We focus on war and other instances of historical conflict and trauma, exploring how they affect not just combatants but society, culture and politics more widely.
We explore how a range of factors (age, gender, class, sexuality) shapes involvement in war and conflict, and the impact of war, conflict and trauma on people, communities and states in a variety of different historical settings. We are also interested in how people involved in or affected by war and conflict make sense of their experiences, in letters, diaries, memoirs, and interviews; in how individuals, communities and states ‘remember’ and commemorate wars and traumatic experiences in texts, monuments, and events; and in how and why these commemorative practices can be politicised and mobilised by subsequent generations for various different purposes.
There are five major strands to our research within this cluster.
Our department also maintains a long-standing commitment to remembering the Holocaust. Related activities include participating in the University's Holocaust Memorial Week, organising the school's outreach project, the Dora Love Prize with local East Anglian schools, and producing the journal The Holocaust in History and Memory.
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.
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.
This research project was funded by the European Union between 2014 and 2018, and compared two important and hitherto under-researched Chinese health-care campaigns, which were undertaken under Mao Zedong.
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.
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.