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Current Projects


Augustine and the Making of Christian Practice (400-1000) 

Dr Matthieu Pignot (Leverhulme Early Career Fellow) 

  • Offers a thorough and innovative examination of the surviving manuscripts produced before 1000 of a set of Augustine’s lesser-known works 
  • Shows how, on the basis of these material remains, Augustine’s works were used and adapted over time and in different geographical and historical contexts 
  • Sheds light on the concrete impact of inherited written traditions from North Africa in the development of religious practices in Europe and beyond 
  • Contributes to the study of late antique and early medieval manuscripts, reading and writing practices and material culture

Supported by the Leverhulme Trust, Early Career Fellowship (2020-2023) 


Petitioning and People Power in Twentieth-Century Britain

Professor Richard Huzzey (Principal Investigator) Dr Henry Miller (Co-Investigator)

  • Explores how the practice of harvesting contact details and personal data on petitions for future mobilisation developed alongside the professionalisation of political parties and pressure groups, as well as how they evaded successive data protection laws.
  • Using quantitative social survey data, it investigates the shift to digital activism, connecting the history of petitioning to contemporary research on e-petitioning.
  • Reveals the dynamics of representation, voluntary association, and popular sovereignty over a century of reinvention and change in British citizenship.

Supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council, Research Grant (2020-23). For more information please visit the project website here

Jewish Collectors and Donors at the National Gallery (c.1830-1930)

Dr Thomas Stammers (Principal Investigator)

  • Explores the role of Jewish collectors in shaping the collection and administration of the National Gallery, London.
  • Asks how a Jewish minority, whether as collectors, donors, dealers or trustees, intervened in metropolitan institutions and helped to construct Britain's artistic heritage.
  • Brings the National Gallery into alliance with the major AHRC project (2019-23) on 'The Jewish Country House: Objects, Networks, People'.

Supported by The National Gallery, Studentship (2020-24)

Love in the Time of Capitalism: Emotion & Making the British Working Class

Professor Julie-Marie Strange (Principal Investigator)

  • Integrates the history of emotion with the history of class to advance a new understanding of what it meant to be working class, and know it, in the late nineteenth century.
  • Offers an expanded, more inclusive, conception of the working class as a politically conscious body capable of advancing sophisticated critiques of capitalism from heterodox standpoints.
  • Develops new methods to analyses class consciousness, identifying emotion as a form of capital, and populating the study of emotions with a broader, more diverse, range of emotional agents.

Supported by Leverhulme Trust, Major Research Fellowship (2020-23)

Meeting the challenge of mass politics in Britain: the Liberal caucus, 1875-1914

 Dr Naomi Lloyd-Jones (Leverhulme Fellow)

  • Asks whether internal democracy within political parties good for democracy, focusing on how the organisation of mass parties affected the development of mass politics.
  • Looks at the ‘caucus’ innovations of the British Liberal party in the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Uses a ‘four nations’ approach and digital methods.

Supported by Leverhulme Trust, Early Career Fellowship (2021-24)

Past Projects


Cultural Heritage 360

Professor Stephen Taylor (Principal Investigator), Professor Giles Gasper (Co-Investigator) Professor Ivana Evans (Co-Investigator) Alan Fentiman (Partner), Animmersion UK Ltd (Partner), The Projection Studio Ltd (Partner)

  • Scopes the potential for Arts and Humanities-led interdisciplinary research into cultural heritage and its record – that is, artefacts, widely conceived, from manuscripts to ceramics and textiles to sculpture.

Supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council, Research Grant (2020-21)

Into the Forest: Woods, Trees and Forests in the Germanic-Speaking Cultures of Northern Europe, c. 46 BC - c. 1500

Dr Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough (Principal Investigator) Professor Giles Gasper (Co-Investigator) The National Forest Company (Partner), The Projection Studio Ltd (Partner)

  • An in-depth, multidisciplinary study of forests in northern Germanic cultures, including a complex network of historical and cultural connections and influences - religious, political, artistic, literary, economic, legal - and their development over time.
  • Connects with experts from broadcasting, ecology, heritage, education and the creative industries.

Supported by Arts and Humanities Research Council, Fellowship (AHRC, 2020-22)

Transwar Japanese Political Culture and the Measurement of Public Opinion

Dr Adam Bronson (Principal Investigator)

  • Uses mid-twentieth-century Japan as a case-study to explore the effects of public opinion polls on political culture.
  • Reflects how opinion polls became a symbol of postwar Japanese democracy through developments that unfolded before, during and after the Second World War.
  • Traces transwar developments to show how opinion polls shaped political culture over time.

Supported by British Academy, Small Research Grant (2021)

Empire and Accumulation

Dr Jonathan Saha (Principal Investigator)

  • Develops the concept of “accumulation” from its roots in critical political economy to shed light on the accumulation of ideas, texts, and objects in empires.
  • Explores the histories of imperial accumulation in oil and timber company records held by the London Metropolitan Archive.

Supported by the ISRF Independent Social Research Foundation, Fellowship (2020-21)

Decolonising Academic Publication

Dr Anne Heffernan (Principal Investigator)

  • Supports early career scholars from South Africa’s least well-resourced institutions in bringing their research to publication.
  • Promotes the voices of scholars who are most marginalized, particularly those from historically black universities, transforming knowledge production in these fields.
  • Enhancese North-South and South-South knowledge sharing.

Supported by British Academy (2021-22)

Revolutionising optics: Ibn al-Haytham and medieval scientific thinking

Professor Nader El-Bizri (Visiting Professor) Professor Giles Gasper (Principal Investigator)

  • Re-shapes the history of European science, tracing the intercultural transmission of ideas and material culture in premodern Islamic civilizations and its shared cultural and intellectual heritage with European Medieval, Renaissance, and Early modern.
  • Includes collaborations from Physics to Philosophy and Mathematics to Theology.

Supported by Leverhulme Trust, Visiting Professorship (2021)

Bush Wars? Conservation, Conflict and Cultures of Nature in South Sudan and Northern Uganda, c. 1840–2020

Dr Cherry Leonardi (Principal Investigator)

  • Explores the local meanings, knowledge, and management of biodiversity in South Sudan and northwest Uganda since the mid-19th century, to examine causes and implications of recent losses.
  • Uses oral history interviews and other oral, performance, and material documentary sources, placing people’s long-term relationships with nature at the centre of conflict histories.

Supported by Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, Fellowship (2020)