History is nothing without historians, so here are ours…

Michael Sewell

Michael Sewell

Michael, a long-time resident of Kent, now in exile in Essex, is currently researching how the British Civil Wars were remembered in the long nineteenth century, focusing in on Colchester.

He has a real passion for the seventeenth century, as well as looking at how History is used and remembered by people. In his downtime he loves Non-League football, especially Ebbsfleet United, folk music and a good pub. Michael spent the majority of his university life at the University of Winchester where he picked up a keen interest in how nations were formed and how we as nations remember our past. Now at Essex, he has a keen interest in public history and loves talking about history to people! Interests: Civil War, Anglo-Dutch War, Bomber Command, Memory, Use of History, Colchester

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Julie Miller

Julie Miller

Julie is a mature student who gave up a career in automotive engineering to follow her dream of becoming an historian.

She studied Humanities with Literature at The Open University. Her area of study is 17th and 18th century Quakers in Essex and America, but she is interested in many aspects of the early modern period including the local history of Maldon in Essex. She currently explores this interest through her work as a team trainer and guide at the Moot Hall, a 15th century tower house built by the Darcy family. She plans to start her History PhD in autumn 2020, where she will study the life of John Farmer and his family more fully, particularly his life in America in the years 1715-1724. Interests: Local History such as Maldon, Early Modern Period, Quakers

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Lewis Smith

Lewis Smith

Lewis is a research student at the University of Essex in the Department of History.

Originally from Suffolk, he has a keen interest in British industry, particularly how nationalised industries such as the British Overseas Airways Corporation (you’ll know that company now as British Airways) and British Rail, have come to shape our views of those industries today. Lewis is also interested in historical video games and how we as individuals consume the history as we play them. Interests: British Rail, BOAC, Industry, Historical Video Games

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Louise Rodwell

Louise Rodwell

Louise returned to Essex to complete her PhD after spending time working in the creative and cultural sector.

A native of Colchester, she completed her Masters dissertation on the evolution of its high street, and is fascinated by the ways that different people experience and encounter history. Her PhD studies focus on the Artistic Commemoration of the First World War, particularly at its Centenary, as she is very interested in the ways people and countries choose to remember things collectively through visual art. Although she strongly believes a picture is worth a thousand words, she’s come to realise that this doesn’t wash in a PhD and will still have to meet the requisite word count. Interests: Art History, First World War, Commemoration

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Mike O'Keeffe

Mike O'Keeffe

Mike is a retired NHS Manager, and has a strong interest in history, especially gender and women’s history.

His PhD studies are focused on women in the workplace in the first quarter of the 20th century, centred on Merseyside particularly during the First World War and up to 1924. There are three themes associated with this study: camaraderie, ethnicity and conflict. Liverpool had a rich ethnic mix during this period, and men had major concerns about women working leading to many tensions and in some instances conflict. But at the same time, it was clear that women supported one another in the workplace which led to many friendships being formed. Apart from history his main interests are music (most genres), reading (fantasy literature and crime novels), cooking, art history, photography (especially landscapes) walking and the countryside. Interests: Gender, Interwar years, industry

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Ryan Clarke

Ryan Clarke

Ryan received both his undergraduate and master’s degrees in History at the University of Essex.

He is particularly interested in the end of empire in southern Africa with particular interest in Zimbabwean history. He recently visited Zimbabwe and was based in the capital Harare where completed his field research in 2019. Aside from his doctoral research, Ryan plays guitar and bass with a particular interest in Americana, jazz and heavy metal. Interests: Empire, Zimbabwe, Apartheid

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Samantha Woodward

Samantha Woodward

Sam worked in retail for five years before coming to the University of Essex to complete her undergraduate degree in history.

Attracted by the idea of being able to read all day every day, she decided to apply to do a PhD. Her PhD is a collaborative project with the John Lewis Partnership Heritage Centre looking into how democracy works within the business between 1964 and 2014 – tying in with her previous work in retail quite nicely! Sam is particularly interested in the history of gender, work, and how oral testimonies can be used to develop histories and archival resources. Before starting her PhD, she was very interested in witchcraft and magic and is looking forward to the opportunity to revisit the supernatural with History Indoors!

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Percy Lomax

Percy Lomax

Percy has completed his MA in History at Essex University and is now researching the Co-operative Movement for his PhD at Essex. He retired from the City in 2013 and took on an outside voluntary role as Chairman of the Chelmsford Diocesan Board of Finance.

He is currently working on a PhD about the Co-operative Movement since 1945 and did his dissertation on Chelmsford Star Co-operative Society since its foundation. He has a keen interest in developments in Europe post 1789. He has also had a long term interest in the Greek world which was sparked by reading, at about the age of eleven, of the Legend of Atlantis and this has taken him even further into the Greek world.  He has been fortunate enough to have been to Crete and the Palace of Knossos and to the Acropolis in Athens.  He has also been interested in the world of the Anglo Saxons. He spent approximately twenty five years working in the City of London where he was a founding Fellow of the Securities Institute and about twenty five years in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry.  He finally retired in May 2013 and proceeded to Essex University in October 2013.

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Steven Bishop

Steven Bishop

Steven is currently a PhD student at the University of Essex in the department of History.

He is researching the recent protests against statues of controversial historical figures across the world, focusing on the complex relationship between history and memory. His other historical interests include the history of the United States of America, especially the period from colonisation to the Civil War. He also have a burgeoning interest in local history and write about Colchester’s many heritage sites in Colchester United’s matchday programme. Interests: US History from Revolution to Civil War, Local History, Statues

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Ben Fuggle

Ben Fuggle

Ironically, he can no longer remember why he got interested in studying history...

... but he has been reading history for as long as he can remember and attempting to write it as long as people have let him. After an unusual set of life events that led to him living in Latin America and the Caribbean for a year as a child, his fascination with that part of the world never quite left him. As a result, when given a free choice of what to study he immediately returned to Latin America and now does his best to study Latin America, the Caribbean and their connections with the UK and Spain. It all might just be an elaborate excuse to study pirates constantly. When not doing history he’s either working part time in a library, writing and running tabletop roleplaying games or hanging out with the dog.

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Liam Redfern

Liam Redfern

Liam received his master’s degree in history from the University of Essex in 2018 and returned at the start of this year to begin a PhD.

His research interests include twentieth-century British foreign policy in Asia and the global aspects of the Second World War. He is also interested in local histories of the war in his home county of Suffolk, having grown up with stories from veterans of the Burma theatre and worked on a heritage project that promoted the legacy of the 8th USAAF in East Anglia. Outside of his research, Liam is an Ipswich Town supporter (someone has to be) and an avid gig-goer (or at least he was until the lockdown).

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Christopher Walklett

Christopher Walklett

Chris has been teaching History to Foundation / Year 0 students here at the University for the past 7 years.

He is fascinated by recent cultural and social events in the UK particularly those in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. When not teaching, Chris can be found DJing indie, disco, funk and early house & hip-hop to an audience of none and slaving over teaching and learning materials based on song lyrics – a life-long fascination for him. Of late he can be found fervently wishing he had stayed supporting the club of his youth, Liverpool, rather than transferring his attentions some years back to his much beleaguered local club, Ipswich Town. Interests: British Music from 1960s to Brit Pop, English football in the 80s/90s, Post War British History

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Miles Clayton

Miles Clayton

Miles is our blogger, in charge of bringing you some of the 'stories behind the stories', as well as some other fascinating insights into history.

Miles is a Final Year student studying Modern History at the University of Essex. His dissertation concerns the positive experiences of British children on the Home Front during the Second World War, with oral histories sitting at the heart of the research. Originally from Canterbury in Kent, following his graduation, he plans to return there to pursue a teaching career in history at his former school. Apart from history, Miles’ other main interests include cricket and visiting the pub

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Amy Saunders

Amy Saunders

Amy returned to Winchester for her PhD after working in London where she was part of the V&A’s Visitor Experience team.

Amy did her Undergraduate history degree at the University of Winchester, and after a few years out to complete an MA in London and work in the heritage sector, came back for a PhD in Stuart history, gender, sexuality and heritage. Aside from early modern gender, sexuality and queenship, Amy is also interested in the classical world, and has taught practical mummification (with carrots not bodies!) and directed ancient Greek plays (in translation. They weren’t THAT fancy!). Amy is a distance student living in Yorkshire so hopes to introduce you all to the wonderful heritage sites of the North through history indoors. Interests: Queenship, Sexuality, Heritage, Representation 

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Johanna Strong

Johanna Strong

Johanna Strong is a PhD student at the University of Winchester under the supervision of Dr Elena Woodacre and Dr Simon Sandall.

She is researching the way in which Mary I’s legacy was posthumously created and how her legacy was perpetuated particularly from the Elizabethan era to the rise of the Hanoverian dynasty. She completed her Master of Arts at Queen’s University in Canada under the supervision of Dr Jeffrey Collins, researching the political, gendered, and religious contexts of female monarchy in England, focusing on John Foxe’s First Blast of the Trumpet and Henry Howard’s ‘A Dutifull Defence’. When she’s not working on her research, she’s often working on her current cross-stitch project, reading a good book, or watching some guilty-pleasure reality TV!

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Joshua de Cruz

Joshua de Cruz

Josh is a research student at the University of Essex in the Department of History after leaving his civil service job of many years.

A life-long South Londoner, Josh took his BA and MA at Birkbeck, University of London whilst working full-time. He has always loved history with all its messiness and complexities meaning truth really is stranger than fiction, and more fascinating. His main area of interest is 20th Century World History especially the British Empire in Southeast Asia and the impact of imperialism and nationalism on the people there. In his spare time, Josh loves old books, old films, old records and walking in the city.

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James Jefferies

James Jefferies

James was born in Colchester and received his Master’s in History at the University of Essex. His dissertation was on the role and memory of RAF Bomber Command during the Battle of Britain.

James is fascinated by the topic of collective memory and his current research is focussing on computer games and the centenary of the First World War. He has a passion for understanding public and collective memory of war as well as themes of remembrance and commemoration. James believes that understanding what is remembered collectively will help in building a greater sense of the present.

James’ hobbies include stargazing, listening to The Beatles and watching football and cricket. He also enjoys ale and has yet to find a flavour of crisps he hasn’t enjoyed.

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