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History scholarship at Cardiff combines theoretical innovation and research expertise, creating distinctive strengths in a range of areas, including warfare and the Crusades, authoritarian regimes, Wales and the wider world, gender and identity, and medicine and the body.

The research environment here is notable for its broad chronological sweep from the ancient world to the twenty-first century, and for its geographical diversity, covering Greek, Roman, British, Czech, Slovak, French, German, Russian, American, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Welsh history, and extending from local to global histories.

We attract research funding from a wide range of sources including the AHRC, Leverhulme Trust, Wellcome Trust, Heritage Lottery Fund, British Academy, Royal Historical Society, and other key grant and charitable bodies.

Research themes

  • Authoritarian regimes
    Examining the role of ideology and resistance in authoritarian regimes from Nazi Germany to early Soviet Russia and post-war Czechoslovakia.
  • Warfare and the Crusades
    Considering Greek, Roman and Carthaginian warfare and the history and impact of the crusades and the Military Orders from the end of the eleventh century.
  • Gender and identity
    The difference that gender makes from the ancient world to the present day, in a variety of sites from the home, the workplace and the classroom to popular culture and literary texts.
  • Medicine and the Body
    Considering themes including women and medicine; the history of psychiatry and shell shock; urban and rural public health; hospitals and medical education; and medicine in the ancient world.
  • Wales and the Wider World
    Addressing the ways in which global histories have shaped local cultures and Wales's reciprocal influence across the modern world.
  • Transnationalism
    Addressing a range of themes, from links between Southeast Asia and Australia to the Welsh diaspora in Australia and South America.
  • Historical theory
    Considering how historical theories have developed, and how theory has been used in historical writing.

Research impact

The beneficiaries of our research range from individuals and local schools to heritage organisations, healthcare professionals, governments, NGOs and the media. We collaborate with a wide range of partners to facilitate the dissemination and impact of our work, from heritage organisations (e.g. Cadw, National Museum Wales) to local schools, media organisations and professional groups. For example, funding  (£159K) from the AHRC Connected Communities: Research for Community Heritage led to the co-production of research with local communities through the CAER heritage project with Archaeology and the School of Social Sciences, which was identified by the AHRC as a flagship project.

To give another example, research into Czechoslovakia's past led to policy recommendations adopted by NATO's Partnership for Peace to promote regional stability in the Caucasus today; 'Changing public understanding of Czechoslovakia's treatment of minorities' was also chosen by the AHRC as a leading Impact Case Study for Wales and the UK.

Welsh flag painted on face

The changing identity of Welsh emigrants

Research reveals how the identity of Welsh migrants changed as they adapted to new cultures.