We use race and gender alongside other key analytical categories, such as class, sexuality, age, ethnicity and nationality, in order to understand how these various overlapping systems of power shaped (and continue to shape) people’s lives, opportunities and identities.
We are also interested in how the categories of ‘race’ and ‘gender’ have been historically constructed and when and how they are contested and transformed. Interdisciplinary in approach, our scholarship draws on a range of sources (from the manuscript records of early modern witch-trials to oral history interviews with women in 20th-century Britain), affording rich and textured evidence on the contested meanings of identity in history.
There are three major strands to our research within this cluster.
Our expert staff are happy to supervise postgraduate research in all of these areas. Please contact them directly for more information about supervision, or explore our research degrees and what to expect from a degree in the Department of History. You can also find out how to apply for postgraduate research at Essex, or use research finder if you are interested in searching for further research opportunities at Essex.
Body, Self, and Family is a major research project funded by the Wellcome Trust which examines how wider social changes affected women’s experiences of self, body and emotion from c. 1960-1990.
This research project traces the emergence of ‘Contemporary Capoeira’ through interviews conducted with surviving capoeira masters who were responsible for the development and expansion of the new, modernised style of capoeira between 1948 and 1982.
This project investigates the question of identity in pre-colonial Africa and the Diaspora by focusing on ethnonyms.
Are you looking to study a history degree at undergraduate, masters or PhD level? In the Department of History, we have a variety of courses to choose from which cover a broad range of subjects. These include; modern history, art history, criminology, economics, literature, human rights, international relations, politics, film, and culture and society.