RHS News

Royal Historical Society discusses History trade publishing at Yale University Press London

On Tuesday 10 October, the Society was delighted to host a panel discussion on ‘Writing and Publishing Trade History’, jointly with Yale University Press London. The event marked Yale 50, which celebrates 50 years of Yale University Press publishing in London, and took place in the Yale UP offices.

The panel brought together authors, publishers and literary agents to discuss History trade publishing from a range of perspectives. Our thanks to Yale University Press London as co-hosts and to our panellists: historians Rebecca Clifford (Durham) and Robert Gildea (Oxford); publishers Heather McCallum (Yale UP) and Simon Winder (Penguin Books); and James Pullen of the Wylie Agency. The panel was chaired by Emma Griffin, President of the Royal Historical Society.

Topics for discussion included the distinctive qualities of a trade History book; why authors might choose to publish a trade book, and at which stage of their academic career; what publishers such as Yale and Penguin look for in a proposal; the role of a literary agent; how the process of structuring and writing a trade book differs from that of an academic monograph; the value of trade publishing; and futures for History trade publishing with reference to diversity, subject areas and readerships.

Thank you also to our audience for their questions on topics including how to choose a publisher and identify an agent; the potential financial returns of writing a trade book; the impact of celebrity authors writing history; and when in the research and writing process to contact a publisher.

A podcast of ‘Writing and Publishing Trade History’ will be made available shortly for those unable to attend in person.

Details of forthcoming Society panels and lectures are available on the Events page of the RHS website. These include:


Society awards four PhD Fellowships for 2023-24

The Royal Historical Society is pleased to announce the award of its Centenary and Marshall PhD Fellowships for 2023-24 to four postgraduate historians currently completing their dissertations at universities in the UK and Ireland.

The Fellowships, held at the Institute of Historical Research (IHR), run for 6-months and enable holders to develop their research career.  

This year’s Centenary Fellows are Clare V. Church and John Marshall.

  • Clare is completing her PhD at Aberystwyth University where her research focuses on the cultural representations of women celebrities, and their subsequent influence on gender roles and national morale in the UK, US, and France during the Second World War.
  • John’s doctoral research at Trinity College Dublin considers transnational lordship and politics in thirteenth-century Britain and Ireland, specifically focusing on the Marshal earls of Pembroke and lords of Leinster. 

This year’s Marshall Fellows are Stefano Nicastro and Helena Neimann Erikstrup.

  • Stefano’s research at the University of Edinburgh examines cross-cultural and trans-regional interactions in the Mediterranean during the later Middle Ages. 
  • Helena’s thesis, at the University of Oxford, explores visual representations of race and ecology made in Martinique in the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century. 

Further information on the work of the Society’s Centenary and Marshall Fellows, 2023-24 is available here.  

RHS Marshall Fellowships are supported by the generosity of Professor Peter Marshall FBA, President of the Royal Historical Society from 1996 to 2000. 

The call for Centenary and Marshall Fellowships for 2024-25 will open in Spring 2024.


Society elects 243 new Fellows, Associate Fellows, Members and Postgraduate Members

At its latest meeting on 15 September 2023, the RHS Council elected 69 Fellows, 45 Associate Fellows, 58 Members and 71 Postgraduate Members, a total of 243 people newly associated with the Society, from today.

The majority of the new Fellows hold academic appointments at universities, specialising in a very wide range of fields; but also include museum curators, archivists, heritage consultants, and independent researchers and writers. The Society is an international community of historians and our latest intake includes Fellows from eleven countries: Australia, China, Finland, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, the United Kingdom, and United States.

The new Associate Fellows include not only early career historians in higher education but also historians with professional and private research interests drawn from heritage, libraries and archives, teaching, and public and community history.

The new Members have a similarly wide range of historical interests, and include individuals working in universities, culture and heritage, education, the civil service and medicine – together with independent and community historians and genealogists.

Our new Postgraduate Members are studying for higher degrees in History, or related subjects, at 47 different universities in the UK, Canada, Greece, India, the Netherlands, and the United States.

All those newly elected to the Fellowship and Membership bring a valuable range of expertise and experience to the Society.

New Fellows and Members are elected at regular intervals through the year. The current application round is open and runs to 23 October 2023, with the future closing dates in 2024 to be announced shortly. Further details on RHS Fellowship and Membership categories (Fellow, Associate Fellow, Member and Postgraduate Member); benefits of membership; deadlines for applications throughout 2023; and how to apply, are available here.


New Fellows, elected September 2023

  • Padma Anagol
  • Agnes Arnold-Forster
  • Karen Averby
  • Victoria Barnes
  • Heike Bauer
  • Sarah Bendall
  • Waitman Beorn
  • Somak Biswas
  • Rosalind, Bonte
  • Lise Butler
  • Alexandra Churchill
  • Sarah Churchwell
  • Kieran Connell
  • Karoline  Cook
  • Maria-José de la Torre-Molina
  • Lorena De Vita
  • Rebecca Donner
  • Rachael Durkin
  • Sian Edwards
  • Freddy Foks
  • Mary Fraser
  • Eurico Gomes Dias
  • Steven Gregory
  • Phillip Grimberg
  • Diya Gupta
  • Earle Havens
  • Jane Henderson
  • Guy Hodgson
  • Sara Honarmand Ebrahimi
  • Lloyd Meadhbh Houston
  • Stacey Hynd
  • Graciela Iglesias-Rogers
  • Christopher Joby
  • Miranda Johnson
  • Sean Kelley
  • Charlie Lynch
  • Ellie Mackin Roberts
  • Toby Matthiesen
  • Sven Meeder
  • Jeff Meek
  • Andrew Miller
  • Ghassan Moazzin
  • Hana Navratilova
  • Andrew Newby
  • Nil Palabiyik
  • Elisabeth Piller
  • Joy Porter
  • Daniel Reed
  • Charlotte Riley
  • Alexander Ross
  • Michael Sauter
  • Katherine Butler Schofield
  • Katrin Schreiter
  • Joseph Smith
  • Michail Sotiropoulos
  • Alex Spencer
  • Patrick Spero
  • Jodie Yuzhou Sun
  • Oliver Taylor
  • Steven Thompson
  • Claire Thomson
  • James Titterton
  • Jesse Tumblin
  • Garritt Van Dyk
  • Peter Whitewood
  • Benjamin Wiggins
  • Callie Wilkinson
  • Philippa Woodcock
  • Edward Zychowicz-Coghill


New Associate Fellows, elected September 2023:

  • Christopher Anderson
  • Ruth Atherton
  • Desmond Atkinson
  • Nick Baker
  • Braulia Barbosa-Ribeiro
  • Breeze Barrington
  • Agata Blaszczyk-Sawyer
  • Thomas Burnham
  • Patrick Carter
  • Calum Cunningham
  • Benjamin Dewar
  • Aisha Djelid
  • Kristina Francescutti
  • Robert Gawlowski
  • Lucy Golding
  • Suha Hasan
  • Michala Hulme
  • Benjamin Jackson
  • Emma Kavanagh
  • Claire Kennan
  • Amy King
  • Emily Leigh-Pemberton
  • Ming Liu
  • Aaron Lumpkin
  • Robert Mason
  • Velma McClymont
  • Louisa McKenzie
  • Vincent Miles
  • Edward Mills
  • Robert Naylor
  • Alice Purkiss
  • Pilar Requejo de Lamo
  • Alexandra Sapoznik
  • Tatiana Shingurova
  • Dave Steele
  • Emily Stevenson
  • Fleur Stolker
  • Claudia Tomlinson
  • Tim Wade
  • John Watson
  • June-Elizabeth White-Smith-Gulley
  • Brendan Whyte
  • Jason Wickham
  • Megan Yates
  • Aleksandar Zlatanov


New Members, elected September 2023

  • Rasheed Amzart
  • Aleksa Andrejevic
  • Morarji  Bangalore
  • Steve Bannes
  • Louise Barton
  • James Bass
  • Liam Bayford
  • Lisa Bevan
  • Selena Carty
  • Kelly Claman
  • James Clay
  • Vincent Courtney
  • Ashlyn Cumberland Reed
  • Charlie Dandridge
  • Ellen Debney
  • Roy Dempsey
  • Tallulah Di Tomaso
  • Katherine Dimancescu
  • Ryan John Ellis
  • David Fawcett
  • Amanda Field
  • Nicola Filosi
  • Joseph Finn-Chapman
  • Rob Flattery
  • Edward Frostick Blois
  • Liza Giffen
  • Lydia Gray
  • Christian Green
  • Kyle Hargreaves
  • Krzysztof Jankowski
  • Michael Jennings
  • Sumedh Kaushik GR
  • Carolin Letterer
  • James Lively
  • Iain Macleod
  • Natasha Minhas
  • Rebecca Nelmes
  • Teoni Passereau
  • Alexander Pocklington
  • Ulrich Poehlmann
  • Geoffrey Prutton
  • Eric Rijnders
  • Ruth Robinson
  • Euan Ross
  • Olasupo Shasore
  • Chander Shekhar
  • Paul Smallwood
  • Georgina Spriddell
  • Luke Stevenson
  • Megan Taylor-Buckley
  • Christopher Thurling
  • Michael Topple
  • Robert Tringham
  • Jennifer Tritschler
  • Jamal Uddin
  • Andrew White
  • Chun Hei Wong
  • Gary Pui-fung Wong


New Postgraduate Members, elected September 2023

  • Akhil A R
  • Roqibat Adebimpe
  • Kerry Apps
  • Aaron Austin Locke
  • Allegra Ayida
  • Andreas Bassett
  • Antonia Belli
  • Muhammad Suhail Bin Mohamed Yazid
  • Basil Bowdler
  • Lena Breda
  • Daniel Breeze
  • Charlotte Brunt
  • Abhilash Chetia Wanniang
  • Clare Church
  • Nicola Ashley Clarke
  • Ryan Clarke
  • Jane Davidson
  • Terence Davies
  • Devin De Silva
  • Pratika Rizki Dewi
  • Matthew Dickinson
  • Bogdan-Gabriel  Draghici
  • Adeola Eze
  • Haoqi Gao
  • William Garbett
  • Owain Gardner
  • Harsha Gautam
  • Henry Gillson-Gant
  • Benjamin Gladstone
  • Uziel Gonzalez Aliaga
  • Niall Gray
  • Emily Grenon
  • Chengwei Han
  • Jane Harrison
  • Athanasios Ignatis
  • Boryana Ivanova
  • Fiona Jackson
  • James Kendrick
  • Zara Kesterton
  • Nawajesh Khan
  • Xinuo Liang
  • Yangyang Liu
  • Heather Lucas
  • Yinwen  Mai
  • John Marshall
  • Natalie  Martz
  • Marielle Masolo
  • Sarah Mason
  • James Mckitrick
  • Charles  Miller
  • Ian Mooney
  • Thomas Morgan
  • Helena Neimann Erikstrup
  • Stefano Nicastro
  • Emerson Norteman
  • Folusho Oladipo
  • Victoria Anne Pearson
  • William Perry
  • William Poulter
  • Partha Pramanik
  • Ryan Shelton
  • Robert Snazell
  • Thomas Sojka
  • Morag Thomas
  • Corrina  Thomson
  • Camilo Uribe Botta
  • Jorge Varela
  • Katherine Watson
  • Clare Whitton
  • John Williamson
  • Charlotte Willis


HEADER IMAGE: ‘Francesco I d’Este Invites Foreign Scholars to Court, from L’Idea di un Principe ed Eroe Cristiano in Francesco I d’Este, di Modena e Reggio Duca VIII, Bartolomeo Fenice (1659, detail), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, public domain.


Society awards six Masters’ Scholarships to early career historians for 2023-24

The Royal Historical Society is delighted to award Masters’ Scholarships to the following six students. Each student is now beginning a Masters’ degree in History for the academic year 2023-24:

  • Roqibat Adebimpe, to study at the University of Sheffield
  • Matthew Dickinson, to study at the University of Manchester
  • Baryana Ivanova, to study of the University of Cambridge
  • Nawajesh Khan, to study at Cardiff University
  • Marielle Masolo, to study at the University of Oxford
  • Charlotte Willis, to study at Cardiff University

The Masters’ Scholarship programme provides financial support to students from groups currently underrepresented in academic History. Each Scholarship is worth £5000.

The scheme, established in 2022, seeks to actively address underrepresentation and encourage Black and Asian students to consider academic research in History. By supporting Masters’ students the programme focuses on a key early stage in the academic training of future researchers. With these Scholarships, the Society seeks to support students who are without the financial means to study for a Masters’ in History. By doing so, we hope to improve the educational experience of early career historians engaged in a further degree.

The Society is very grateful to the Thriplow Charitable Trust which provided funding for one Scholarship, and to the Past & Present Society who funded a further two Scholarships in 2023-24. We will be keeping in touch with this year’s recipients and wish them well for their studies.

Supporting Masters’ Scholarships: future rounds

The Society seeks to offer as many Scholarships as we can to talented eligible early career historians.

If you or your organisation would like to help us support additional Masters’ Scholarships in future rounds, please email president@royalhistsoc.org to discuss options with the Society’s President, Professor Emma Griffin.


Professor Arthur Burns (1963-2023)

We are deeply saddened to learn of the death, on 3 October, of our friend and colleague Professor Arthur Burns.

In addition to his brilliant academic work at King’s College, London, Arthur was also a leading figure in the support and development of the historical profession.

This support included his long and very valuable involvement with the Royal Historical Society, to which he was elected a Fellow in January 2000. In the 2010s, Arthur served in two Officer roles on the Society’s governing Council: first as one of two Literary Directors (2008-12) and then as Vice-President (Education) between 2012 and 2016. In the former role, Arthur was jointly responsible for the RHS journal, Transactions, and the Camden Series of scholarly primary editions. Arthur took a real, informed interest in school history, and for this reason was the ideal person to represent the RHS as Vice-President for Education in negotiations with Michael Gove and his department concerning the overhaul of the national curriculum and reform of GCSE and A-level. That was often a process of damage limitation, but it takes a particularly patient and knowing person to see that damage limitation is often the best one can do—and very much worth doing—and Arthur was that person.

In addition to his work for the Royal Historical Society, Arthur made great contributions to many other scholarly organisations and networks. These included the Historical Association—as Chair of its Higher Education Committee; President of the Church of England Record Society; Academic Director of the transatlantic Georgian Papers Programme; co-creator of the pioneering Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835; and as a generous co-convenor of the Long Eighteenth-Century Seminar at the Institute of Historical Research. Many historians have benefited from these, and other, societies and projects to which Arthur was central.

Arthur’s dedication and commitment to the value of history and the historical profession were remarkable. We will all miss Arthur’s enthusiasm for and championing of our discipline. We send our deepest sympathy to Arthur’s family, and to his many colleagues, students and friends, at this time.

As President of the Royal Historical Society (2012-16), Professor Peter Mandler, worked closely with Arthur on the RHS Council:

“Arthur was one of those tireless and selfless labourers in the vineyard on behalf of the whole discipline and profession. His work on school history was happily recognised years ago with an honorary fellowship of the Historical Association. But that was far from the only issue on which he worked—the transition from school to university was something that he cared a lot about, and also the health of the publishing infrastructure (an interest that dates back to his work for Past & Present in his relative youth and to his role in the Church of England Record Society).

Arthur was truly an all-rounder and the kind of person on whom the health of our profession depends, especially at a time when we can’t necessarily rely any longer on our own universities to attend to or even care about the health of our profession. He was also a wonderful friend to me personally for decades and always good, uplifting company—I can’t think of more than a very few occasions when he was anything other than supportive, optimistic and bubbling with ideas.”


Society awards seven Jinty Nelson Teaching Fellowships, 2023-24

The Royal Historical Society is pleased to announce the recipients of its inaugural series of Jinty Nelson Teaching Fellowships for 2023-24. The Fellowships aim to help historians introduce new approaches to their teaching, or to undertake a defined study of an aspect of history teaching in UK Higher Education.

The Jinty Nelson Teaching Fellowships are named after Dame Jinty Nelson FBA, President of the Society between 2001 and 2005. Fellowships replace the Society’s previous Jinty Nelson Teaching Prize in a new and expanded funding programme for History teaching at undergraduate and Masters’ levels.

RHS Jinty Nelson Teaching Fellows in the academic year 2023-24:

  • Natalya Cherynshova (Queen Mary, University of London) for her project to translate 20th-century Ukrainian and Belarussian primary source materials for undergraduate teaching.
  • Liesbeth Corens and Jenny Bangham (QMUL) for ‘Histories of Disability Toolkit’.
  • David Geiringer (QMUL) for ‘Placing Migrant Histories Centre Stage’.
  • Laura Harrison, Martin Simpson, Rose Wallis, Mark Reeves and Ian Brooks (University of the West of England) to develop a new history course to support teaching in computing and sustainability.
  • Amy King (University of Bristol) for ‘The F-Word: Understanding European Fascism Then and Now’.
  • Karen Smyth (University of East Anglia) for ‘Paston Footprints Heritage Trails’.
  • David Stack (University of Reading) for ‘Promoting Wellbeing Through History Teaching’.

The Society will provide updates on each of these projects as they come to fruition in the academic year 2023-24. The call for the Fellowships, 2024-25 will be made next year.

For more on the Society’s Research Funding programme and current open calls, please see here.


RHS Councillors visit historians at the University of the Highlands and Islands

On Monday 18 September, members of the Society’s Council visited colleagues at the Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands. The Visit is the latest in this autumn’s series of meetings with historians at universities across the UK.

The day brought together historians and professional support staff from the Centre for History, at Dornoch, with members of the Society’s Council. An RHS panel focused on the Society’s role in supporting distinctive departments like the Highlands and Islands; on distance learning, in which the Centre specialises; employability for graduate historians; and the state of History in Scottish Higher Education. Presentations from Centre staff described their specialist work on public and community history across the northern Highlands, and its links to tourism and economic development.

Public history was also the focus for a concluding public lecture–by our guest speaker Professor Lucy Noakes (Essex)–on ‘Histories, communities and feelings in the centenary of the First World War’. Lucy’s lecture, delivered to audiences in Dornoch and online, discussed the form and content of commemorative projects, 2014-18, and their relationship to regional communities, including those in the Highlands and Islands.

Many thanks to Lucy, and all those who attended her lecture; to our co-organisers of the Visit at the Centre for History; and to the historians at University of the Highlands and Islands for attending and hosting this event.


Forthcoming Visits and sponsored lectures

Visits are an opportunity for the Society’s Council members and staff to meet with historians. Visits also include an RHS sponsored lecture by a guest lecturer.

Our next Visit (Monday 16 October) is to historians at the University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, and includes a public lecture, ‘Naming and Shaming? Telling Bad Bridget Stories’, with guest lecturers Elaine Farrell (Queen’s University Belfast) and Leanne McCormick (Ulster). Booking for this event is now open.

Further Visits, to the universities of York St John, York and Brunel, take place in early 2024.


RHS visits historians at the universities of Canterbury Christ Church and Kent


On Monday 11 September, members of the Society’s Council visited colleagues at the universities of Christ Church Canterbury and Kent. The Visit is the latest in this autumn’s series of meetings with historians at universities across the UK.

The day included a panel discussion on ‘Surviving and thriving in a history department today’, with the RHS President Emma Griffin and faculty members and early career historians from Christ Church Canterbury and Kent. The discussion focused on challenges facing the profession, potential new directions for teaching and research, advocacy, and the role of the Royal Historical Society in supporting historians and the discipline.

This was followed by a public lecture by Professor William Pettigrew (Lancaster) on his current research on the Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa, an often-forgotten founder of England’s contribution to the transatlantic trade in enslaved African people in the 1660s. Our thanks to William; our panellists, the co-organisers of the Visit at Christ Church and Kent; and all those who attended. The recording and abstract of William’s lecture is available here.

Forthcoming Visits and sponsored lectures

Visits are an opportunity for the Society’s Council members and staff to meet with historians. Visits also include an RHS sponsored lecture by a guest lecturer. Our next Visit (Monday 18 September) is to the Centre for History, University of the Highlands and Islands, Dornoch, which includes a public lecture by Lucy Noakes (Essex)–‘Histories, communities and feelings in the centenary of the First World War’–which all are welcome to attend, in person or online.

This is followed, on Monday 16 October, with a Visit to the University of Hertfordshire, including a lecture–‘Naming and Shaming? Telling Bad Bridget Stories’–with Elaine Farrell (Queen’s University Belfast) and Leanne McCormick (Ulster).

Further Visits, to the universities of York St John, York and Brunel, take place in early 2024.


The History of Africa and the African Diaspora at the University of Chichester


The President and Council of the Royal Historical Society are extremely disappointed and concerned by the University of Chichester’s recent decision to terminate its MRes in the History of Africa and the African Diaspora. This action also sees the redundancy of Professor Hakim Adi, the course leader and a prominent UK contributor to the understanding and communication of Black British history. News of Professor Adi’s redundancy came a week before inclusion of his latest book, African and Caribbean People in Britain: A History, on the 2023 Wolfson Prize shortlist.

From contact with historians on this subject, we know many others share our concern about the treatment of Professor Adi; the serious implications for Chichester students currently studying for the MRes; the rapidity with which this damaging decision has been carried through; and the wider implications for the study of the histories of Africa, the African diaspora UK, and Black Britons. This broad concern is further evident in responses to the History Matters petition on behalf of Professor Adi and the MRes in History of Africa and the African Diaspora.

October 2023 sees the fifth anniversary since publication of the Royal Historical Society’s Race, Ethnicity & Equality in UK History. Among that report’s findings was the virtual absence of Black History staff in UK universities. Welcome advances have been made since 2018, notably with the active mentoring and recruitment of historians of colour, the creation of dedicated lectureships, and broader curriculum development. However, these remain first steps that we must continue to promote and encourage.

With its decision, the University of Chichester goes against initiatives that seek to build an infrastructure for teaching and researching Black British History—one that’s accessible to students of diverse backgrounds across the UK.

As the Society commented earlier this year, provision of History is now, very regrettably, at risk in a growing number of UK universities. Loss of courses, student choice and specialist knowledge is always of great concern everywhere. This is especially so when—as at Chichester—it closes a pioneering, distinctive and rare degree in the history of the African diaspora and Black Britain. Explanations for Chichester’s decision highlight the pressures faced in a marketized HE economy. Financial considerations are indeed a reality of the modern university. But, equally, we simply cannot afford such losses if what’s taught in UK History departments is to speak both to the interests and diversity of students and to our complex past.

The President, Officers and Council Members of the Royal Historical Society


The Bibliography of British and Irish History

Since 2009 the Royal Historical Society has worked with the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) and the publisher Brepols to fund and manage the Bibliography of British and Irish History (BBIH). 

From January 2025 the RHS will be ending its formal association with the Bibliography, which will proceed as a partnership between the IHR and Brepols. The Bibliography will continue, as presently, with a dedicated Editor, Section Editors, and publication of regular updates of bibliographic records. Funding is now in place to support this new IHR / Brepols partnership, and the Bibliography.  

Professor Roey Sweet, who currently serves as BBIH’s Academic Director, will continue in this role. In addition, Brepols will enable members of the RHS to remain eligible for individual subscriptions to the Bibliography at discounted rates. Until January 2025, the Society will continue to provide its present levels of support for the Bibliography, including a smooth hand over to the new arrangement.

The Society’s decision to end its involvement with the Bibliography was taken by the RHS Council following a recent review of the Society’s wider publishing strategy. This considered how the RHS best uses its limited resources to support a range of existing and new academic publishing, now and in the future. More on these developments and new initiatives will be made public in the coming months.

The Society would like to thank all those involved with the Bibliography during this transition phase. In particular, we wish to thank editorial, and other, staff at the Institute of Historical Research and at Brepols, and Professor Sweet for her considerable contribution to the Bibliography.

More on these forthcoming management changes is also available here from the Institute of Historical Research.