Olwen Purdue is Professor of Modern Social History at Queen’s University, Belfast where she works on the social history of nineteenth and early twentieth-century Ireland with a particular focus on social class, urban poverty and welfare. Olwen directs the Centre for Public History at Queen’s and is particularly interested in the role of public history in divided societies.
Olwen’s publications include The Big House in the North of Ireland: Land, Power and Social Elites, 1870-1960 (2009); The Irish Lord Lieutenancy 1541-1922 (2012); Urban Spaces in Nineteenth-Century Ireland (2018); and The First Great Charity of this Town: Belfast Charitable Society and its Role in the Developing City (2022). Her new monograph, Workhouse Child: Poverty, Child Welfare and the Poor Law in industrial Belfast, 1880-1918, is due out with Liverpool University Press in 2023, and an edited collection on Difficult Public Histories in Ireland is due out with Routledge in 2024. Olwen was formerly international editor for The Public Historian and is currently series editor for Liverpool University Press’ Nineteenth-Century Ireland series.
Olwen was elected to the RHS Council in September 2022. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Irish Museums Association, a member of the advisory board for the Ulster Museum, and a Governor of the Linen Hall Library.
Dr Helen Paul is a Lecturer in Economics and Economic History at the University of Southampton. A historian of the late-seventeenth and eighteenth century, her work focuses primarily on the South Sea Company and enslavement.
Helen’s publications include The South Sea Bubble: an Economic History of its Origins and Consequences (2011) and she is a frequent contributor on programmes such as Radio 4’s In Our Time.
Helen was elected a Councillor of the Royal Historical Society in September 2022. She was previously, for six years, Honorary Secretary of the Economic History Society (EHS) and has also served as chair of the EHS Women’s Committee.
Dr Kate Bradley is Reader in Social History & Social Policy in the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research at the University of Kent. Her research covers the history of social policy in the 20th century, and how voluntary, state and private welfare services are accessible (or not) to citizens. Her most recent book is Lawyers for the Poor: Legal Advice, Voluntary Action and Citizenship in England, 1890-1990 (Manchester UP, 2019). This project examined the campaigning and hands-on pro bono legal advice provision of individual lawyers, political parties, trade unions, charities, the press, and community activist groups, in order to try to uphold the rights of the neediest.
Kate joined the University of Kent in 2007, having previously held an ESRC postdoctoral fellowship in the Centre for Contemporary British History at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.
Kate was elected to the RHS Council in September 2022. Prior to this appointment, she has served the historical community in several ways: co-founding History Lab in 2005, co-convening History UK in 2015-16, and as a member of the Social History Society committee since 2017.
Emilie Murphy is Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of York. She is a specialist of the cultural and religious history of England, and English-speaking people abroad, 1500-1700. Her scholarship focuses on sound and hearing, voice and language, and various aspects of performance culture. She is co-editor of Sensing the Sacred in Medieval and Early Modern Culture, and her essays have appeared in several major journals including Renaissance Quarterly, The Historical Journal and Renaissance Studies. Her current research project is The Reformation of the Soundscape in Early Modern England and she is a lead investigator on the AHRC funded research network, ‘Soundscapes in the Early Modern World’.
Emilie enjoys sharing her research with a public audience, and has appeared as an expert contributor radio and television programmes including BBC 1’s Countryfile, and BBC Radio 4’s Making History.
Professor Caitríona Beaumont is Professor of Social History at London South Bank University and Director of Research for the School of Law and Social Sciences. Her research focuses on the history of female activism and women’s movements in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain and Ireland. Her book, Housewives and Citizens: Domesticity and the Women’s Movement in England, 1918-64 was published in 2013 by Manchester University Press.
Recent journal articles and chapters feature research relating to gender and the interwar peace movement, the print culture of the Women’s Institutes and the Mothers’ Union and the application of social movement theory to the Irish suffrage and women’s movement. She is currently working on a history of intergenerational female activism in Britain, 1960-1980. She has also contributed web content to The British Library and 1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War.
Caitríona sits on the editorial boards of Twentieth Century British History and Contemporary British History, is a member of Women’s History Network, Social History Society, Voluntary Action History Society and the Women’s History Association of Ireland, and co-convenes the IHR Contemporary British History Seminar Series. She was elected to the RHS Council in September 2021.
Dr Stefan Bauer is Lecturer in Early Modern World History at King’s College London. He previously held positions at Warwick, Royal Holloway, York, Rome, and Trento.
Stefan is an intellectual and cultural historian of early modern Europe; his research interests cover humanism, church history, religious polemic, and forgeries. Among his books are The Image of the Polis and the Concept of Democracy in J. Burckhardt’s History of Greek Culture; The Censorship and Fortuna of Platina’s Lives of the Popes in the Sixteenth Century; and The Invention of Papal History.
Stefan enjoys writing for different audiences and has contributed to The Tablet, The Spectator USA, Literary Review and History Today (forthcoming). He has curated exhibitions at the York Minster and the Middle Temple, London. Stefan is Director of Social Media at the Sixteenth Century Society, and a Co-editor of Lias: Journal of Early Modern Intellectual Culture and its Sources. Stefan was elected to the Council of the Royal Historical Society in September 2021.
Melissa Calaresu is the Neil McKendrick Lecturer in History at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge. She has written on the cultural history of the Grand Tour, urban space, ice cream, and street-vending in early modern Italy, with a particular focus on Naples. Her books include New Approaches to Naples c.1500–c.1800: The Power of Place (2013) and Food Hawkers: Selling in the Streets from Antiquity to the Present Day (2016).
Melissa has extensive experience of teaching and research, expertise in a wide range of neighbouring disciplines. She is currently writing a cultural history of the city of Naples through the household accounts of the Welsh artist Thomas Jones (1742-1803).
Simon MacLean is Professor of Medieval History at the University of St Andrews. A historian of Western Europe in the earlier Middle Ages, Simon’s research focuses on the Carolingian Empire and its successor kingdoms, 8th-12th centuries, and medieval queenship. His work has been published in numerous forums since 1998, and his most recent book is Ottonian Queenship (Oxford, 2017).
Simon has been involved in administration of teaching and postgraduate matters at the University of St Andrews for over a decade, and since 2018 has been Head of School. He has broad experience of the issues affecting the teaching and learning of history in modern academia.
Simon was elected to the Council of the RHS in September 2020.
Rebekah Lee is Associate Professor in African Studies at Oxford University, which she joined in January 2022, and a former Senior Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Rebekah’s research interests concern the social and cultural history of modern South Africa, and the history of health and medicine in sub-Saharan Africa, and curricular and pedagogical issues at all levels of history education. Rebekah’s most recent publication is Health, Healing and Illness in African History published by Bloomsbury in 2021. She is an editor of the interdisciplinary Journal of Southern African Studies. Rebekah is currently completing the manuscript of her latest book, Death and Memory in Modern South Africa.
Rebekah was elected to the RHS Council in September 2020.
Emily Robinson is a Reader in British Studies at the University of Sussex and a historian of modern Britain, specialising in political ideas, identities, emotions and traditions.
Emily’s recent publications include The Language of Progressive Politics in Modern Britain (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017) and articles in the Historical Journal, Twentieth Century British History, Rethinking History and Journal of the History of Ideas. Her next book, An Emotional History of Brexit Britain, co-authored with Jonathan Moss and Jake Watts, will be published by Manchester University Press in 2023.
Emily was elected to the Council of the Royal Historical Society in September 2020.