Department of History

Our research

Student in Square 4 circa 1972

Informing our present by exploring our past

The Department of History at the University of Essex was founded on the principle of undertaking pioneering research in comparative social and cultural history.

Today, we continue this legacy by pursuing innovative research into the histories of diversity, citizenship and identity-formation in a globalized context.

We are internationally recognised for the quality of our research across a broad range of areas from 1450 to the present. More than two-thirds of our research was rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

Alix Green
Re-framing research agenda to engage audiences

Writing for the Times Higher Education, Dr Alix Green from the Department of History has described how her co-designed approach to projects can improve research impact.

Read the article

Research clusters

Members of our department have a huge variety of research interests, ranging from social and cultural history to politics and international relations. Themes of particular research interest include gender, class, health and medicine, political cultures and the quest for citizenship, new perspectives on the early modern world, popular culture, and memory and life stories.

Research is organized through the following, overlapping, research clusters which bring together academic staff, postgraduate students and visiting and postdoctoral fellows.

Holocaust research

Our department has a long-standing commitment to Holocaust research and education. Related activities include organising our University's annual Holocaust Memorial Week, which includes the presentation of the Dora Love Prize to local schools, as well as the journal The Holocaust in History and Memory.

Postgraduate research

Our postgraduates actively contribute to our research profile. Our list of current PhD theses shows the broad range of historical research currently being carried out in our Department. You can view completed history PhD theses in our Albert Sloman Library.


See our individual academic staff profiles for full lists of publications by our staff, or search our research repository. Our staff also regularly publish work as part of our ongoing research paper series.

History projects