Skip navigation

History Research

History research at Northumbria spans more than 700 years and six continents. Our team comprises 38 historians, with work that covers a variety of fields – including political, social, cultural, environmental, religious, gender, business and migration history – and with expertise that ranges from the study of medieval France and Spain to the nineteenth-century Middle East and the contemporary Indian diaspora. In the 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) – the UK’s nationwide evaluation of research quality – our publications were ranked within the UK’s top 10 and the majority of our research environment was deemed ‘world leading’.

History research groups

Members of our History team lead six research groups – Global and Transnational History, Environmental Humanities, Conflict and Society, American Studies, Histories of Activism, and Medieval and Early Modern Studies – whose work is central to our research culture. These groups create synergy and support the cross-pollination of ideas across the History team, and we use them to share work in progress, build links with national and international networks, and engage with external partners and audiences.

Projects

Historians from Northumbria University are currently involved in running a number of ambitious projects. Recent examples include the following ventures:

Dr Felicia Gottmann is holding a prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship for her project on ‘Migration, Adaptation, Innovation 1500–1800. With her multi-researcher team, Dr Gottmann investigates the role that immigration played in the development of new technologies. Her project uses examples from Europe, the Middle East and South and East Asia, and involves collaborations with museums and community partners in the UK and internationally.

Dr Peter Hill is leading two projects that are both funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). His personal fellowship project on Reason and Religion in Ottoman Syria uses a microhistory of the Lebanese polymath Mikha’il Mishaqa to explore the changing relationship between faith and reason in the nineteenth-century Middle East. Moreover, by serving as the Principal Investigator for an ARHC network on ‘Reframing the Age of Revolutions’, Dr Hill is bringing together scholars to intervene in recent debates on the ‘age of revolutions’: together, the network members examine to what extent one can speak of a ‘global’ revolutionary age in the period from c. 1750 to 1850.

Dr Linsey Robb is making an original contribution to the literature of conscientious objection and war resistance through her project 'We Say No!: British Conscientious Objection in the Second World War'. Using a wide array of underexplored sources, she sheds light on the lived experience of COs and addresses a phenomenon that, in a British context, has mostly been studied with a focus on the First World War.

Dr Waiman Beorn will build the first Historical Building Information Model (HBIM) of a Nazi concentration camp through his AHRC-funded project ‘Visualizing Janowska. Conceived as an innovative initiative in the field of digital humanities, his project examines ethical questions about the application of such methods to sites of suffering and genocide.

Dr Tim Livsey is running an ARHC Fellowship project on 'Stolen Archives? Re-evaluating the British “Migrated” Archives and Decolonisation'. Recent revelations about these archives – documents that the British authorities covertly removed from colonised territories – have been a crucial development in studying the end of empire. Dr Livsey’s project will produce the first major book to address both the considerable popular and scholarly interest in the ‘migrated’ archives. It aims to facilitate a new generation of more inclusive and diverse research about these archives, both within and beyond the academy.

Professor David Gleeson is the lead investigator for the AHRC-funded project ‘Civil War Bluejackets: Class, Race and Ethnicity in the United States Navy, 1861–1865’. Based on a collaboration with specialists in information science and digital humanities, the project uses US Navy Muster Rolls from the American Civil War to create a new database and research tool on 118,000 wartime sailors, while involving both volunteers and partners from the heritage sector. 

Dr Leona Skelton is the Co-Investigator of 'Life Stories of Infrastructure', a project funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Based on partnership with colleagues from Civil Engineering and Business, this three-year project takes an innovative interdisciplinary approach to analysing the long-term histories of and entanglements between Tyneside’s transport infrastructure networks (Tyne and Wear Metro, the A1 Western Bypass and the River Tyne).

Publications

Recent publications by members of the History team at Northumbria University include the following monographs:

Edward Anderson, Hindu Nationalism in the Indian Diaspora: Transnational Politics and British Multiculturalism (Hurst, 2023)

Daniel Laqua, Activism across Borders since 1870: Causes, Campaigns and Conflicts in and Beyond Europe (Bloomsbury, 2023).

Matthew Kelly, The Women Who Saved the English Countryside (Yale University Press, 2022).

Neil Murphy, Henry VIII, the Duke of Albany and the Anglo-Scottish War of 1522–1524 (Boydell & Brewer, 2023).

Joe Street, Silicon Valley Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, 2023).

Postgraduate community

We have a thriving postgraduate community, whose members take the lead in a range of North East PGR networks and initiatives, including HistoryLab North East, CNCS (the Centre for Nineteenth Century Studies), and the annual Summer Speaker Series at Newcastle’ Mining Institute. We offer a dynamic postgraduate training programme, which includes teaching shadowing, workshops on publishing, course design and careers both inside and outside academia.

Find out more

You can read more about our research groups and their activities by following the links under the Research page navigation list. You can also learn more about our history courses.

 



History Blog
+

History and American Studies Blog

A blog on all manner of research, publications, lectures, conferences, symposia, and more from Northumbria University's History and American Studies programmes.

Humanities Staff Northumbria University
+

Humanities Staff

Our students learn from the best – inspirational academic staff with a genuine passion for their subject. Our courses are at the forefront of current knowledge and practice and are shaped by world-leading and internationally excellent research.

ourcourses_humanities
+

Courses within Humanities

The Department of Humanities offers a number of undergraduate and postgraduate courses. By studying at Northumbria you will become part of a passionate and creative community.

Latest News and Features

Front row, L-R: Professor Matthew Johnson from Northumbria University and Piotr Mahey from ACCESS: Policy are pictured with members of the ACCESS: Policy team (left) and Northumbria University students (right) selected to be part of the first ACCESS: Climate and Environment programme.
an image showing a pile of books with one open on top
A logo with navy blue writing on a pink background which reads Northern Writers' Awards 2024
Assistant Professor and playwright is recognised at national theatre awards
Field of Poppies. Generic Image from Unsplash. Image credit: Henry Be (@henry_be) via Unsplash.
Pictured are Dr Katherine Butler of Northumbria University and James Smith of the Lit & Phil standing holding a book each with rows of books in the background
A logo with the text 'A Writing Chance' in white writing on a red background
Bristol / England - May 6th 2020: Statue of Edward Colston with blindfold before it was taken down by protestors. Image from Shutterstock by Ian Luck

Back to top