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.
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.
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.
Funded by a grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Integrated Census Microdata (I-CeM) project was a three-year programme which produced a standardised, integrated dataset of most of the censuses of Great Britain for the period 1851 to 1911.
The War Memoryscapes in Asia Partnership, led by the University of Essex and funded by the UK’s Leverhulme Trust, brings together scholars from Europe, Asia and Australia to help trace the trends and developments of World War Two remembrance that is emerging across Asia.
Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), over the course of three years (2017 – 2020) this project sets out to both evaluate the extent to which the range of commemorative activities undertaken since 2014 has engaged with, challenged, or changed the cultural memory of the war.