Skip to main navigation Skip to main content
The University of Southampton
History Part of Humanities


Researches at Southampton disseminate their work through a variety of channels: articles in scholarly journals, collections of essays, websites, articles for newspapers and popular magazines, blogs and by regularly giving talks to academic and non-academic audiences. The book, however, remains the ‘gold standard’: it is in our books that we can most fully explore and explain the significance of our research. Here is a selection of recent books produced by members of the Department of History.

Female Philanthropy in the Interwar

Female Philanthropy in the Interwar

Centring the stories of four remarkable women, this is a study of women’s philanthropy in the interwar years, the nature of philanthropy.

Find out more
From Things Lost

From Things Lost

A story of displacement, survival, and an unlikely friendship in the wake of the Holocaust.

Find out more
White Fury

White Fury

The story of the struggle over slavery in the British empire.

Find out more
See It Shoot It

See It Shoot It

This study uncovers the history of the most important instrument of U.S. counterterrorism today: the armed drone...

Find out more

Elisabeth Forster, 1919 - The Year That Changed China: A New History of the New Culture Movement (Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2018). (Paperback edition 2019)

Elisabeth Forster Book cover

This book tells the story of the way in which Chinese culture was transformed in just one year – 1919 –, because intellectuals used a range of buzzwords to push their agendas.

The way in which Chinese culture changed over the course of the year 1919 took contemporaries by surprise. At the beginning of the year, even well-informed intellectuals did not anticipate that, for instance, baihua (a precursor of the modern Chinese language) or communism would become important. At the end of the year, this was perfectly obvious to them.  In this book, I trace how this transformation happened, drawing on a rich variety of sources, including newspapers, personal letters, student essays, advertisements, textbooks and diaries. I deduce from this a new module for cultural change, which puts intellectual marketing at its core: I argue that ideas do not necessarily become influential because they have merit (however this would be defined) or because they fit particularly well with the Zeitgeist. They gain influence for more cynical reasons, for example if they can be marketed better in line with certain rhetorical, persuasive reference points. What emerges is a lively and ironic story about cultural change through academic infighting, rumours and conspiracy theories, newspaper stories and intellectuals being (hell-)bent on selling agendas through powerful marketing buzzwords.

Maria Hayward, Stuart Style: Monarchy, Dress and the Scottish Male Elite, (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2020)

Maria Hayward Stuart Style Cover

Stuart Style explores the complex messages that Stuart fashion conveyed about individual rulers’ personalities and about kingship more broadly.

Stuart Style provides a detailed analysis of elite men’s clothing in 17th-century Scotland, and its influence on English male fashion. Focusing on the years 1566 through 1701, it centres on the distinctive clothing choices of five Stuart royals: James VI and I, Prince Henry, Charles I, Charles II, and James VII and II. Fashionable colours, fabrics, guising and ceremony are explored in their political and religious context.  Hayward goes on to consider the role of Scots in creating and sustaining this style in London and north of the border, while presenting an illuminating case study of the Stuarts’ use of jewellery. The book surveys the reception of the Stuarts’ style among the male elite in Scotland and England: in the bedchamber, at social and political events and at church.  It concludes with an appraisal of the role of clothing and textiles in mourning rituals, and the burial of the dead. This study highlights the significance of the Stuarts’ Scottish heritage in the style that they advanced, and the role of courtiers and tailors in its development and dissemination beyond the royal court.

Nicholas Karn, Kings, Lords and Courts in Anglo-Norman England, (Suffolk: Boydell Press, 2020)

Nic Karn cover

First study of the origins of the lordship courts that dominated the lives of the peasantry of medieval England.

About the year 1000, hundreds and shires were the dominant and probably the only local assemblies for doing legal and other business in England. They allowed kings to enact their will while communities gathered and transacted business, and were crucial to how lords managed their relationships with their dependents. This simple pattern did not last long, for lords established separate courts which allowed them to manage and discipline their dependents without external interference, and therefore to intensify and redefine their claims over their dependents. These can be seen clearly by the early twelfth century, and were the basis from which the later manorial courts, courts leet and honour courts originated. The appearance of these courts has long been recognised; what is novel about this book is that it shows how they came into being. This occurred through lords’ schemes to take control of hundreds, and ultimately through lords’ efforts in splitting hundreds and creating subdivisions of them. Lordly inroads into the hundreds meant that in the early twelfth century kings had to renew their claims to some categories of business and create novel mechanisms for enforcing them in the form of royal justices. Overall, the changing patterns of assemblies and courts in the eleventh and twelfth centuries helped to redefine lordship, peasant status and royal authority, and to set expectations about how business should be transacted. They had widespread implications across Anglo-Norman society, culture and politics.

John McAleer,Picturing India: People, Places and the World of the East India Company, (London: British Library Publishing, 2017)

John McAleer Britains Maritime Empire

Picturing India explores the links between images and empire, pictures and power, in the history of the East India Company and its complex relationship with India, its people and cultures.

The British engagement with India was an intensely visual one. Images of the subcontinent, produced by artists and travellers in the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century heyday of the East India Company, reflect the increasingly important role played by the Company in Indian life. And they mirror significant shifts in British policy and attitudes towards India. The Company’s story is one of wealth, power and the pursuit of profit. It changed what people in Europe ate, what they drank, and how they dressed. Ultimately, it laid the foundations of the British Raj. This book draws on the unrivalled riches of the British Library – both visual and textual – to explore the links between images and empire, pictures and power. It weaves together the story of individual images, their creators, and the people and events they depict. And, in doing so, it presents a detailed picture of the Company and its complex relationship with India, its people and cultures.

John McAleer,Britain’s Maritime Empire: Southern Africa, the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean, 1763–1820, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)

John McAleer Britains Maritime Empire

Britain’s Maritime Empire explores the critical role played by the maritime gateway to Asia around the Cape of Good Hope in the establishment, consolidation and maintenance of the British Empire.

Situated at the centre of a maritime chain that connected seas and continents, this region bridged the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. With its commercial links and strategic importance, it was woven into a worldwide web that reflected the development of Britain’s global empire in the period. The book examines how contemporaries perceived, understood and represented this region of the world. And it considers the ways in which this maritime space, its islands and its land masses worked as an alternative hub of empire: enabling the movement of people, goods and ideas; facilitating exchanges of information and intelligence; cementing Britain’s power in Asia and frustrating its European rivals.

Pritipuspa Mishra,Language and the Making of Modern India: Nationalism and the Vernacular in Colonial Odisha, 1803-1956, (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020)

Priti Mishra.jpg

This book explores the influence of language on the constitution of the Indian nation through a local and global history of the province of Odisha.

Through an examination of the creation of the first linguistically organized province in India, Odisha, Pritipuspa Mishra explores the ways regional languages came to serve as the most acceptable registers of difference in post-colonial India. She argues that rather than disrupting the rise and spread of all-India nationalism, regional linguistic nationalism enabled and deepened the reach of nationalism in provincial India. Yet this positive narrative of the resolution of Indian multilingualism ignores the cost of linguistic division. Examining the case of the Adivasis of Odisha, Mishra shows how regional languages in India have come to occupy a curiously hegemonic position. Her study pushes us to rethink our understanding of the vernacular in India as a powerless medium and acknowledges the institutional power of language, contributing to global debates about linguistic justice and the governance of multilingualism. This title is also available as Open Access.

Louise Revell, Ways of being Roman: Discourses of Identity in the Roman West, (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2016)

Louise Revell.jpg

This book explores the routines and ideologies through which people lived their lives and formed their sense of self within Rome’s western provinces.

Ways of Being Roman examines the question of identity in the Roman provinces of the western empire. It takes an innovative approach in looking at the wider discourses or ideologies through which an individual sense of self was learnt and expressed. This wide-ranging survey considers ethnic identity, status, gender and age. Rather than constructing a paradigm of the ‘ideal’ of any specific aspect of cultural identity, it looks at some of the wider cultural ideas which were drawn upon in differentiating groups of people and the variability within this. It focuses on the daily and mundane practices of everyday life through which identities were internalised and communicated.

Joachim Schloer, Escaping Nazi Germany: One Woman’s Emigration from Heilbronn to England, (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020)

Escaping Nazi Germany

A thought-provoking analysis of the letters of Alice Schwab that offers a poignant and nuanced analysis of her journey from Heilbronn to England and her life afterwards as a German-Jewish refugee in Britain.

Carefully piecing together the personal letters of Alice 'Liesel' Schwab, Escaping Nazi Germany tells the important story of one woman's emigration from Heilbronn to England. From the decision to leave her family and emigrate alone, to gaining her independence as a shop worker and surviving the Blitz, to the reunion with her brother and parents in England and shared grief as they learn about the fate of family members who died in the Holocaust, her story provides powerful insight into both the everyday realities of German-Jewish refugees in Britain and the ability of letters and life-writing to create transnational networks during times of trauma and separation.

Elegantly written and deeply researched, Joachim Schlör's emphatic and unflinching re-telling of Alice Schwab's life sheds new light on the Jewish experience of persecution during the Holocaust and adds nuances to current debates on emigration, memory, and identity. This book is an essential primary resource for scholars of modern European history and Jewish studies, offering a compelling and intimate route into understanding what it meant to be a Jewish refugee caught up in the tragic and tumultuous events of World War II.

Lena Wahlgren-Smith ed., The Letter Collections of Nicholas of Clairvaux, Oxford Medieval Texts, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018)

Lena Wahlgren Smith

This book contains two very different letter collections by the same medieval author, one in which he tries to negotiate his identity as a new Cistercian monk, the other aimed at pleasing a secular patron.

Nicholas of Clairvaux started his career as a Benedictine but ended up at Clairvaux where he was the secretary of St Bernard. He later became known as 'the black sheep of the Cistercian order' and was expelled from Clairvaux on a charge of fraudulent letter writing. During his life he was responsible for at least two letter collections, which are contained within this volume, with facing-English translation and scholarly commentary. The letters are of great scholarly interest not only for the writer's proximity to historical events in the early twelfth-century, but also for the insights he provides into monastic culture.

You can browse a selection of publications below or browse all publications in our ePrints repository.

Sort via: Type or Year

Publications currently not available.

Privacy Settings