Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History

About the Centre

The Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History (CSMCH) is the University of Edinburgh's leading forum for promoting historical research on the modern world (c.1750 to the present) in any geographic region, across a range of methodological and thematic approaches.

Barricades, Paris Commune 1871
Barricades during the Paris Commune in 1871

Anchored within the School of History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA), the Centre nurtures decolonial interdisciplinary studies of the past. We strive to be a space in which interlocking subfields of historical enquiry, such as histories from the Global South, LGBTQ+ Histories, and Black Histories in Britain, for example, will be in conversation with each other.  

Important shared interests of current members include cultural and social history, histories of race, sexuality, gender, environment, labour, empire, protest, war and conflict, memory studies and material cultures.   

We strive to provide a welcoming home for postgraduate students in these fields and work closely with the MSc in Contemporary History. We host a three-month postdoctoral fellowship in collaboration with the School and the Institute for Advanced Study in the Humanities (IASH).  

The Centre also acts as a focal point for staff funding bids in relevant areas of modern and contemporary history.   

We have a rich and active calendar of formal gatherings such as keynote lectures, roundtables, our regular seminar series, book launches, postgraduate colloquia, work-in-progress workshops, and film screenings. We also host informal gatherings of smaller groups of researchers with a common interest or concern, for instance, reading a key text or preparing a funding bid.  

Headline events are typically held once a month on a Tuesday. Other gatherings will be posted on our mailing list. To join our mailing list, please email: csmch.admin@ed.ac.uk   

You can find out more about about what the Centre does and how to be part of it by browsing this website or following our blog or us on social media, links below.

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