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Our research areas

The Faculty includes historical researchers specialising in the study of different time periods, geographical locations and intellectual developments. The researchers primarily associate in groups focused on the following subject areas.

With ten permanent academic staff, a visiting Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions, three emeriti, and several junior research fellows in residence, Cambridge possesses one of the largest and most vigorous assemblies of scholars in American history outside of the United States.

Cambridge has one of the largest concentrations of ancient and medieval historians in the world. Expertise spans ancient Greece and Rome, western Europe in the early and later middle ages, Byzantium, and central and eastern Europe, and there are many more staff in associated disciplines of archaeology, Classics, literature, and art history.

Cambridge has long been a leading centre for the study of early modern history. Our reseachers in this area continue to lead the way in defining and extending the contours of early modern history.

Members of the Faculty, postgraduates and researchers follow in the footsteps of many ground-breaking thinkers who have formed the University of Cambridge into one of the leading centres of research into the study of economic and social history.

The study of modern British and Irish history is constantly evolving, as historians discover new sources, pose fresh questions, and develop new theories. Our interests are broad, and our researchers are active participants in the latest debates.

The Modern European History research theme brings together historians of the European continent broadly conceived from the mid-eighteenth century to the twenty-first. Researchers in this field sustain a wide range of interests from the Caucasus to Portugal, from the history of food to that of women’s wages.

Cambridge has been an international centre for the study of political thought and intellectual history for over half a century. Researchers in the field are committed to examining past ideals and the process of their historical transmission. Covering ancient, medieval and modern thought, specialist areas of interest include justice, community, the state, international relations, the economy, empire, race and democracy.

Cambridge has long been an international centre for research and study in World History. Our research interests, spanning five centuries, stretch from Latin America and the Caribbean to Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific. Social, economic, political, and intellectual approaches are all represented, with cross-cutting thematic interests in colonialism and imperialism, collaboration and resistance, diaspora and migration, gender, religion, labour, science, and the environment.

Research centres and clusters

Research centres are formal organisations with a focus on particular areas of study. They often work with researchers from other faculties and departments, in Cambridge and in other universities. Clusters are less formal associations of researchers who share interests and methodologies.

Early Career Researchers

The work of postdoctoral researchers and junior research fellows is crucial to our research community. Learn more here about their activities within the Faculty and colleges.