Department of History

Equality and inclusion

Promoting and celebrating equality at Essex

The Department of History was awarded an Athena Swan Bronze Departmental Award in April 2017. We are committed to equality and development of an inclusive culture promoting dignity and respect.

The Athena Swan Charter was established in 2005 to encourage and recognise commitment to advancing the careers of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine (STEMM) employment in higher education and research.

Dr Matthew Grant
"The historians in the department are very proud to be working to enhance the working and learning environment of the History department, working together to ensure that we create a culture of equality and respect so that all staff and students feel included and have the support and confidence to reach their potential. As the Athena Swan lead for the Department of History, I see at first hand the commitment to improving gender equality that underpins our department’s ethos."
Dr Matthew Grant Self-Assessment Team Chair

Celebrating women in the department

Our department has 21 academic members of staff, 9 of whom are women. We also have about 30 research students, 50% of whom are women.

We're proud of our outstanding female historians. We'd like to celebrate them by showcasing some of the recent activities of five amazing women at different stages of their careers, from PhD students to full Professors.

Professor Alison Rowlands

Professor in European History

Professor Alison Rowlands has written extensively about witchcraft in Early Modern Europe.

You can read about how she wrote her most recent work: 'Gender, Ungodly Parents and a Witch Family in Seventeenth-Century Germany'.

Dr Alix Green


Dr Alix Green has recently published History, Police and Public Purpose: Historians and Historical Thinking in Government (Palgrave, 2016).

Dr Lisa Smith

Lecturer in Digital History

Dr Lisa Smith is engaged in a marvellous array of online projects, from compiling historical recipes to understanding the letters of eighteenth-century polymath Sir Hans Sloane.

Alice Violett and Nicolle Watkins

Graduate Teaching Assistants

Alice Violett and Nicolle Watkins co-organised the fantastic ‘Myth and Popular Memory’ Postgraduate Early Career Conference in 2015.

Celebrating the history of gender

Researching and teaching gender history is a central part of what we do here in the Department of History. We’d like to showcase some of the wonderful modules we run that interrogate the way concepts of gender structured the lives of ordinary people and reveal how women and men lived their lives throughout history.

Resources for all in the department

Our department fosters an inclusive research and teaching environment. Below is a list of some of the resources available to those in the department and across the University of Essex.