History research

Area of research excellence: History

Our small, but highly research active hub brings together historians within the School of Humanities, the History and Heritage Subject Group, which is in charge of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching in History, as well as staff working in the Subject Group of Philosophy, Study of Religion and Ethics.

All researchers are brought together in the History and Heritage Research Centre with the wider History and Heritage community of doctoral and postdoctoral scholars across the University.

The Centre provides a rigorous, supportive intellectual environment, employs exceptional historical resources locally available, and interacts extensively with scholars and stakeholders nationally and internationally. Its key aim is to provide a common space for all scholars interested in understanding the past, and in developing together with external partners its cultural, social and economic importance for the present.

Our research focuses on developing a critical understanding of the modern world by looking at the interplay of people, place, belief and memory. Chronologically, we cover Early Modern, Modern and Contemporary history; geographically, we all work on the British Isles in some ways, mostly in comparative and transnational perspective in connection to Irish, European (in particular French & German), Mediterranean, South and Central Asian, Chinese, Australasian, African, Caribbean & Transatlantic history, and ‘the Muslim World’.

Perspectives are local, national and global. We are particularly interested in how these levels interrelate to understand an increasingly interconnected world.

Thematically, work clusters on Early Modern and Modern British political culture; imperialism and post-imperialism with particular emphasis on migration; global intellectual history; and the history, theory and practice of heritage and public history. Together, our research and impact activities respond to major contemporary challenges linked to the rise of populism and fake news, and the regaining of strength of nationalism, racism and islamophobia.

We have had an active research community in history for half a century and our research structure has been shaped since to encourage greater cross- and interdisciplinary working among both students and staff, facilitate internationalisation, strengthen student choice, enhance employability, and support Bath Spa’s wider ambitions to be a ‘leading university in creativity, culture and enterprise’.

Together, they form the background for the development of History and Heritage as an important cluster of excellence for learning, teaching and research. Underpinned by strategic hiring, Heritage has been closely integrated with History in terms of teaching, research and impact. To this end, we took the initiative of bringing together scholars from other disciplines with an interest in the past and its contemporary uses to form the History and Heritage Research Centre.

Edit section | Website feedback to web@bathspa.ac.uk