Monday, 22 February 2016

Research in History Newsletter, 2015-16

Thanks to Tawny Paul for putting together a marvelous Research in History at Northumbria University Newsletter.  The following is Professor David Gleeson’s summary of the year.  Download and read the full newsletter here.

The Historians at Northumbria pride themselves in offering exciting and innovative undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in History. After a significant number of new appointments there are now 24 History staff, teaching a wide range of modules that cover diverse subjects over large spans of time and significant geographical range. Moreover, History offers a vibrant research culture. All of our optional modules are informed by staff research interests and expertise, and, like our seminars and conferences, are designed to engage students with the latest research carried out in the discipline of History. Please visit our website for more details:

Welcome to the 2015/16 History Research Newsletter. Following our jump of more than 40 places in the 2014 REF from our 2008 position and our placing in the top 20 for Research Outputs, we have built impressively on that excellent performance. In collaboration colleagues in English, Arts, and Media we were successful in applying to the University’s REF fund for Multidisciplinary Centres (MDC) with a proposal linked to our new Institute of the Humanities. The Institute has received over £50,000 invested in new space and equipment. It is located in the old SASS suite on the first floor of the Lipman building and includes new rooms for staff and visiting professors as well as two meeting rooms. There are also two large spaces for public events and some of our work will be conspicuously displayed in the outer room. Signage is already up and the whole space should be ready by Spring 2016, when there will be a launch event. The plans to fill the posts connected to the MDC are well advanced with advertisements for two senior positions already out and two early-career ones to follow later in 2016. The Institute will prove useful in encouraging more inter- and multidisciplinary research and improve our research grant capture for the next REF.

In terms of the next REF for 2020 (or perhaps 2021), history research is already in good shape for this stage in the process. The list of publications since 2013 is substantial, including a large number of monographs. In 2015 we continued to have good success in research bidding with Tawny Paul’s award of the prestigious one-year Fellowship at the Huntingdon Library in California, James McConnel’s award of an AHRC grant to support research on WWI in the Northeast, Colin Reid’s award of a Visiting Fellowship to the O’Moore Institute in NUI Galway, Anja-Silvia-Goeing’s British Academy Network Grant, and Nicole Robertson’s capture of an AHRC fellowship (her success making History 6 for 6 in this category over the past 7 years!). Congratulations to all and we look forward to more successes in 2016.

For outreach and service both to the profession and the larger community, the history group remained very active. Along with the smaller events, outlined below by research groups in this newsletter, the American history researchers welcome the 2015 meeting of the British Association of American Studies on its 60th anniversary in April. Over 300 scholars from all over Europe and North America Kudos to everyone involved but especially to Joe Street who coordinated this massive effort so well. In 2016 our major conference hosting will continue when Lesley Twomy and Carlos Conde-Solares
welcome the 61st International Conference of the Association of Hispanists of Great Britain and Ireland, making Northumbria the first post-1992 university to host this premier organization for Hispanic Studies in the British Isles.

History, under the leadership of Joe Hardwick, hosted the AHRC-sponsored 2015 Newcastle Being Human Festival around the theme of Cities and Citizenship with hundreds of people attending more than a dozen free events throughout the city connecting humanities scholars and scholarship with the general public. Congratulations to Joe and the other history staff who participated (Tanja Bueltmann, Daniel Laqua, Laura O’Brien and Anja Silvia-Goeing). Thanks especially to PhD student Stan Neal for all the hard work he put into it. History continues to support research impact leaders participating in events and meetings with, among others, the Scottish and Irish governments, the Cooperative Society and the U.S. National Park Service. Under our new Impact Lead, Tanja Bueltmann, we will seek to expand our research impact even further in 2016.

We welcomed five new PhD students in 2015, including our first from the AHRC Heritage BGP. We also had won our first MRes scholarship under the same scheme. Congratulations to recent PhD graduates Andre Keil, Jen Kain, Maria Cannon and Liam Temple. We look forward to your continued success in the profession.

Finally, I’d like to welcome our new member of staff, Laura O’Brien. An historian of France with book just out with Manchester University Press on French caricature and republican identity, she strengthens our research in both the nineteenth century and modern Europe. Let me also recognize two of our professors who have moved into important leadership positions, Tom Lawson (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs) and Sylvia Ellis (Head of Dept. of Humanities). Despite their substantial administrative duties they still remain active members of the History research team.

Overall, then, we have had a successful start to the new REF cycle and with the new investment in the Institute of the Humanities, we look to go from strength to strength in the future.

David T. Gleeson
Professor of American History Research and Innovation Lead

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