In the History department we are proud of our creative, collaborative, and open research culture. The department encompasses many ways of doing history, from people working on major international research collaborations, to close collaborations with local history and community groups, to the pioneering research of our postgraduate students.

Colleagues publish books, freely-accessible journal articles, articles in internationally-renowned specialist publications, policy papers and an exciting range of digital outputs.

Research areas

As a department we work together on a number of key themes:

  • UoB History is distinctive in having an exceptionally large group of scholars working on the theme of people and ideas on the move. Scholars are working on this theme across a thousand years of history, from the English in late medieval Ireland, through Cabot’s voyages of discovery, to studies of slavery and the experiences of enslaved people, to Cold War political and cultural networks. In this area we host the Hong Kong History Centre as well as working closely with the University’s Institute for Migration and Mobility Studies. We are also home to the Afro-Asian Networks project, an international collaborative research network on decolonisation in the Global South. 

  • Bristol is an internationally-recognised centre for the study of environmental history. Our research is breaking new ground in the history of the relationship between humans, animals and the natural environment. Environmental historians lead the Faculty’s Centre for Environmental Humanities and work closely with the Cabot Institute. Bristol also welcomed scholars from around the world when it hosted the European Society for Environmental History Conference in 2022.

  • Colleagues from across a range of different research areas are brought together by an interest in public and creative histories. Historians from the department explore new ways of sharing the historical past, and share and co-create these processes with the heritage sector, creative industries, and local stakeholders. We are delighted to have hosted the major Creative Histories conference in 2017, and to have been involved in numerous Brigstow Institute collaborations.  

  • Historians from our department take active roles in Faculty interdisciplinary research groups, including Sense and Sensations, Drinking Studies, and American Studies.
  • Bristol’s historians have a unique focus on political culture that breaks down the barriers between cultural politics, political history and political science. We have an exciting research cluster that focuses on Modern British History and seeks to inject the lessons of history into policy making.
  • We are distinctive in having many scholars who work on visual and material culture and have close research links with the Department of Art HistoryThis includes strengths in the social, cultural and political history of photography and photographic practice, political posters and cartoons, and uses of visual and material culture in medieval religious practice. A strong group of medievalists and early modernists with a specialism in visual and material approaches to manuscript studies is actively involved in the Medieval Studies Faculty Research Centre, and an active Early Modern cluster 

Current projects

Current externally funded projects in the Department. 

Find out more about

Our History in Public

We are passionate about our research and work hard to share our passions with the general public. Find out more about our public engagement.

Interested in being a visiting researcher?

If you would like to be a visiting researcher at the University of Bristol, please see the School of Humanities' guidelines for visiting researchers, where you will also find an application form.

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