School of History


The historians of the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London pursue their research independently and in collaboration within and between a series of well established and highly reputed research groups.

We have two main historical research groups as well as three thematic research groups:

Historical research groups

Medieval, Renaissance and Early Modern

The study of medieval, renaissance and early modern history at Queen Mary is world-renowned, with a range of prominent scholars working on topics encompassing emotions, gender, material culture, politics, race, religion and war. 

Key publications

Tom Asbridge – The Crusades: the War for the Holy Land.

Mark Curran – Atheism, Religion and Enlightenment in pre-Revolutionary Europe.

Virginia Davis – William Wykeham: A Life.

Peter Denley – Later Medieval Europe, 1250-1520 (with Daniel Waley).

Susan Edgington – Albert of Aachen’s History of the Journey to Jerusalem.

Colin Jones CBE – Paris. The Biography of a City.

Kate Lowe – Black Africans in Renaissance Europe.

Andrew Mendelsohn – 'Case and Series: Medical Knowledge and Paper Technology, 1600-1900'.

Eyal Poleg – Approaching the Bible in Medieval England.

Michael Questier – The Trials of Margaret Clitherow: Persecution, Martyrdome and the Politics of Sanctity in Elizabethan England (with Peter Lake).

Yossef Rapoport – Marriage, Money and Divorce in Medieval Islamic Society.

Miri Rubin – Mother of God: a History of the Virgin Mary.

Barbara Taylor – Mary Wollstonecraft and the Feminist Imagination.

Amanda Vickery – Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England.

Modern and Contemporary

Modern and contemporary history at Queen Mary has a long and impressive pedigree. Currently our scholars (ten of whom are professors), research and write across four geographical areas (America, Britain, Europe and Imperial/World history), incorporating cultural, gender, film, international, military, political and social history, and the history of emotion, medicine and science.

Key publications

Richard Bourke – Peace in Ireland: the War of Ideas.

Joanna Cohen – Luxurious Citizens: Consumption and Civic Belonging in Nineteenth Century America

Thomas Dixon – The Invention of Altruism: Making Moral Meanings in Victorian Britain.

James Ellison – The United States, Britain and the Transatlantic Crisis: Rising to the Gaullist Challenge, 1963-68.

Martyn Frampton – Legion of the Rearguard: Dissident Irish Republicanism.

Mark Glancy – Hollywood and the Americanization of Britain: From the 1920s to the Present.

Rhodri Hayward – The Transformation of the Psyche in British Primary Care, 1880-1970.

Peter Hennessy – Distilling the Frenzy.

Maurizio Isabella – Risorgimento in Exile: Italian Emigres and the Liberal International in the Post-Napoleonic Era.

Julian Jackson – Living in Arcadia: Homosexuality, Politics, and Morality in France from the Liberation to AIDS.

Reuben Loffman, ‘In the shadow of the tree sultans: African elites and the shaping of early colonial politics on the Katangan frontier, 1906-17’.

Helen McCarthy – The British people and the League of Nations: Democracy, Citizenship and Internationalism, c.1918-1945.

Daniel Peart – ‘Looking Beyond Parties and Elections’.

Ed Ramsden – Human Heredity in the Twentieth Century (with Bernd Gausemeier and Staffan Muller-Wille).

Robert Saunders, Democracy and the Vote in British Politics, 1848-1867.

Quentin Skinner – Hobbes and Republican Liberty.

Jonathan Smele – The `Russian' Civil Wars, 1916-1926: Ten Years That Shook the World

Gareth Stedman Jones – The Cambridge History of Nineteenth-Century Political Thought (edited with Gregory Claeys).

Tilli Tansey OBE – History of Modern Biomedicine Research Group.

Barbara Taylor – On Kindness. and History and Psyche: Culure, Psychoanalysis and the Past (with Sally Alexander).

Dan Todman – The Great War: Myth and Memory.

Georgios Varouxakis – Liberty Abroad: J.S. Mill on International Relations.

Christina von Hodenberg – Konsens und Krise: Geschichte der westdeutschen Medienöffentlichkeit, 1945 bis 1973 [Consensus and Crisis: Mass Media and the Public Sphere in West Germany, 1945-1973].

Kim Wagner – The Great Fear of 1857.

Mark White – Kennedy: A Cultural History of an Icon.

Daniel Wildmann – Der veränderbare Körper. Jüdische Turner, Männlichkeit und das Wiedergewinnen von Geschichte in Deutschland um 1900.

Thematic Research Groups

Society, Culture and Belief

We are home to one of the most dynamic groups of historians in Britain of Society, Culture and Belief. This work is mainly within two research sub-themes:

Identities in Religious Cultures includes research in the medieval and early modern eras, covering religious conflict and devotion through individual research projects and collaborations through funded projects such as Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies and Islam and the West. Staff working on this theme include Tom Asbridge, Federico Botana, Caroline Bowden, Virginia DavisPeter DenleySue EdgingtonKate LoweEyal Poleg, Michael Questier, Yossef Rapoport and Miri Rubin. 

 In the early modern era, Consumption, Material and Visual Culture sees the history of the book, of caricatures, and of consumption, objects and space, especially in the eighteenth century where the School has particular expertise through the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies. Staff working on this theme include Joanna Cohen, Colin Jones CBE, Kate Lowe, Eyal Poleg and Amanda Vickery

Emotions, Medicine and Science

We have developed notable expertise in the study of the history of Emotions, Medicine and Science. Thomas Dixon is the director of the interdisciplinary Centre for the History of the Emotions, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust. This means that our historians now play a leading national and international role in developing our understanding of emotions over time. This research overlaps with the history of medicine and science, where we specialise in two areas. We also support Papertechnology, the study of how physicians have learned their craft from 1500 to 1960.

Staff working in Emotions, Medicine and Science include Thomas Dixon, Rhodri Hayward, Colin Jones, Andrew Mendelsohn, Ed Ramsden, Tilli Tansey OBE, and Barbara Taylor

Political Ideas and Practice

We have an internationally recognised reputation for the study of politics, both in history of ideas and political thought and the history of the practice and consequences of politics. Our expertise in political thought covers major thinkers such as Burke, Hobbes and Marx and also nineteenth-century liberalism, utopian socialsm and Victorian internationalism. We also lead the interdisciplinary Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought.

We are particularly renowned for our strength in modern and contemporary political history. The history of Britain is one of our specialities where we study all eras from the Victorian to the present, from all historical approaches. We have a founding relationship with the Mile End Institute. Our European historians are international figures with particular expertise in the history of modern France, Germany and Russia. We have expertise in modern European Jewish history through our connection with the Leo Baeck Institute

We also have historians of modern America who work on its politics and culture; and experts in global history, particularly the history of Africa and Asia.

Staff working in the history of political thought include Richard Bourke, Maurizio Isabella, Quentin Skinner, Gareth Stedman Jones, and Georgios Varouxakis.

Staff working in modern and contemporary British history include Thomas Dixon, James Ellison, Martyn Frampton, Rhodri Hayward, Peter Hennessy, Helen McCarthy, Robert Saunders, Dan Todman, Gareth Stedman Jones, Georgios Varouxakis and Kim Wagner.

Staff working in modern and contemporary European history include James Ellison, Julian Jackson, Maurizio IsabellaJonathan SmeleChristina von Hodenberg and Daniel Wildmann

Staff working in modern and contemporary American history include Joanna Cohen, James Ellison, Mark Glancy, Daniel Peart and Mark White.

Staff working in global history include Martyn Frampton, Reuben Loffman, Yossef Rapoport and Kim Wagner