Analysing a timeline of more than a millennium, we conduct path-breaking research reflecting interests in history, heritage and cultures on a global scale. Our academics’ expertise spans meteorology in medieval times to punk politics and British youth culture in the 20th century.
We have particular strength in the field of medical humanities, including animal health, societies and their material cultures, emotion, devotion and belief and political cultures and ideologies.
The diversity of our research footprint is demonstrated by our externally-funded projects, which include studies into the fiscal origins of the French Revolution and politics and popular culture in Egypt.
For specific enquiries, please contact:
Research Division Lead
Telephone: +44 (0)118 378 5376
Research carried out by the University of Reading has found modern-day relevance in the role punk music played in young people’s lives during the 1970s and 1980s.
Continuing the trend of historians considering the stories of social classes and sub-cultures in addition to those of the ruling elites, Prof Matt Worley delved into the punk movement between 1977 and 1984 to assess how it helped shape the identities, politics and cultural expressions of the youth of the time.
His work, which was funded by Leverhulme Trust and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, drew parallels between the urban riots of the 1980s and those elsewhere in Europe in the 21st century, including the disorder which swept England in the summer of 2011.
Prof Worley helped to set up the Interdisciplinary Network for the Study of Subcultures, Popular Music and Social Change, which organised a series of five international symposiums between 2013-15.
Recent externally-funded research projects include:
- Dr Anne Lawrence's Medieval Meteorology in Context
- Professor Joel Felix's research fellowship, Fiscal Origins of the French Revolution: Financial Crises, Public Opinion and Institutional Change in Early Modern Europe
- Dr Dina Rezk's work on Politics and Popular Culture in Egypt: Contested Narratives of the 25 January Revolution and its Aftermath
Our Gender History Research Cluster, led by Dr Heike Schmidt, explores gender history, women's history, the history of sexuality and the history of 'manliness' and masculinity.
Dr Emily West is co–investigator of the international research network funded by an AHRC network grant entitled ‘Mothering Slaves: Comparative Perspectives on Motherhood, Childlessness and the Care of Children in Atlantic Slave Societies’. This network draws together scholars who are investigating the lives of enslaved women in Brazil, the United States and the Caribbean.
Dr Anne Lawrence was awarded an AHRC Research Leadership Fellow for her research into the reality and practice of meteorology in Medieval England. She recently gave a paper on Climate Patterns and Meteorological Disasters in Medieval Thought to the Royal Meteorological Society.
Professor Matt Worley has conducted Leverhulme Trust and AHRC-funded research on the ways in which punk's political and cultural meaning formed, fractured and evolved over the 1970s and into the 1980s.
Professor Joel Felix has been awarded an ESRC professorship for a project on the Fiscal Origins of the French Revolution: financial crises, public opinion and institutional change in Early Modern Europe, 1688-1789.
Robertson, C. (2016) Rome 1600: The City and the Visual Arts Under Clement VIII. Yale University Press. ISBN: 9780300215298.
Grant, L. (2016) Blanche of Castile, Queen of France. Yale University Press. ISBN: 9780300219265.
Rist, R. (2016) Popes and Jews, 1095-1291. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 9780198717980.
- Stenton lecture (November 2016)
- Seminars – autumn term 2016 (details to be announced soon)
Find out more about our annual research theme for 2016.