Philosophical, Historical, and Interdisciplinary Studies

Our research

Our research is collaborative, transdisciplinary, and challenges the status quo.

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Creating new knowledge through research innovation

Our School fosters a distinctive research ethos that aims to question and disrupt received ‘truths’ about the past and present.

Philosophers, historians, and art historians at Essex have long been internationally renowned for first-rate research that challenges traditional academic boundaries and canons. Throughout our work, we emphasise issues of power, autonomy, agency, dissent, and the contestation of the public realm. Our transdisciplinary approach facilitates critical engagement, enabling us to deliver research that is impactful, relevant, and empowering.

Research Centres

We're proud to be home to one of the oldest established centres for Latin American Studies in the UK. The Centre for Public History is home to leading historians working collaboratively on research projects, outreach activities with local and regional communities, and educational events. Our Centre for Curatorial Studies showcases outstanding research focusing on contemporary curatorial practice and theory, and contemporary museology.

The work of our three Research Centres is embedded in our curriculum, providing exciting opportunities to students at all levels in the School.

Research groups

Our collaborative and supportive research culture is underpinned by our fifteen overlapping research groups, with further research in our three subject areas of philosophy, history and art history. Group members include our academic staff, postgraduate students, visiting and postdoctoral fellows, and members of the public. We encourage lively debate and are always looking for new members and new ideas to stimulate further research and discussion. If you're interested in undertaking research, you can explore our clusters to find research supervision opportunities.

Philosophy research groups

History research groups 

Art history, curating and heritage research groups

Interdisciplinary research groups

Research case studies

Alongside teaching and supervising, academics and postgraduate students within our School work on research projects throughout the year. The case studies below give you a snapshot of some of our research.

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Postgraduate research enquiries