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The Department’s researchers explore diverse themes and evidence. All members of the Department are actively involved in research and work to publish regularly via monographs, edited collections and peer-reviewed journals. Our archaeologists investigate British and European prehistoric and historic periods while the historians’ research interests range across the medieval, early modern and modern periods, and over local, British, European and American history.

In the last national Research Excellence Framework, the Department submitted in both the History and the Archaeology units of assessment.  The majority of the Department’s research was considered to be of international quality, with some publications viewed as ‘world-leading’ or 4*. Over the last few years, members of the Department have worked hard to build on this success. This is reflected in the Department’s impressive record of publications, grant capture and outreach work, which has gained recognition at both national and international levels. 

The Department's research is encompassed by three thematic strands or clusters:

Giving Voice: Diverse Narratives of people, places and objects

Giving Voice is an interdisciplinary research cluster bringing together historical, archaeological and heritage-based perspectives to ‘give voice’ to the diverse experiences of individuals and communities across time and place. The Giving Voice cluster seeks to recover and construct narratives about not only neglected or marginalized aspects of the past, but also leadership and decision-making within the more traditional politico-social (and military) historical framework. This includes the experiences and agencies of a wide range of socio-economic, religious, political, and ethnic individuals, groups and forces. Accordingly, members of the cluster research issues such as the history of consumption, belief, immigration, population movements and many strands of mainstream political, social and military history.  An inter-disciplinary approach is often adopted, utilising texts, physical environments, and material culture. In exploring these issues, they are particularly interested in pushing the boundaries between academic and public history, and furthering understandings of the human experience, past and contemporary societies often with a focus on those whose experiences might otherwise be obscured by more dominant historical narratives.​

Memory and Mortality: Death, Burial and Commemoration

Investigating the diversity and structure of beliefs, attitudes, and practices relating to mortality and memory, the research group provides an environment for promoting the archaeology, heritage and history of death, burial and commemoration. With projects interrogating death and memory from prehistoric times to the present day, research foci include interdisciplinary themes exploring the scales and history of memory work and mortuary practices. These include: landscapes and memory, memorials and memorialisation, corporeality and identity, and the mnemonics of material culture and built environments. As well as exploring written and material evidence, the research group also investigates memory and mortality through visual culture and digital media.

People and Place: Past Landscapes & Environments

The People and Place cluster aims to explore how people have perceived and experienced their landscapes and environments. It questions how generations have shaped, and in turn been shaped by, the places they inhabited. Our work takes an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of past landscapes and environments, bringing together Historians and Archaeologists with a variety of skills and expertise. As such, our research interests cover a broad range of time periods, geographical locations, and methods, ranging from documentary based studies of recent landscapes, to the scientific analysis of environmental remains from prehistoric sites.

We encourage all postgraduate students to contribute to the Department’s research activities including our regular Research Seminar Series as well as conferences and special events.  The Department currently has postgraduate taught programmes in MA History, MA War, Conflict and SocietyMA Archaeology of Death and Memory, and MA Archaeology and Heritage Practice. We also run two Masters by Research (MRes) programmes: MRes in History and the MRes in Archaeology and accept applications for MPhil/PhD research in line with staff subject specialisms.