Research in history and art history

Internationally recognised research excellence in the fields of social and cultural history

History at Plymouth has an established tradition of internationally recognised research excellence in the fields of social and cultural history – which broadly defined encompasses expertise in early modern religion, gender and sexuality, Victorian and twentieth-century British society, politics, crime and law; modern labour history, popular politics, modern US politics and civil rights – as well as in modern political, maritime, military and diplomatic history, the British Empire and modern China and Japan. We also have research strengths in Heritage, Public History and Oral History, Eighteenth-Century Architectural History, Maritime History, and Archives and Digital Humanities.
History at Plymouth houses Cornerstone Heritage , Plymouth Heritage Praxis, and is the academic home of Histories of the Unexpected  (directed by James Daybell and TV presenter, historian and Honorary Research Fellow at Plymouth, Sam Willis).

Research impact

Researchers in History are actively engaged with stakeholders outside the University context, to contribute to meaningful and tangible benefits for people, the environment, and communities. 
REF2021 Impact Case Study
Professor James Daybell, New Technologies and changing lives: Histories of the Unexpected.

History research specialisms and associated staff

Early modern

James Daybell
Daniel Maudlin
Elaine Murphy
Jameson Tucker

Modern

Darren Aoki
Sandra Barkhof
Harry Bennett
Claire Fitzpatrick
James Gregory
Louis Halewood
Hannah Theaker
Simon Topping

Maritime history

Elaine Murphy
Harry Bennett
Louis Halewood

War and society

Elaine Murphy
Harry Bennett
Sandra Barkhof

Early Modern Europe

Jameson Tucker
James Daybell
Daniel Maudlin
Elaine Murphy

Gender history

James Daybell
Darren Aoki
Elaine Murphy

History of sexuality

Darren Aoki

Crime and society

James Gregory

History of the book and Renaissance letters

James Daybell
Jameson Tucker

Diplomatic and political history

Harry Bennett
James Daybell
Louis Halewood
Simon Topping

Global and transnational histories

Darren Aoki
Sandra Barkhof
Hannah Theaker

Modern German history

Sandra Barkhof

Early modern Irish and modern Irish history

Elaine Murphy
Claire Fitzpatrick

Early modern British history

Elaine Murphy
James Daybell
Daniel Maudlin

Modern British history

James Gregory
Louis Halewood
Daniel Maudlin

Modern Japan

Darren Aoki
Sandra Barkhof

History of the USA and transatlantic cultures

Simon Topping
Harry Bennett
Daniel Maudlin

Early modern French history

Jameson Tucker

Material culture and histories of British / transatlantic landscape and building

Daniel Maudlin
James Daybell

Cultural and social history

James Daybell
Darren Aoki
Dan Maudlin
Jameson Tucker
James Gregory
Hannah Theaker

Oral history

Darren Aoki
Hannah Theaker

Heritage, public history and local history

James Gregory
Jameson Tucker
James Daybell
Daniel Maudlin

Modern Chinese history

Hannah Theaker

Art history research specialisms

  • The history of collecting and curating.
  • Postcolonialism and art history.
  • Meta-painting in Western visual culture.
  • Political iconography and representations of sexual violence in Medieval and Renaissance Italy.
  • The reception of the Renaissance and Renaissance artists from 1750 to the present.
  • The history and practice of art historical writing in Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Our researchers