The department has a dynamic research culture, from our outstanding undergraduate dissertations to major international research collaborations.
As a department we work on a diverse range of topics. We also work together on a number of key themes:
Bristol’s historians have a unique focus on political culture that breaks down the barriers between cultural politics, political history and political science. We have an exciting research cluster that focuses on Modern British History and seeks to inject the lessons of history into policy making.
UoB History is distinctive in having an exceptionally large group of scholars working on the theme of people and ideas on the move. Scholars are working on this theme across a thousand years of history, from the English in late medieval Ireland, through Cabot’s voyages of discovery, to studies of slavery and the experiences of enslaved people, to Cold War political and cultural networks. In this area we host the Hong Kong History Centre as well as working closely with the University’s Institute for Migration and Mobility Studies. We are also home to the Afro-Asian Networks project, an international collaborative research network on decolonisation in the Global South.
Bristol is an internationally-recognised centre for the study of environmental history. Our research is breaking new ground in the history of the relationship between humans, animals and the natural environment. Environmental historians lead the Faculty’s Centre for Environmental Humanities and work closely with the Cabot Institute.
Colleagues from across a range of different research areas are brought together by an interest in public and creative histories. Historians from the department are actively engaged in the creative economy, the heritage sector, and in exploring our city’s past. We are delighted to have hosted the major Creative Histories conference in 2017, and to have been involved in numerous Brigstow Institute collaborations.
We are distinctive in having many scholars who work on visual and material culture and have close research links with the Department of Art History. This includes strengths in the social, cultural and political history of photography and photographic practice, political posters and cartoons, and uses of visual and material culture in medieval religious practice. A very strong group of medievalists and early modernists with a specialism in visual and material approaches to manuscript studies is actively involved in the Medieval Studies Faculty Research Centre, and an active Early Modern cluster.
Recent and current externally funded projects in the Department include:
- Afro-Asian Networks
- Bridging The Gap
- Connecting The Wireless World
- Historical Photographs of China
- History for the Community: Monk-historians and Communal Heritage (online exhibition and special issue)
- Hong Kong History project
- Jake Walk Blues
- New Cultural Producers of Nature’s Value: Exploring the Role of Britain’s Wildlife Filmmaking Sector (in partnership with the BBC Natural History Unit)
- Notes From the Zone of Kaif
- Sensing Spaces of Healthcare
- Thatcher's Pension Reforms and their Consequences
- Wetland Life: Taking the Bite Out of Wetlands
Our History in Public
We are passionate about our research and work hard to share our passions with the general public. Find out more about our public engagement.
Beyond the department
Interested in being a visiting researcher?
If you would like to be a visiting researcher at the University of Bristol, please see the School of Humanities' guidelines for visiting researchers, where you will also find an application form.