Skip to main content
School of History

Research Culture and Events

The School sees historical research as an endeavour inspired by individual interest, skills, and commitment, but which always flourishes thanks to intellectual collegiality and the dynamic exchange of ideas. Hence, we aim to place the research of members of the School at all levels - from PhD students and postdoctoral researchers, to early career and advanced scholars - within frameworks of exchange that enhance and challenge their work. To this end, we organise a continuous array of activities - seminars and workshops, reading groups and conferences - and help members of the School realise ideas for such events. Most members of staff are also co-convenors of research seminars at the Institute of Historical Research, seminars which our PhD students frequent and where they can also deliver sections of their advanced research. Our Research Centres are also active venues for research events.
All these activities have drawn to the School cohorts of excellent doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, holders of competitive studentships and fellowships. They are the lifeblood of the School, a source of constant innovation and intellectual challenge, which we relish. We mentor them all with care and are delighted to see so many of them go on to successful academic careers.

16 May 2022: 'Of Fear and Strangers' Panel Discussion

George Makari's book, Of Fear and Strangers: A History of Xenophobia (2021) traces the history of xenophobia from its origins to the present day. To discuss diverse experiences of xenophobia, past and present, Makari will be joined by David Feldman (Director, Birkbeck Institute for the Study of Antisemitism), Thomas W Laqueur (Berkeley), Akshi Singh (Queen Mary University of London). 

This event is free to attend, but advance booking is essential.

26 May 2022: Queen Mary Film Studies and Cinema Memory and the Digital Archive present

‘London Cinemagoers and Films from Many Nations’ 

Supported by Raphael Samuel History Centre, Four Corners Films, and Club des Femmes

Dr. Gil Toffell (Academic Research Manager, Learning on Screen) and Queen Mary’s Professor Annette Kuhn take a look at 1930s Londoners’ memories of ‘foreign’ films and introduce a screening of Leontine Sagan’s 1931 Weimar classic Mädchen in Uniform.

This event is free to attend, but advance booking is essential.

14 June 2022: A Natural History of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, sponsored by the Raphael Samuel History Centre

Naturalist-led guided walking tour exploring the natural history, flora and fauna of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The Olympic Park includes a diversity of natural habitats including wetland, waterside and 'wasteland'. Its wildlife varies from planted trees to the uninvited 'weeds' of cultivation. This walk will take in both, as well as the birds, and possibly the bats, of the site, telling how they got there and the stories behind them; how they got their names, their folklore and the uses they have traditionally been put to. The Olympic site was proclaimed as the greenest ever and included both habitat creation and 'wild' planting in its design. In this two-hour walk, starting at Pudding Mill station and ending at the Timber Lodge, we will be looking at the wildlife that this new development has introduced, as well as some of the original inhabitants that managed to survive it.

This event is free to attend, but advance booking is essential.

15 June 2022: Hidden architectures of change in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, sponsored by the Raphael Samuel History Centre

London Festival of Architecture online panel discussion involving authors, historians and academics involved in creating an online map and guide to the history of the Park site. Panellists include Juliet Davis (Cardiff University), Bob Gilbert (Livingmaps Network), Jim Clifford (University of Saskatchewan) and Clare Melhuish (UCL Urban Lab) Chair: Phil Cohen (Livingmaps Network).

This event is free to attend, but advance booking is essential.

23 June 2022: The Raphael Samuel Memorial Lecture 2022

‘Approaching British Colonial History During the Culture War’ by Professor Corinne Fowler

In this lecture, Professor Fowler addresses the origins and impacts of Britain’s current culture war. She considers how those working on British colonial history – students, activists, academics, museum and heritage professionals – can respond effectively to these fraught public discussions. Her talk will draw on her public history work on the project ‘Colonial Countryside: National Trust Houses Reinterpreted’ and her forthcoming book, The Countryside: Ten Walks Through Colonial Britain (Penguin Allen Lane, 2023).

This event is free to attend, but advance booking is essential.

24 June 2022: A contemporary archaeology of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, sponsored by the Raphael Samuel History Centre

Archaeologist-led tour of the Park exploring the history of the Park site from the Neolithic to the present-day.

Join writer and Groundbreakers contributor Dr Jonathan Gardner for a walking tour of the Park that takes in some of its lesser known archaeology and history from the Neolithic to the present-day. Challenging the idea that this place was simply an ‘industrial wasteland’ before the Games came, the tour takes in sites of both the recent and distant past to reflect on how ten years of Olympic and Paralympic legacy compare with what happened here decades, centuries, or millennia previously. The tour will last around two hours and incorporates highlights from the Groundbreakers trail including the site of a Bronze Age Village, lost rivers, a Cold War Civil Defence training village and many more.

This event is free to attend, but advance booking is essential.

29 June 2022: Mapping the History of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, sponsored by the Raphael Samuel History Centre

Living Maps Network online discussion on the history, archaeology, and ethnography of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park site. Join archaeologist Dr Jonny Gardner, ethnographer Professor Phil Cohen and public historian Dr Toby Butler who will be discussing five years of research and activities that went into the process of creating a new online map and guidebook to the history of the Park site (

This event is free to attend, but advance booking is essential.

Our Annual and Biennial Lectures are hubs for interaction and exchange and are open to all members of the School as well as to broader audiences. These are:

The distinguished colleagues who deliver these lectures are usually the School's guests for several days, during which time they deliver seminars, advise PhD students and spend quality time with members of the School.

Our research is embedded within the various forums of the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Faculty and the opportunities it offers. The Institute of HSS is a hub for inter-disciplinary events, ranging from workshops to lectures by visiting scholars.
The international dimension is central to our research culture, in a School whose members are diverse in terms of their educational and disciplinary formation. Alongside the regular flow of international visitors to our School and Faculty, we maintain regular contacts through annual exchanges with the universities of Basel, Delaware, Freiburg, and Northwestern. We regularly also receive researchers funded by the European Research Council, who execute their research in our School and among us.

Global Health Security and Pandemics

This digital series is organised by the Mile End Institute and available to view online.

Mile End Institute podcast - Debating politics, policy and public life

Listen in to the Mile End Institute podcast series in which we bring together politicians, commentators, academics, students, and members of the public to discuss and debate the major challenges facing the country in a fast-moving and ever-changing world.

Hidden Histories podcast series

Hidden Histories sees QMUL PhD student Helen Carr exploring some of the country's hidden treasures, as she and some of our finest historians scramble through the actual spaces where history happened. Whether she's visiting the whorehouses of Covent Garden, or retracing the steps of the Peasants Revolt, Helen and her guests are a delightful guide to the hidden histories that lie just off the beaten track. Listen to her conversations with AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinkers here.

Snapshots of German-Jewish History and Culture

This digital series, hosted by the Leo Baeck Institute, gives you an insight into the Institute's collection of rare books, historical pamphlets and documents. 

Global Health Security and Pandemics

A Mile End Institute YouTube series on global health security and pandemics, presented by Professor Sophie Harman (QMUL). Watch here.

The Future of British Democracy

The Mile End Institute's series on the 'Future of British Democracy' explores reform of the civil service, the role of the judiciary and judicial review, corruption, and the role of the House of Lords. Join here.

Back to top