Memory, Identity and Community

This research theme focuses on processes of identity-making including how people and groups cohere, remember, resist and adapt to change. 

This interest embraces how events and individuals are memorialised, written about and re-presented as well as how protest and reconciliation contribute to cultural division and accommodation. Whether concerned with race, gender, status, sexuality, personhood, families, religious, political and local identities or communities of practice, many of us are investigating and integrating the histories and experiences of specific communities into wider historical narratives. This includes work on women’s communities and networks, sexualities and subjectivities, religious identities and groups, local contexts and regional identities, racial formation and identity-making, social movements and activism.


Staff especially engaged with this research theme

Dr David Gange: cultural historian interested in the histories of coastlines, oceans, and the communities that rely on them.

Professor Matt Houlbrook; works on the cultural history of modern Britain, with particular interests in histories of gender, sexuality and selfhood.

Dr Simone Laqua-O’Donnell: historian of social and religious history from the 16th to the 20th century with expertise on gender history, the history of children and childhood, the history of migration, the history of modern missions.

Dr Chris Moores: historian of political and social activism with a particular focus on civil liberties and human rights and extra-parliamentary conservative activism in the second half of the twentieth century. 

Dr John Munro: historian of the US in 20th century interested in knowledge production of social movements, the intersectional aspects of US empire, as well as race and US imperial culture.

Professor Gavin Schaffer: specialist in race and immigration history with research interests on constructions of Jewish history and the treatment of minorities in Britain during the Second World War.

Dr Katharine Sykes: historian of the early and central middle ages, with particular interests in gender and sexuality, religious communities, and families.

Dr Zoë Thomas: historian of the 19th and 20th centuries with particular specialisms in the history of work, artistic culture, and women’s lives.

Dr Jonathan Willis: historian of the English reformation specialising in the religious and cultural history of England over the course of the long sixteenth century.


Find out more



Religious belief, practice and identity in the English Reformation - Jonathan Willis