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Recent PhD graduate, Dr Adam Storring, receives international military history prize.

last modified Jun 10, 2019 04:32 PM

Congratulations to Dr Adam Storring whose thesis 'Frederick the Great and the Meanings of War, 1730-1755', which was supervised by Professor Sir Christopher Clark, has been awarded the André Corvisier Prize from the International Commission of Military History (ICMH).  The Corvisier Prize is awarded for the best doctoral thesis on military history defended at any university anywhere in the world during the past calendar year.

The Jury approved the following motivation for awarding the prize to Dr Storring.

"Dr. Storring’s dissertation is an ambitious but not reckless effort to re-interpret King Frederick the Great of Prussia as military commander and military thinker, and, from the perspective of his personality to cast new perspectives on the warfare of ‘his time’, which falls within the long eighteenth century (1648-1789), the golden age of the Westphalian system. This new evaluation of the Philosopher King’s personality and endeavours draws not only from an extensive bibliography, including both classical studies and more recent and innovative essays, but also from wide unpublished sources from German archives.

The Author maintains that Frederick’s “personal rule” of his army looked not only backwards toward the age of Louis XIV but also forwards toward the Enlightenment and the public sphere. Dr. Storring’s balanced, well-argued and documented conclusion is that certainly Frederick was an able commander, but military histories overwhelmingly focusing on the King himself must be corrected, since the development of Prussian military ideas was a collective effort, as shown by the Monarch’s unpublished manuscript correspondence with his generals. The early eighteenth century’s personal concept of military knowledge would be slowly replaced by institutional knowledge."

Faculty of History tops University league table.

last modified Jun 07, 2019 03:34 PM

The Faculty of History is top of the Guardian University League Table for the subject. Congratulations to all our hardworking lecturers for their contributions to this achievement.

Cambridge University itself was also top of the main table.

Berlin show curated by Cambridge historian turns into blockbuster exhibition

last modified May 14, 2019 12:24 PM
The exhibition in Berlin’s Nationalgalerie, Emil Nolde – a German Legend. The Artist during the Third Reich – based on the research of Dr. Bernhard Fulda, Chatong So Fellow and Director of Studies in History at Sidney Sussex College and Affiliated Lecturer in Modern European History at the University of Cambridge – is attracting record crowds: four weeks after its opening, over 35.000 visitors have already seen the show.
Berlin show curated by Cambridge historian turns into blockbuster exhibition

Exhibition poster

Even before the official opening, the project produced front-page news in Germany and in the international press: one of the Nolde paintings in the exhibition (Breaker, 1936) had been on display in the Berlin office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel since her election in 2006; now, in reaction to an official museum request for a return of the loan the Chancellery decided to hand back not just one but both paintings by Nolde from Merkel’s office. Since Merkel is on record as describing Nolde as her favourite artist, the lack of an official explanation for this clean sweep is causing a lot of speculation as well as a lively public debate about what kind of artworks should be on display in such a political setting.

The Expressionist Emil Nolde (1867-1956) is an iconic figure of German modernism and arguably the most famous ‘degenerate artist’. No other artist had as many works confiscated, nor were their works as prominently displayed in the early venues of the Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937/38. How does Nolde’s ostracism and occupational ban fit with our knowledge that he was a Nazi Party member, and that he kept faith with the regime until the end of the war? The art critic Adolf Behne underlined Nolde’s special status on the occasion of the artist’s eightieth birthday in 1947, by pointedly referring to him as a “degenerate ‘degenerate’”. It has long been known that Emil Nolde was a Nazi party member. Yet no previous exhibition has thoroughly examined how this relates to his art, or how the historical circumstances during National Socialism affected his artistic production.

Bernhard Fulda was the first scholar to have been granted permission to analyse the extensive holdings of the Nolde estate in Seebüll, one of Europe’s largest artist’s estates. Funded by two Senior Research Fellowships, by Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and Gerda Henkel Foundation, he uncovered so much new material that the conventional Nolde narrative – adapted by Siegfried Lenz in his bestselling novel German Lesson of 1968, still widely read in German schools – must be revised comprehensively. Thus, for example, the exhibition will present the famous Unpainted Pictures – the small-format watercolours Nolde was reputed to have secretly painted at Seebüll during his occupational ban – in a completely new light, explaining them as part of a long-standing practice of self-stylisation in which antisemitism played an increasingly central role.

The exhibition presents over 100 originals, some of which have not previously been shown, with references to Nolde’s writings and in the historical context of their creation, in order to reveal the multi-layered relationships between paintings, the artist’s self-presentation, his ostracism, and development of his legend. What impact did the Third Reich have on Emil Nolde's artistic work? To what extent do some of his works, such as his depictions of mythic sacrificial scenes or Nordic people, correspond with his sympathies for the regime? What effects did Nolde’s defamation and occupational ban have on his artistic practice and political outlook? And how did the myths about Nolde develop in the post-war period? The centrepiece of the exhibition is a reconstruction of the ‘painting gallery’ in Nolde’s studio house in Seebüll, a display of paintings and watercolours just as the ageing artist himself arranged them during the wartime winter of 1941/42.

The exhibition – curated by Bernhard Fulda, together with the art historian Aya Soika and the Director of the Nolde Foundation, Christian Ring – is made possible through a close collaboration between the Nationalgalerie Berlin – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the Nolde Foundation which provides the majority of loans. Accompanying the exhibition, a richly illustrated volume of essays and pictures (also in an English edition), as well as a separate volume with a timeline and more than 100 documents, has been published by Prestel Verlag. The exhibition will run until 15 September 2019.

More information on content and structure of the exhibition can be found here (in German):


An online, four-part video documentary of Bernhard Fulda’s research project has been produced by the Gerda Henkel Foundation (also in English):

For a taste of the media coverage to date:

New York Times, 10 April 2019: Stripping Away Lies to Expose a Painter’s Nazi Past

Deutsche Welle, 10 April 2019: Why Merkel had an expressionist’s works removed from the Chancellery

Deutschlandfund, 10 April 2019: Ende Legende

Die Zeit, 10 April 2019: Die falsche Deutschstunde

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11 April 2019: Nolde, der Nazi

Der Spiegel, 12 April 2019: Was tun mit den Bildern eines Judenhassers?

Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15 April 2019: Welche Kunst passt zum Selbstbild der Deutschen?

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 30 April 2019: Wer darf Kulturkritik üben? Emil Nolde und der alltägliche Gesinnungsterror


Legacies of slavery research project

last modified May 09, 2019 10:41 AM
The History Faculty welcomes the opening up of a debate on the legacies of slavery for the University of Cambridge.

The commissioning of a two year research-led inquiry into the Atlantic slave trade and other forms of coerced labour will provide an opportunity for us to understand better the economic contributions enforced labour made to the University, along with many other institutions of British society. Clarifying and contextualising the intellectual justifications that were offered at the time for slavery will be an important additional strand to this research. These are topics of urgent interest, that can inform today’s campaigns for acknowledgement, apology and reparation. ‘Decolonising the curriculum’ is a powerful and active demand that our students and staff are actively engaged in We look forward to participating in this conversation which joins many others on this topic already afoot across the university and which will need to be part of a sustained long-term effort.

Read more

PhD student awarded Urban Studies Prize

last modified Apr 24, 2019 03:16 PM
Chris Morash has been awarded a prize by the British Association for Canadian Studies (BACS).

Chris Morash received his prize from the chair of the British Association for Canadian Studies (BACS), Dr. James Kennedy at Senate House in the University of London. The prize was for the best paper in Urban Studies by a graduate student at the annual BACS conference. The prize was awarded for his work on the Young Ireland generation's role in state-building and nation-builiding in Melbourne and Montreal during the 1850s and 1860s. Part of the research for this paper was funded by a Canada-UK Foundation Travel Award.

Dr Caroline Rusterholz discusses the work of sexual counsellor, Joan Malleson on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour

last modified Apr 23, 2019 04:04 PM
Audio recordings provide an insight into problems women experienced in the 1950s
Dr Caroline Rusterholz discusses the work of sexual counsellor, Joan Malleson on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour

Caroline Rusterholz

Dr Joan Malleson was a family planning doctor, and sexual counsellor in the 1950s.  Rusterholz has studied audio recordings, housed in the Wellcome Foundation archives, of Malleson's counselling sessions. Last week she discussed her findings with Jane Garvey on Woman's Hour, (23 minutes in). You can read more about Rusterholz's work here

Caroline Rusterholz's recent work has been published in various journals;

Roger Schofield, 1937-2019

last modified Apr 10, 2019 12:16 PM
The Faculty is saddened to learn of the death last night of Dr Roger Schofield, Emeritus Director of the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure and Fellow of Clare College.

Dr Alice Reid, acting Director of the Group, writes:

‘Roger was born in 1937 and received both undergraduate and PhD degrees in history from the University of Cambridge. In 1966 he was appointed as Research Assistant at the Group - which was then only two years old itself. He quickly began to play a major role in corresponding with and encouraging 'le secret weapon anglais': the small army of amateur local historians who collected and counted baptisms, burials and marriages from parish registers around the country in an early crowd sourcing exercise. He played a major role in the analyses of these data, offering important and novel interpretations of the course of British population history published in numerous journal articles and books. He was Director of the Cambridge Group from 1974 to 1994, and played a significant role in British and international historical demography: among other roles he was President of the British Society of Population Studies, 1985-87, and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 1988. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge since 1969.

He was a key member of the Group in all sorts of ways: in its ground-breaking work, its direction, and its collegiate and enabling atmosphere. Those of us who knew him will miss him greatly, and we all have much to thank him for.'

Dr Paul Warde receives the Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize

last modified Apr 10, 2019 09:28 AM
Paul Warde has received the Joan Thirsk Memorial Prize for the best book in British or Irish rural history of 2018 from the British Agricultural History Society, for his monograph, 'The Invention of Sustainability' (Cambridge University Press).

Prizes for economic historians

last modified Apr 08, 2019 01:53 PM
Dr Judy Stephenson and Mr Cheng Yang have both received awards at the 2019 Economic History Society Annual Conference.

Judy Stephenson (visiting research affiliate, Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure) was awarded the T.S. Ashton prize - for the best article accepted for publication in the Economic History Review in the previous two calendar years by an early career researcher.



Cheng Yang (Peterhouse College and Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure) was joint winner of the New Researcher's Prize for his paper: The occupational structure of China 1736-1898 and the Great Divergence.


Simone Maghenzani awarded a David Walker Memorial Fellowship

last modified Mar 11, 2019 09:10 AM
Dr Simone Maghenzani (Girton College) has been awarded a David Walker Memorial Fellowship in Early Modern History, Bodleian Library, 2019/20, to work on a project entitled: Converting Venice: English Networks and the Interdict Crisis

Dr Maghenzani will be working on the dynamics of conversion and religious propaganda in Venice in the early seventeenth-century, in particular in the context of the attempted shift of the Republic of Venice to Protestantism in the 1610s. In this context, he will also look at the history of the translation of the Book of Common Prayer into Italian.

This research will contribute to a forthcoming book: Converting Venice: The Crisis of the Reformation and the Catholic World (1590-1620).

Cambridge doctoral student wins award

last modified Mar 07, 2019 04:02 PM
Bethan Johnson wins the Terrorism Research Award 2019 from the Centre for the Analysis of the Radical Right.

Cambridge doctoral student Bethan Johnson has won an award for her work on 'Tracking German Neo-Nazism Through Music'. Read more here:

Dr Yuliya Hilevych speaks to BBC Woman’s Hour

last modified Feb 26, 2019 02:45 PM
Dr Yuliya Hilevych speaks to BBC Woman’s Hour about the history of artificial insemination in Britain

Dr Yuliya Hilevych, postdoctoral researcher at the Cambridge History Faculty, speaks to BBC Woman’s Hour about the history of artificial insemination in Britain, and how one man came to father more than 600 children. Listen to the interview, at just after 32 minutes.

Dr Ben Griffin lectures on hegemonic masculinity in Helsinki

last modified Feb 21, 2019 01:04 PM
Ben Griffin will be discussing the methodological implications of theories of hegemonic masculinity

Dr Ben Griffin, Fellow of Girton College and University Lecturer in History, will be discussing the methodological implications of theories of hegemonic masculinity at a public lecture plus doctoral training at the end of February at the University of Helsinki.

This builds on his recent publication in Gender and History, ‘Hegemonic Masculinity as a Historical Problem’

Ulinka Rublack awarded a Reimar Lüst Award

last modified Jan 10, 2019 10:00 AM
Professor Rublack received the award in recognition of her contributions to the history of the Reformation and the cultural and gender history of the Early Modern Period in Germany.

Prof Ulinka Rublack has been awarded a 2018 Reimar Lüst Award, in recognition of her contributions to the history of the Reformation and the cultural and gender history of the Early Modern Period in Germany. This prestigious award is granted to humanities scholars and social scientists working outside Germany who, through their research, have shaped academic and cultural relations between Germany and their own countries.

Professor Rublack on the radio

last modified Dec 14, 2018 04:46 PM

Professor Ulinka Rublack was recently on Radio 4's Listener's Choice In our Time talking about the 30 Years War

The programme can be heard here

Dr William O'Reilly appointed to Leibniz Chair in History

last modified Jan 14, 2019 04:09 PM

Our warmest congratulations to Dr William O’Reilly who has been appointed by Berlin's Leibniz Association to an honorary Leibniz Chair in History "... in recognition of [his] extraordinary contribution to the German Institute for Maritime History”.

Dr Guarneri wins Jane Jacobs Book Award

last modified Dec 07, 2018 09:15 AM

Congratulations to Dr Julia Guarneri whose first book Newsprint Metropolis has been awarded the Jane Jacobs Book Award from the Urban Communication Foundation.

 guarneri bookThe judges wrote:

"In concise, lively prose, Newsprint Metropolis examines the historical development of American newspapers between 1880 and 1930, exploring in detail the major dailies published in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, and Milwaukee. With a particular focus on features—always the most popular sections of the paper—author Julia Guarneri offers a fascinating look into the deeply intertwined relationships between these news institutions and the rapidly growing and changing cities they served.

As Guarneri recounts, urban readers “used their daily papers as maps that could help them navigate the modern city and the modern world” (p. 7). Advice and etiquette columns offered tips on negotiating the bustle of city life, while features and advertisements spun visions of a distinctly modern self, one constructed from commodities, consumption, and mass culture. In doing so, the daily paper encouraged readers to imagine themselves as part of a newsprint metropolis, as “New Yorkers” or “Chicagoans” bound symbolically to their neighbors through the daily flow of stories about life in the modern city.

In an era in which the American press is under attack—both figuratively and literally—Guarneri’s Newsprint Metropolis reminds us that, despite their flaws and limits, local media institutions have long played a crucial role in city life by facilitating public conversations and nurturing collective identities. We lose these institutions at our great peril. "

American Society for Legal History awards prize to Dr Tom Lambert

last modified Nov 13, 2018 09:40 AM

The American Society for Legal History's  Sutherland Prize,  is named in honor of the late Donald W. Sutherland, a distinguished historian of the law of medieval England, and is awarded annually, on the recommendation of the Sutherland Prize Committee, to the person or persons who wrote the best article on English legal history published in the previous year.

This year's winner is our Dr Tom Lambert, for his article

“Jurisdiction as Property in England, 900-1100.”


Pacific History Association Conference in Cambridge

last modified Nov 12, 2018 11:44 AM

The 23rd Biennial Conference of the Pacific History Association will be held this December in Cambridge; it travels outside the Pacific for the first time, reflecting a significant moment in the field of Pacific studies. The local, Islander and postcolonial perspectives that the PHA has nurtured since the 1970s will be enabled to ‘speak back’ to the European academic context, enabling fresh a dialogue between northern hemisphere and Indigenous scholarship.

The programme builds upon distinguished expertise in the history and culture of Oceania across several faculties and departments (History; Archaeology; Geography; the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) but which for the first time gives Cambridge’s strength in this region a high international profile. Details of the programme and the conference are here:

Dr Clare Jackson on Radio 4 on November 5th

last modified Nov 05, 2018 11:06 AM

Dr Clare Jackson is a contributor to the Radio 4 History programme, 'When Greeks Flew Kites', presented by Sarah Dunant.

Tonight's episode at 11.00pm addresses the theme of broken promises in history.

further details can be found at

Mary Queen of Scots biography now a Hollywood film

last modified Oct 19, 2018 03:37 PM

Dr John Guy's 2004 biography Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart has been turned into a film, Mary Queen of the Scots  starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie, with David Tennant and Guy Pearce.

The new trailer for the film can be found here.

The film opens in the UK on January 18th next year

Race Ethnicity and Equality in UK History report published

last modified Oct 22, 2018 09:03 AM

Today, 18th October 2018, the Royal Historical Society has published 'Race, Ethnicity and Equality in UK History: A Report and Resource for Change.' The report can be downloaded here:

Building on contextual statistical research and analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data from a survey which generated 737 responses from historians across the UK, this report documents the underrepresentation of 'Black and Minority Ethnic' (BME) students and staff in university History programmes, the substantial levels of race-based bias and discrimination experienced by BME historians in UK universities, and the negative impact of narrow school and university curriculums on diversity and inclusion. It offers advice and guidance for academic historians on effecting change in order to create a profession, historiography and curriculum which is more diverse and inclusive.

This report, co-authored by Dr Sujit Sivasundaram of the History Faculty in Cambridge, will be discussed within the Faculty in the coming weeks with the aim of building on work already underway to widen the curriculum, reform the Tripos and attract as diverse a range of historians as possible to study, research and teach in Cambridge.'

The report has been widely covered in the press, see:

The Times, THES, Independent, The Telegraph, Wonke, Daily Mail

Drs Betty Wood and Julia Guarneri receive awards from American Historical Association

last modified Oct 12, 2018 03:29 PM

Congratulations to Betty Wood and Julia Guarneri.

Dr Wood has been made the 2018 Honorary Foreign Member, for a foreign scholar who is distinguished in his or her field and who has “notably aided the work of American historians.”

Dr Guarneri’s book, Newsprint Metropolis: City Papers and the Making of Modern Americans (Chicago, 2017), has won the 2018 Eugenia M. Palmegiano Prize in the history of journalism.

History Faculty Trust Fund applications 2018/19

last modified Sep 13, 2018 04:37 PM

To all postgraduate students and academic staff in History


Various Trust Funds hosted by the Faculty exist to offer financial support to postgraduate students in the form of annual studentships and ad-hoc grants-in-aid for research expenses. Some of these funds also offer small travel and conference organisation grants to academic staff. The application deadlines have been revised for academic year 2018/19 and these, along with guidance on how to apply, are available to view on the Faculty website via this link:

RIP Professor Mikuláš Teich (1918 - 2018)

last modified Sep 06, 2018 09:53 AM

Professor Mikuláš Teich of Robinson College has died aged 100. Born in Slovakia he was twice a refugee, first from the Nazis in 1939 and later, in 1968, from the Soviets during the crushing of the Prague Spring.

Initially a chemist he became a historian of science and in the early 1980s discovering that Cambridge history students were taught nothing of the Enlightenment in Austria he co-created a series of seminars on the Enlightenment in different European countries.

Intellectually active until the  end, he published his last book The Scientific Revolution Revisited in 2015

A full obituary can be found here.

Professor Chris Clark awarded the European Prize for Political Culture 2018

last modified Sep 05, 2018 04:06 PM

Congratulations to Regius Professor Sir Christopher Clark for winning the European Prize for Political Culture, awarded by the Hans Ringier Foundation. This was presented to him on Saturday, 4th of  August in Ascona, Switzerland.

Wolfgang Schäuble, President of the German Bundestag, paid tribute to the prize winner with the following words:

"For Christopher Clark, history is like the Oracle of Delphi: it offers mysterious, enigmatic stories. It is only by attempting to understand and explain these stories that we deepen our understanding of today’s problems. If history is an oracle, then Christopher Clark is its seasoned attendant, almost a high priest of profound interpretation of sources, clever analysis, stringent reasoning and rousing descriptions. A European perspective is central to his historical work. He thereby contributes to an understanding of European history and to a European consciousness – something we need more urgently than ever."

More information here

PhD student Marcus Colla wins RHS' Alexander Prize

last modified Sep 05, 2018 03:55 PM

Congratulations to PhD student Marcus Colla) for winning the Royal History Society's prestigious Alexander Prize for 2018, for his article 'Prussian Palimpsests: Historic Architecture & Urban Spaces in East Germany, 1945-1961' published in Central European History.

The judges commented:

”This was an exceptional piece of work, on an arresting topic in contemporary history, deftly and elegantly handled and showing considerable analytic subtlety. The author examines the complex interaction of architecture, history and ideology in the political culture of the emerging German Democratic Republic, and considers the ways in which the past and its physical traces proceeded in inherent union with reflections about a future socialist Germany as the new state sought self-legitimation.

The treatment of historic architecture was an inherently divisive issue, even within the ruling Socialist Unity Party (SED), as not even a self-professed revolutionary regime could avoid the need to deal with the symbolic urban landscape it had inherited: through a number of case studies the author shows how the treatment of sites of memory considered in any way ‘Prussian’ (and therefore regressive) in fact varied substantially over time, and just how tenuous and contingent was the reciprocity of old and new in generating political legitimacy.

This article was a distinctive and distinguished piece of historical analysis, elegantly expressed and argued throughout."


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

The History Faculty welcomes expressions of interest for BA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2019/20. The internal Faculty deadline is 5pm on 16 August 2019.

Read more

Individual Fellowship competition is now open. The internal University deadline is 3pm, 10 September 2019. 

Read more

Upcoming events

Purpose, power and profit: feminist ethical enterprise and cultural industries

Jul 12, 2019

Fellows Drawing Room, Murray Edwards College

Upcoming events


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