RHS News

History in UK Higher Education: A Statement from the Royal Historical Society

The President and Council of the Royal Historical Society have today issued a statement on their concerns for History teaching and research in UK Higher Education.

Please see here to read the full statement: ‘History in UK Higher Education. A Statement from the Royal Historical Society’

The statement identifies an environment of ‘unprecedented turbulence and uncertainty’ in the sector, evident in several forms: closure of departments, programmes of voluntary and compulsory redundancy; cuts to courses; and the persistent threat of future actions of this kind. The statement also comments on the changing profile of ‘at risk’ departments. Many of those with whom the Society now works are in established universities with long-standing History departments noted for their achievement in recent REF exercises.

Explanations for the increase of at risk departments rest with political decisions — notably the lifting the student cap in 2015 — and the marketisation of UK Higher Education. The negative effects of these changes are now being felt particularly acutely by History and other humanities disciplines.

In the coming months, the Royal Historical Society is undertaking a project to assess the full extent of the losses, risks and concerns that now characterise History in UK Higher Education. We expect to published this report later this year.

History in UK Higher Education: A Statement from the Royal Historical Society >

If you wish to contact the Society on topics raised in today’s statement, in confidence, please email: president@royalhistsoc.org

The Society’s Toolkit for Historians provides further resources for those at risk of departmental cuts and closures.


Guide to Windrush 75 history events taking place this month

22 June 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in Essex. The ship brought to Britain just over 800 passengers who had left the West Indies, the great majority of whom sought to settle and begin new lives in the UK.

The Windrush 75 anniversary is being marked in 2023 with events, exhibitions and broadcasts nationwide. In February, the Royal Historical Society issued a call for organisers of history-related events to send in details for posting on the RHS website.

The resulting list includes submitted events, along with others selected by the Society, which take place in June. They include academic conferences, lectures and seminars, alongside exhibitions, community history events and performances. Their organisers include national institutions, universities, libraries, archives and local history groups.

Full details of all the events are available here.

If you have further proposals to add to the list, please email: administration@royalhistsoc.org.

And forthcoming from the Royal Historical Society

In addition, the Society hosts two events in the near future which may be of interest, and to which all are welcome


Shortlists announced for Royal Historical Society book and article prizes, 2023

This week, the Society announced the shortlists for its 2023 prizes for first books and articles written by early career historians.

The winners of this year’s Whitfield, Gladstone and Alexander Prizes will be announced on Friday 21 June.



Society elects 315 new Fellows, Associate Fellows, Members and Postgraduate Members

At its latest meeting on 5 May 2023, the RHS Council elected 110 Fellows, 59 Associate Fellows, 57 Members and 89 Postgraduate Members, a total of 315 people newly associated with the Society.

The majority of the new Fellows hold academic appointments at universities, specialising in a very wide range of fields; but also include museum directors and curators, librarians, heads of learned societies, heritage consultants, and independent researchers and writers. The Society is an international community of historians and our latest intake includes Fellows from twelve countries: Australia, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.

Our latest intake includes a number of historians working outside History departments, in cognate disciplines in higher education (on this occasion, Archaeology, the Built Environment, Art History, Museum Studies, Musicology, Philosophy and Theology): a reminder that the Fellowship is open to all whose research provides a scholarly contribution to historical knowledge.

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

The new Members have a similarly wide range of historical interests, and include individuals employed in universities, and as civil servants, historical guides, museum managers, teachers, librarians and lawyers – together with independent and community historians. Our new Postgraduate Members are studying for higher degrees in History, or related subjects, at 45 different universities in the UK, Canada, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Norway, South Africa 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 5 June 2023, with the next closing date after this being 14 August 2023. 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 May 2023

  • Síobhra Aiken
  • Samuel Aylett
  • Graham Barrett
  • Geoffrey Belknap
  • Bill Bell
  • Caroline Bertoneche
  • Carole Biggam
  • Uilleam Blacker
  • Cristina Blanco Sío-López
  • Frank Blazich
  • Jasmine Calver
  • William Carruthers
  • Louise Clare
  • Paul Cockerham
  • Gregory Conti
  • Jack Crangle
  • Huw Davies
  • Leanda de Lisle
  • Jennifer Durrant
  • Aidan Enright
  • Cindy Ermus
  • Alexander Ian Evans
  • Christine Ferguson
  • Samuel Fornecker
  • Sarah Fox
  • Matthew Gerth
  • Paul Gooding
  • Clare Griffin
  • John Griffiths
  • Peter Gunn
  • Hisham Hellyer
  • Briony Hudson
  • Jochen Hung
  • Adeel Hussain
  • Alessandro Iandolo
  • Andrew Jones
  • Ria Kapoor
  • Stephen Kay
  • Alexander Kazamias
  • Stephen Kite
  • Lars Kjær
  • Francis Knights
  • Paul Kua
  • Dawn LaValle Norman
  • Adam Lerner
  • Amy Lidster
  • Domenico Lovascio
  • David Lund
  • Joyce Macadam
  • Kevin Manton
  • Emily Mark-FitzGerald
  • Brian McCook
  • Thomas McInally
  • Victoria Mcmahon
  • Elizabeth Miller
  • Sarah-Louise Miller
  • Lynneth Miller Renberg
  • Simon Mollan
  • Luisa Morettin
  • Eve Morrison
  • Clare Mulley
  • Andrea Nicholson
  • Aidan Norrie
  • Alexander O’Hara
  • John Oliphant
  • Sebastian Page
  • Danielle Park
  • James Payton
  • Andrew Phemister
  • Diana Popescu
  • Robin Prior
  • Caroline Radcliffe
  • Mark Rankin
  • David Raw
  • Adam Richardson
  • Mike Robinson
  • Evan Rothera
  • Fearghus Roulston
  • Maeve Ryan
  • Edward Salo
  • Russell Sandberg
  • Sathnam Sanghera
  • Bihani Sarkar
  • Kristalyn Shefveland
  • Freya Sierhuis
  • Daniel Simpson
  • Kate Skinner
  • Chloe Wigston Smith
  • Martyn Smith
  • Claudia Soares
  • Charles Spicer
  • Alan Strauss-Schom
  • Ryan Sweet
  • Tom Sykes
  • Mari Takayanagi
  • Terry Tastard
  • Nicholas Taylor-Collins
  • Jonathan Topham
  • Simon Trafford
  • Deborah Valenze
  • Marcel van der Linden
  • Christina Welch
  • Rosamund Lily West
  • Kenton White
  • Antia Wiersma
  • Wendy Wiertz
  • Bastiaan Willems
  • Theo Williams
  • Andrew Winrow
  • Koji Yamamoto

New Associate Fellows, elected May 2023

  • Olga Akroyd
  • Emily Betz
  • Eric Blakeley
  • Roger Brown
  • David Brown
  • Jordan Brown
  • Robert Butt
  • Evan Cater
  • Sanjay Chaudhari
  • David Cowan
  • David Dennis
  • Ana Dias
  • Collins Edigin
  • Jasmine Elmer
  • Jennifer Farquharson
  • Jayne Friend
  • Mario Graña Taborelli
  • Lawrence Gregory
  • Carla Gutierrez Ramos
  • Catherine Healy
  • Ralf Bernd Herden
  • Siobhan Hyland
  • Zoë Karens
  • Phil Lyon
  • Hélène Maloigne
  • Davide Massimo
  • Javan Mokebo
  • Sophia Nicolov
  • Grace Owen
  • Carla Passino
  • Sarah Phelan
  • Georgia Priestley
  • Justin Reash
  • Fatima Rhorchi
  • Sarah Sargent
  • Jade Scott
  • Michael Sewell
  • John Simpson
  • Jonathan Skan
  • Helen Snelson
  • Andrew Southam
  • Alice Spiers
  • Michael Stansfield
  • Izaak Tanna
  • Clare Tonks
  • Adrian Waddingham
  • James Whitworth
  • Thomas Wilkinson
  • Calista Williams
  • Yen Nie Yong

New Members, elected May 2023

  • Marcus Aldrich
  • Ajay Asthana
  • Robert Bardell
  • Vicky Basra
  • Colin Brewer
  • Robert Bullard
  • Inskip Cable
  • Christopher Chambers
  • David Clarkson
  • David Crawford-Cummings
  • Ian Cummins
  • Brianna Dalrymple
  • Luis de Mascorro-Gonzalez
  • Thomas Deegan
  • Enver Alper Demirci
  • Piper Dobbie
  • John Engle III
  • Lee David Evans
  • Carol Fawsitt
  • Lydia Fell
  • Troy Gallagher
  • Lee Gatiss
  • Derek Greenwell
  • Lizzie Grice
  • Jack Guise
  • Laura Hawthorn
  • Hayley Hayhurst
  • Niall Hegarty
  • Jens Hepper
  • Thomas Hooley
  • Edward Hopkins
  • Yu-Yin Hsu
  • Tyler Ivey
  • Olivia Jones
  • Sarah Kirkman
  • Philipp Kneissl
  • Amanda Littlefield
  • Martin Loy
  • Mark Milligan
  • George Muirhead
  • Derek Nesbitt
  • Aleksandr Novikov
  • Patricia Okello-Amoah
  • Abdallah Omar
  • Brian Parker
  • Ayush Rai
  • Joshua Reinke
  • Shabib Rizvi
  • Buffy Schilling
  • Kevin Smith
  • Ka Pok Tam
  • Heather Turnbull
  • Philippe Van Hootegem
  • Charles Weigand
  • Alexander Witt
  • Matthew Yates
  • Sara Yorath

New Postgraduate Members, elected May 2023

  • Michael Admiraal
  • Dorcas Akinbo
  • Kye Allen
  • Maaian Aner
  • Arjan Arenas
  • Jonathan Baddley
  • Nicola Barker
  • Christopher Bates
  • Nicholas Berbiers
  • Christopher Berriman
  • Ishmael Bhila
  • Joseph Biesterfield
  • Dmytro Bondarenko
  • Gabriele Bonomelli
  • Madeleine Bracey
  • Julian Calcagno
  • Hollie Chambers
  • Tori Champion
  • Pui To Chan
  • Paris Chen
  • Catherine Clarke
  • Brittany Clarke
  • Alex Cooper
  • Emily Cotton
  • Ailene Crum
  • Hana Cutts-Smith
  • Siobhan Daly
  • Suchintan Das
  • Nicole DeRushie
  • Emmay Deville
  • Mark Dodson
  • Corey Estensen
  • Gregory Finney
  • Madeleine Foote
  • Eleanor Gillespie
  • Yan Cong Benjamin Goh
  • Paul Hamilton
  • Zarna Hart
  • Cheng He
  • Jennifer Hemphill
  • Alison Hight
  • Gill Holmes
  • Emma  Hyde
  • Elizabeth Isaac
  • Jagriti Jagriti
  • Lewis Johnson
  • Jessica Johnston
  • Sajjad Kantrikar
  • Kishwer Khan
  • Hewa Matharage Pathum Kodikara
  • Jonathan Kuo
  • Kin-yu Lau
  • Amanda Lavelle
  • Wen Yi Leong
  • Kevin Lockyer
  • Michael Lucy
  • Dickson Mangsatabam
  • Julie Mathias
  • Isabelle Moss
  • Connor Muqiao
  • Liberty Murphy
  • Fatima Naveed
  • Lesley Niezynski
  • Zala Pochat Krizaj
  • Mads Proitz
  • Madeleine Reynolds
  • Francesco Romagnoli
  • Amelia Rosch
  • Elena Rossi
  • James Samuel
  • Jamie Selig
  • Sana Shah
  • Timothy Sim
  • Judith Somekh
  • Brendan Tam
  • Alex Tant-Brown
  • Patrick Taylor
  • Rose Teanby
  • Fabiënne Tetteroo
  • Emma Teworte
  • Melita  Thomas
  • Aurelie Toitot
  • Moussa Traore
  • Reynold Kai Won Tsang
  • Francisca Valenzuela Villaseca
  • Isobel Weare
  • Mackenzie Wells
  • Emma  Yeo
  • Zijian Zhang


HEADER IMAGE: People from Five Countries (detail) Utagawa (Gountei) Sadahide Japanese, 1861, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, public domain.


Society Visit to historians at the University of Northampton, 17 May

On Wednesday 17 May, members of the Society’s Council and staff visited historians at the University of Northampton. Visits are an opportunity to meet with historians, researchers and students, and to discuss priorities, interests and concerns relating to research, teaching and the profession.

We are very grateful to all those at Northampton who made this Visit possible, especially to Dr Tim Reinke-Williams and Professor Roey Sweet (Leicester) for her guest lecture, on eighteenth-century British travellers to Spain, which concluded the Visit.

Further Society Visits to UK history departments will take place through the year, to the universities of Kent, Canterbury Christ Church, the Highlands and Islands, and Hertfordshire.

Guest lecturers taking part in forthcoming Visits are Will Pettigrew (Lancaster), Lucy Noakes (Essex), Elaine Farrell (Queen’s Belfast) and Leanne McCormick (Ulster). Details of all these RHS sponsored lectures will be added to our Events Programme in the coming months, and all are welcome to attend in-person or online.



Ukrainian historian Serhii Plokhy and the Russo-Ukrainian War

The Royal Historical Society was honoured to host the distinguished historian of Ukraine, Professor Serhii Plokhy, at an event held on Tuesday 16 May.

The event took place on publication day of Professor Plokhy’s new book, The Russo-Ukrainian War, about which he spoke, in conversation with Professor Sir Richard J. Evans. At the event Serhii and Sir Richard discussed the long history of the war, the motivations for the Russian invasion in February 2022, the distinctive character of Ukrainian civil society, and possible futures for Russia and Ukraine.

Serhii Plokhy is Mykhailo S. Hrushevs’kyi Professor of Ukrainian History and Director of the Ukrainian Research Institute at Harvard University. He is one of the most widely known historians working today and the author of numerous studies on the history of Ukraine, modern warfare and the Cold War.

His books include Chernobyl: History of a Tragedy (2018), which won the Baillie Gifford and Pushkin House Book Prizes; The Gates of Europe. A History of Ukraine (2015); and Lost Kingdom. A History of Russian Nationalism from Ivan the Great to Vladimir Putin (2017). Professor Plokhy’s extensive work on the history nuclear power and arms include Nuclear Folly. A New History of the Cuban Missile Crisis (2021) and Atoms and Ashes. From Bikini Atoll to Fukushima (2022).

Wednesday’s event was jointly organised with the Ukrainian Institute London to whom the Society is very grateful for this opportunity. A video of the conversation between Serhii and Sir Richard will be made available shortly.



RHS Visit to historians at Edge Hill University, 10 May

On Wednesday 10 May, members of the Society’s Council and staff visited historians at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. RHS Visits are an opportunity to meet faculty members, graduate teaching assistants, researchers and students, and to learn more about a department’s profile and work. Visits are also provide time to discuss colleague’s priorities and concerns, about the discipline and profession, and how the Society can best provide support.

We are very grateful to all those at Edge Hill who made this Visit possible, especially to Professor Alyson Brown and also to Dr Bob Nicholson for his lecture on public history as part of the day. Bob’s lecture provided insight into the creation of his new BBC Sounds Podcast, Killing Victoria, which is now available.

The Society’s next Visit (17 May) is to the history department at the University of Northampton, where the RHS sponsored lecture will be given, at 5pm, by Professor Rosemary Sweet (Leicester) on the subject of ‘British encounters with Spain’s Muslim past, c.1760-1820’.

Further Society Visits to UK history departments will take place through the year. Details of the RHS sponsored lectures at each Visit will be added to our Events Programme in the coming months.


‘History and Archives in Practice’ – first conference in new annual series held on 29 March

On 29 March, the Society held its first day-conference in its new series, History and Archives in Practice (#HAP23). Co-organised with The National Archives and Institute of Historical Research, the conference brought together historians and archivists to discuss collaborative working, with reference to current projects.

This year’s HAP conference, with a capacity audience, heard from 14 projects involving 17 archive centres and universities across the UK. Full details of the day and these projects are available here.



Sessions focused on (among other topics) widening participation, research ethics, working with volunteers, public engagement and digital preservation, as well handling and demonstration sessions placing collections at the heart of the event.

Recordings of the panels will be released shortly.

Extra panel session for our video presenters, 27 April 2023



An additional 5 projects have created short videos of their work, and we’ll be continuing the conversation with the presenters of these videos, online, at 12.45pm on Thursday 27 April to which all are welcome.

Taking part in HAP24

From 2024, we’re taking History and Archives in Practice around the UK.

If your archive / university is interested in partnering with the RHS, TNA and IHR for HAP24 next March, please contact us.


Society launches new ‘Funded Book Workshops’ for Mid-Career Historians

From March 2023, the Royal Historical Society is pleased to announce a new programme of Funded Book Workshops. Awards will support historians, currently working on a second or third major research project, and which will lead to publication of a monograph. The Book Workshops will enable an author to bring together fellow scholars to discuss and develop the manuscript of a scholarly monograph.

Each award will provide up to £2000 to an author to host a day-long book workshop to consider a project and monograph text in detail. Funds may be spent to invite up to six scholars (based in the UK or European Union) to attend the workshop, and is intended to cover travel, hospitality and overnight accommodation where required.

More on the Funded Book Workshop, eligibility, and how to submit an application. The closing date for this first round of applications is Monday 12 June 2023.

The programme seeks to address a lack of intellectual support that many historians face in mid career. This lack of support is often in contrast to that provided when studying for a PhD, and writing first articles or monograph derived from a doctorate.

RHS Book Workshops will enable recipients to bring together scholars of their choosing to discuss and debate a second or third major research project which will result in a monograph, currently at the draft manuscript stage.

Workshops will provide a constructive environment in which work-in-progress is developed to become a richer book on publication. In this way, the initiative extends — to those later in their careers — the Society’s existing New Historical Perspectives scheme of author workshops for early career historians.

Please note: Recipients of Book Workshop Awards must be current members of the Royal Historical Society.


Windrush (1948-2023): Society creates listing of events marking 75th anniversary

22 June 2023 marks the 75th anniversary of the arrival of HMT Empire Windrush at Tilbury Docks in Essex. The ship brought to Britain just over 800 passengers who had left the West Indies, the great majority of whom sought to settle and begin new lives in the UK.

The Windrush anniversary is being widely marked in 2023 with events, exhibitions, broadcasts and the Windrush 75 digital network which is recording national events.

Many of these events will consider the histories of the Caribbean, the voyage, the Windrush generations, post-war migration and British multi-culturalism in the later 20th and 21st century.

To capture some of these activities (large and small, national and community-focused), the Royal Historical Society is creating an online listing of anniversary events with a historical dimension.

We now invite you to send us details of events and activities you’re planning, taking part in, or know about. We’ll list and share them regularly to provide an online space for people interested in celebrating the 75th anniversary through history.

You can submit details of events via the form, here.

We welcome details of a range of events and activities (in-person and online), with a history focus. These might include:

  • academic events, such as lectures, conferences or seminars
  • exhibitions on the history of Windrush
  • broadcasts, including podcast episodes or series
  • blogs on the history of Windrush
  • public and community history projects
  • social media channels and hashtags
  • history festivals relating to Windrush and its legacies
  • short courses, workshops and training in the history of Windrush

In addition, we welcome your recommendations for further reading (books, academic articles and historical fiction) about the history of the Windrush voyage, Windrush generations, and ethnic diversity in post-war and later 20th-century Britain.

This section of the listing will help those new to this subject learn more in this anniversary year.

We look forward to receiving your proposals, for events and reading, and we’ll then collate and communicate an ongoing listing through 2023.

HEADER AND TEXT IMAGES: Windrush mural, St Paul’s, Bristol, UK, public domain.