Professor Peter Spufford will be held in the Chapel of Queens’ College on Saturday, 5 May 2018 at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served in the Long Gallery of the President’s Lodge, after the service.

He was an active member of the History Faculty from 1979 until his retirement in 2001.

Funding opportunities for postgraduate students

last modified May 01, 2018 04:05 PM

To all MPhil and PhD students in the Faculty of History,


The Faculty of History hosts several funds which provide various grants-in-aid (for research travel and subsistence) and/or studentship bursaries for the benefit of postgraduate students. The full details of each trust fund including conditions of eligibility, value of awards and application processes are available on the Faculty of History website: Some trust funds also offer prizes, details of which are in the above link.


Most funds impose a deadline within each term for applications for grants-in-aid, while the deadlines for studentship bursaries (maintenance grants) fall largely within Easter term, to take effect in academic year 2018/19 (with the exception of the Lightfoot Fund for which the deadline has passed). Each fund is endowed for a particular purpose and thus each has its own terms and conditions. Please pay close attention to the details of each fund if you are considering an application. Application forms for grants and studentships are available through the above link.


All relevant information should be on the website. Any queries should be directed to


Cambridge Historians speaking at Hay Festival 2018

last modified Apr 24, 2018 02:21 PM

History Faculty members speaking at the Hay Festival 2018

25th May: Dr. Hugo Drochon, ‘Who believes in conspiracy theories?’

28th May: Dr. Lucy Delap, ‘Men and Feminism’

29th May: Dr Helen Castor, 'Elizabeth I: a study in insecurity'

31st May: Dr. Sujit Sivasundaram, ‘The history of islands and the making of the modern world’

1st June: Dr. Shruti Kapila, ‘India, empire and the invention of terror in the 20th century.’

More details:

Professor David Maxwell to be visiting scholar in New Zealand

last modified Apr 20, 2018 04:32 PM

David Maxwell has been appointed St John’s Visiting Scholar in Religion 2018 at the University of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand where he will lecture on World Christianity.  He will also give a public lecture and take a postgraduate workshop at the University of Otago, Dunedin.

Dr Rachel Leow wins 2018 Harry J. Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies

last modified Apr 19, 2018 11:34 AM

Congratulations to Rachel Leow.


2018 Harry J. Benda Prize in Southeast Asian Studies

Awarded by the Association of Asian Studies

Winner: Rachel Leow, Taming Babel: Language in the Making of Malaysia (Cambridge University Press, 2016).

Taming Babel present a compelling account of how colonial and postcolonial states in what is now Malaysia have endeavoured to manage their subjects’ polyglot linguistic diversity. Rachel Leow chronicles a range of schemes to standardize language usage, beginning with early attempts by British colonial agents to find and train reliable Chinese interpreters, through to planners’ efforts to promote and purify Melayu as a national language after independence. By doing so, she extends our understanding of the disciplinary state to the regulation of everyday vernacular language and the management of multilingual populations.

In an engrossing analysis that unpacks the broad sweep of language policy over more than a century -- including the cultural politics of that most mundane of texts, the dictionary -- Leow highlights persistent state failures to realize full linguistic control and points to the polyglot creativity which still frames daily life. Drawing on a wide range of sources in multiple languages, Taming Babel is an impressive work of scholarly innovation that will appeal to readers from varied disciplines. It will push forward thinking on the role played by the governance of language in the creation of modern social and political orders in Southeast Asia and beyond.

Richard Bourke to be next Professor of the History of Political Thought

last modified Mar 21, 2018 11:47 AM

Richard BourkeThe Faculty is very pleased to welcome Richard Bourke as the new Professor of the History of Political Thought. He will succeed John Robertson, whose immensely productive tenure of this chair comes to an end with his retirement in September.

Richard is currently Professor in the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London, where he is is co-director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought. He took his first degree at University College Dublin and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He also gained a second BA in Classics at Birkbeck College, University of London.

He has written widely on enlightenment political thought, ideas of democracy, nationalism and popular sovereignty, and modern Irish history. Among his numerous awards and accolades, in 2016 he was joint winner of the István Hont Memorial Book Prize in Intellectual History, for his Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke (Oxford, 2015). He takes up his position in Cambridge in January 2019.

Cambridge RHS Public History prizewinners speaking at Sidney Sussex in May

last modified Feb 23, 2018 12:28 PM

Advance notice that all four Cambridge winners of the Royal Historical Society Public History prizes will be speaking about their projects at the Faculty's Public History Seminar on Wednesday 2 May, 5pm at Sidney. Their achievements have been prominently celebrated on the website. Come and hear them in person talking about PUBLIC HISTORY: HOW TO MAKE AN IMPACT

Bernard Fulda and David Reynolds (seminar co-convenors)

RHS Public History Prize for Best Online Resource won by team including Professor Joya Chatterji and PhD student Sundeep Lidher

last modified Feb 06, 2018 09:34 AM

The Royal Historical Society Public History Prize for Best Online Resource was won by the 'Our Migration Story' website:

The project, the ‘Our Migration Story' (OMS) website, represents the culmination of a decade of innovative interdisciplinary collaboration between the Universities of Cambridge and Manchester and The Runnymede Trust.  These projects have taken original historical research into schools to inspire young people and teachers to engage with family and community history as a way of understanding the historical ‘roots’ and ‘routes’ of contemporary multicultural Britain.

Since 2016, the project team has partnered with over 70 academic and community historians, national and local museums and archives, schools and educationalists to create a ‘joined-up’ web resource, which charts the long history of migration to Britain from AD43 to the present day.

OMS brings together cutting-edge historical research and original source material presented in an accessible format for teachers, young people and the public. The site functions as an online textbook which draws on the words and research of academic experts and as a knowledge hub through which further resources can be discovered. OMS represents a unique collaboration of academic researchers with civil society institutions, policy shapers, NGOs and educators in a collective endeavour to retell the story of Britain.


Also see

Cherish Watton (Churchill) wins RHS Public History Prize Undergraduate Award


Cambridge historian, Lucy Delap, recognised at RHS Public History Prize awards

Cherish Watton (Churchill) wins RHS Public History Prize Undergraduate Award

last modified Feb 06, 2018 09:35 AM

Churchill College student Cherish Watton has won the Royal Historical Society Public History Prize for undergratuates for her work on the Democratic and Critical Commemoration of the Women’s Land Army in Twentieth-Century Britain.

Cherish describes her work thus:

"Over the last three years, I have significantly expanded my website on the Women’s Land Army (WLA) and Women’s Timber Corps (WTC) of the First and Second World War to be the national online hub for the commemoration of these civilian organisations. The website offers visitors to information on different aspects of wartime service, photos, videos, and songs alongside extensive primary source collections, democratising access to materials which usually reside in physical archives. Audiences around the world use the website, including family historians, schools, the media, and scholars. The site has also infused and informed wider dialogues outside of the digital sphere. I have given several interviews, which aimed to refute the ‘warm-bath’ history approach which can perpetuate in relation to women’s war work. With the WLA website as my foundation, I have presented critical, accessible, and engaging histories, online, on radio and television, and via personal presentations."


Also see

Cambridge historian, Lucy Delap, recognised at RHS Public History Prize awards


RHS Public History Prize for Best Online Resource won by team including Professor Joya Chatterji and PhD student Sundeep Lidher

Cambridge historian, Lucy Delap, recognised at RHS Public History Prize awards

last modified Feb 06, 2018 09:32 AM

Lucy Delap is part of a team which has been awarded a prize by the Royal Historical Society, in the Public Debate and Policy category, at its 2018 Public History Prize awards.

The work of Louise Jackson, Adrian Bingham and Lucy Delap has centred on understanding and historicising the problem of child sexual abuse in twentieth century Britain.

Through archive work and the construction of a database of press reports, they have extended the scholarship on child abuse and how it has been dealt with by institutions such as the media, social work and the criminal justice system. Their work has been used widely by contemporary policy makers, including official inquiries, grassroots practitioners and the media.

The research has been enabled and supported by History & Policy , and was made possible by an Economic and Social Research Council Urgency Grant.

A report on the History & Policy site


Also see

Cherish Watton (Churchill) wins RHS Public History Prize Undergraduate Award


RHS Public History Prize for Best Online Resource won by team including Professor Joya Chatterji and PhD student Sundeep Lidher

RHS Public History Prize for Best Online Resource won by team including Professor Joya Chatterji and PhD student Sundeep Lidher

The Revd Dr Brendan Bradshaw (1937-2017)

last modified Jan 25, 2018 12:30 PM

The Faculty has been saddened to learn of the passing of our former colleague, the Revd Dr Brendan Bradshaw, in Ireland, on Sunday, 10 December 2017.

Brendan Bradshaw was born in Limerick City, studied at University College Dublin, and ordained as a Marist Father.  During his many years at Queens’ College, as a fellow and later life fellow, and as a lecturer in this Faculty, Dr Bradshaw made powerful contributions to the study of early modern Britain and Ireland that continue to shape our understanding of the period.  

His volume The British Problem c. 1534-1707: State Formation in the Atlantic Archipelago (1996), co-edited with John Morrill, was a landmark moment in the development of a de-centred ‘three kingdoms’ approach to the study of Tudor and Stuart politics, located equally within the wider context created by the European Reformations. The book grew out of a third-year specified subject, which enthused cohorts of undergraduates and has inspired similar courses still taught at other major universities.

In his subsequent work British Consciousness and Identity: the making of Britain, 1533-1707 (1998), co-edited with Peter Roberts, he brought together historians and literary scholars to address the meaning of nationality itself within early modern political and intellectual culture.  

Dr Bradshaw’s seminal interventions the history of Irish nationalism were collected in his final book, ‘And so began the Irish Nation’: Nationality, National Consciousness and Nationalism in Pre-modern Ireland, published in 2015.  

His keen insight as a scholar and his kindly inspiration as a teacher will be deeply missed.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, 10 March. Further details are to be confirmed and will be on the Queens’ College website.

Professor Tim Harper

Faculty of History

Cambridge PhD student wins Duncan Tanner Essay Prize

last modified Jan 15, 2018 12:34 PM
The 'Progress of a Slogan': Youth, Culture, and the Shaping of Everyday Political Languages in late 1940s Britain.
Cambridge PhD student wins Duncan Tanner Essay Prize

David Cowan

David Cowan (Wolfson, 2015) has won the Duncan Tanner Essay Prize for 2017, with an article titled 'The 'Progress of a Slogan': Youth, Culture, and the Shaping of Everyday Political Languages in late 1940s Britain.' This piece, described by reviewers as 'a dazzling, suggestive piece,' will be published in Twentieth Century British History in 2018. Many congratulations to David, who is completing a PhD titled 'Social Change in Everyday Language in Britain, 1939-1990'.

Prof Eugenio Biagini is awarded a Leverhulme Fellowship

last modified Jan 12, 2018 12:47 PM
Religious minorities and the construction of democracy in twentieth-century Ireland.

We are delighted to announce that Prof Biagini will be taking up a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship in 2018, on religious minorities and the construction of democracy in twentieth-century Ireland. He reflects on his recent research and future plans here.

New video about James Stirling and the Faculty of History

last modified Dec 15, 2017 01:06 PM
Completed in 1967 and opened in 1968, the History Faculty building by Sir James Stirling was one of the most controversial buildings in Cambridge

Stirling Qualities: Sir James Stirling and the History Faculty

Completed in 1967 and opened in 1968, the History Faculty building by Sir James Stirling was one of the most controversial buildings in Cambridge and one that was nearly razed to the ground in the 1980s. Fifty years since its completion, the building is now Grade 2 listed and seen by many as a masterpiece of post-war architecture by one of Britains leading architects; Sir James Stirling. This video looks at the moment leading up to the building of the History Faculty and the work of Sir James Stirling. Lord Richard Rogers talks about Stirling’s work at Cambridge and the influence it had on his generation of architects.

Dr Andrew Arsan wins a 2017 Philip Leverhulme Prize.

last modified Dec 12, 2017 01:08 PM

£3 million in prizes awarded to 30 exceptional researchers

The Leverhulme Trust has announced the winners of the 2017 Philip Leverhulme Prizes. Dr Arsan is one of five Cambridge researchers among this year's winners

Philip Leverhulme Prizes have been awarded annually since 2001 in commemoration of the contribution to the work of the Trust made by Philip Leverhulme, the Third Viscount Leverhulme and grandson of William Hesketh Lever, the founder of the Trust. The prizes recognise the achievement of outstanding researchers whose work has already attracted international recognition and whose future career is exceptionally promising. 

In 2017 the Trust offered five prizes in each of the following subject areas: Biological Sciences; History; Law; Mathematics and Statistics; Philosophy and Theology; Sociology and Social Policy.

Each of the 30 Prize Winners receives £100,000 which can be used over two or three years to advance their research.

In 2018 the Trust will invite nominations for prizes in: Classics; Earth Sciences; Physics; Politics and International Relations; Psychology; Visual and Performing Arts.

Further information regarding the nomination process is available here and our online grant application system will open to nominations for the 2018 subject areas from 3 January 2018.

The British Academy awards a Fellowship to Dr Yuliya Hilevych for project on social history of infertility in Britain

last modified Dec 11, 2017 04:54 PM

The British Academy has awarded a two-year Newton International Fellowship to Dr Yuliya Hilevych to undertake a project on social history of infertility in Britain


In January 2018, Yuliya Hilevych is starting as a Newton International Fellow of the British Academy at the Faculty of History on a project to study the social history of infertility in Britain. She will work with Prof Simon Szreter.


Yuliya Hilevych holds a PhD (2016) from Wageningen University, a joint degree with Radboud University, in the Netherlands. Previously, she held research positions at Radboud University and the Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), and participated in research projects for the United Nations and the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security.



About the project:

The ART of Conception Before Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Infertility Identities in Britain, c.1945-1980


Infertility experiences such as those of adoptive parents, impotent husbands and childless wives have rarely found their place in history. The invention of in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) in 1978 placed infertility at the core of social studies and with it increased the public visibility of a range of modern reproductive identities: from cross-border reproductive tourists and surrogate mothers, to same-sex parents and desperate childless women. But are these identities as new as they seem? What has been the role of pre-IVF experiences of infertility in shaping contemporary reproductive identities and views on reproduction and parenthood overall?

This project seeks to trace historical continuities surrounding previously marginalised experiences of infertility and the reproductive identities that emerged from these experiences in the period from c.1945 to 1980, before reproduction began to be commercialised through assisted reproductive technologies (ART). By taking Britain, a leader in medical research on reproductive medicine and the birthplace of IVF, as a social laboratory, it will primarily focus on infertility counselling and grassroots activism. It draws on various sources, such as counselling material for couples, general practitioners and doctors, magazines for men and women, as well as archives of the Family Planning Association, National Marriage Guidance Council, the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relations, Cambridge Women’s Liberation Group Archive, Women’s Information, Referral and Enquiry Service; Achilles Heel collective, and personal archives of doctors held at the Wellcome Library.


Women's suffrage poster collection to go on display at the University Library

last modified Dec 11, 2017 01:37 PM

With over 15 posters, from A3 to giant publicity posters, the collection, which has recently been rediscovered, includes some of the most important artwork of the women’s suffrage movement.

800px Handicapped! Women's suffrage poster, 1910sIn 2016, Emily Dourish, Deputy Head of Rare Books, opened the private world of the Cambridge University Library stacks to historians Lucy Delap and Ben Griffin, to see a women’s suffrage poster collection that has been recently rediscovered after being filed away in the tower for over a century. With over 15 posters, from A3 to giant publicity posters, the collection includes some of the most important artwork of the women’s suffrage movement. It includes works produced by the Suffrage Atelier, founded in 1909 as ‘an arts and crafts society working for the enfranchisement of women’, and others from the Artists’ Suffrage League, which worked to support the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies from 1907. Some of the posters were hand-tinted in colour, and this may have been done locally by student supporters of women’s suffrage. Some posters were for national use; others must have been taken from the Cambridge campaign, and invited local law-abiding women and men to ‘come and sign the voters’ petition’, at St Luke’s School, Victoria Road. The posters will be amongst the topics at a conference to celebrate the centenary of the partial enfranchisement of women in 1918, to be held 3 Feb 2018 at Murray Edwards College.

Why did the University Library hold these posters? When bringing them up for a first look, the discovery of the postal wrapper which had been used for at least some of the posters was crucial evidence. They had been sent by Dr Marion Phillips, secretary of the Women’s Labour League – the women’s section of the early Labour Party. Marion Phillips was also a prominent suffrage supporter within the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies, and went on to become MP for Sunderland in 1929. Why she sent the posters to the University Library remains a mystery – they were simply addressed to ‘The Librarian’, and no covering letter has survived. But their presence allows us to understand better the kind of rich visual resources that were so important to the women’s suffrage campaign, and to see some previously unknown designs.

The posters will be on display at the University Library from Feb 3rd 2018. Suffrage scholar Elizabeth Crawford will give a public lecture on posters and suffrage at 6.30pm on the opening night of the exhibition, to which all are warmly invited:

A YouTube channel for Faculty of History

last modified Dec 08, 2017 12:07 PM

The latest addition to the Faculty's windows to the world is a YouTube Channel  established by Graham Copekoga from the History and Policy group

Find it here

Included so far are videos on

James Stirling and the Faculty of History building

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

Men and Machines: The Industrial Revolution at Sea

America's youth recruit Elvis in the fight against Polio

Kepler's Trial: An Opera

Treasured Possessions from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

Kepler 's Trial

Art Looting in the Nazi Era

A Young Man's Progress - The First Book of Fashion

Peter Spufford, FSA, FRHistS, FBA (1934 - 2017)

last modified Nov 22, 2017 10:46 AM


It with sadness that I write with the news of the passing of Professor Peter Spufford, FSA, FBA, Professor Emeritus of European History, on Sunday 19 November.  Peter came to Cambridge and to Queens’ College in 1979 from the University of Keele.  During his years in the Faculty, he developed pioneering research on merchants, finance and exchange in late medieval Europe, upon which he drew for his enthusiastic supervision teaching and popular undergraduate papers on medieval and early renaissance Florence and other themes.  This culminated in a major study, Power and Profit: The Merchant in Medieval Europe (2002), since translated into a number of European languages.  After his retirement in 2001, he continued to write and to publish.  He was honoured earlier this year by the Royal Numismatic Society in the publication of a collection of essays to celebrate the 30-year anniversary of his ground-breaking Money and its Use in Medieval Europe (1988).  This is a reflection of breadth of his impact as a scholar and teacher, and a colleague who will be greatly missed.

Details of the funeral are given below at the request of Peter's family.


Tim Harper

Chair, Faculty of History


Dear Family & Friends,

Peter was very clear that he wanted to be buried in Whittlesford Parish
Church and that he wanted it to happen quickly, so his funeral is only
in four days time.

It will be held at 11am on Friday 24th November in St Mary & St Andrew's
Church, Church Lane, Whittlesford CB22 4NX.  Please do come if you can
and please come back to the Guildhall afterwards for refreshments.  The
funeral arrangements are in the hands of Peasgood and Skeates of 45
Moorfield Road, Duxford, CB22 4PP and flowers can be sent, c/o them, by
Thursday at 5pm. There will be a collection during the service in
support of the church, as he wished, or it is possible to donate online
at the funeral directors website.

Also in accordance with his wishes, his body will be returned from the
undertakers to the Guildhall late on Thursday morning.  If you would
like to come and pay your last respects to him, in his scarlet
waistcoat, or say a prayer, or just sit quietly, the house will be open
all that day.

There will also be a memorial service in Queens' College in due course. 
Academic friends, who cannot easily make it to England at such short
notice, might want to come to that instead.

We hope to see as many as possible of you on Friday, when we will be
singing Peter's deliberately cheerful choice of hymns.

Best wishes,
Francis Spufford

Maitland PhD Studentship in Legal History available, commencing October 2018

last modified Nov 21, 2017 11:56 AM

The Managers of the F.W. Maitland Memorial Fund are able to offer one Studentship for Home/EU, or Overseas/Islands students applying to undertake doctoral research in legal history at the University of Cambridge, starting in October 2018. Studentships are tenable in the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of History, or the Faculty of English.

For further details, visit: