Economic and Social History Research Group
Economic and Social History – as a research and teaching unit at the University of Edinburgh – dates back to 1884 when Economic History was first taught here.
Economic and social historians now form a vibrant research group in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology. Whilst our interests cover a range of themes, chronological periods, and geographical places, we share the following:
- A commitment to interdisciplinarity, working in dialogue with other social sciences (including economics, political science, sociology, anthropology and criminology)
- A strong interest in producing research that is relevant and useful to wider audiences, including policy-makers and practitioners, and which contributes to wider public debate
- Enthusiasm for innovations in the use of sources, methods and approaches (both quantitative and qualitative, and including digital humanities)
The diverse topics and themes that we cover include: economic planning; natural resources and energy policy; time and economics; trade and tariffs; the transatlantic slave trade; war and conflict; inequality and living standards; craft economies; textiles and design; urban environments; maps and mapping; social networks; gender and sexuality; social history of the body, medicine and psychiatry; crime and policing; piracy and smuggling; oral culture and print culture; and sport, leisure and cinema-going.
Our work has attracted significant recent funding from the AHRC, ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, Royal Society of Edinburgh, and Wellcome Trust.
Funded research projects
Funded projects in which we are currently involved include:
- Artisans and the Craft Economy in Scotland c. 1780-1914 (funded by the Leverhulme Trust) (Principal Investigator Prof Stana Nenadic): https://artisansinscotland.wordpress.com/
- Caring for the Future through Ancestral Time (funded by the AHRC and ESRC), with researchers in the Schools of Divinity, Geosciences, Philosophy and Politics (Co-Investigator Prof Martin Chick)
- Early Cinema in Scotland (funded by the AHRC), with researchers at the University of Glasgow (Co-Investigator Dr Trevor Griffiths): http://earlycinema.gla.ac.uk/
- Historicising ‘Historical Child Sexual Abuse’ (funded by the ESRC), with researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Sheffield (Principal Investigator Prof Louise Jackson): http://www.historyandpolicy.org/projects/project/historical-child-sex-abuse
- Mapping Edinburgh’s Social History (funded by the AHRC) (Principal Investigator Prof Richard Rodger), in partnerships with National Library of Scotland, City of Edinburgh Council, RCAHMS, and Edinburgh World Heritage: http://www.ed.ac.uk/history-classics-archaeology/research/research-projects/mapping-edinburgh-s-social-history
- Mary’s Chapel Project (funded through the University’s Development and Alumni Office) (Dr Aaron Allen)
The Abortion Act (1967): A Biography (funded by the AHRC) (Co-investigator Dr Gayle Davis): https://research.kent.ac.uk/aa/
Teaching and Research degrees
We offer undergraduate degrees (MA) in Economic History, and Economic and Social History. At postgraduate level we offer the MSc by Research in Economic and Social History, and we welcome new PhD students across our wide range of research interests.
Other activities and links
We run seminar series in Economic and Social History and Gender History and act as a hub for Second World War Studies at Edinburgh.
We are actively involved in the Economic History Society. Nuala Zahedieh is a member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the EHS Conference Committee, and she is on the editorial board of the Economic History Review. Georgina Rannard is Student Ambassador for the EHS.
Gayle Davis is a member of the editorial boards of History of Psychiatry and Scottish Archives
Stana Nenadic is Director of the Pasold Research Fund, which promotes research into fashion, textile and clothing history, and publishes the journal Textile History.
The journal Social History is based at Edinburgh (under editors Louise Jackson and Gordon Johnston) and they are also involved in the SocialHistoryBlog (http://socialhistoryblog.com/)
Richard Rodger is on the Editorial Board of Urban History and Treasurer of the Urban History Group.
Adam Fox is a Committee Member of the 'British Academy Records of Social and Economic History' series published by Oxford University Press.
Wendy Ugolini is on the editorial board of Contemporary British History.
- Dr Aaron Allen
- Dr Felix Boecking
- Dr Gayle Davis
- Prof Adam Fox
- Dr Trevor Griffiths
- Prof Louise Jackson
- Dr Paul Kosmetatos
- Prof Stana Nenadic
- Dr Jenny Nex (Edinburgh College of Art)
- Dr Jane O'Neill
- Prof Richard Rodger
- Dr Wendy Ugolini
- Prof Nuala Zahedieh
Honorary and emeritus
- Prof Michael Anderson
- Prof Ian Blanchard
- Dr Esther Breitenbach
- Prof Roger Davidson
- Dr Gordon Johnston
- Dr Alison Nuttall
- Michael Palairet
- Dr John Ward
- Prof Robert J. Morris
- Rachel Bell, Growing Up in Britain: Experiences of Childhood 1945-1990.
- Axelle Champion, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry in Scotland and France, c.1870-1914.
- Malcolm Cooper, Gerard Baldwin Brown and the Conservation Movement in Britain
- Joseph Curran (ESRC studentship for fees, Jenny Balston Scholarship). Moral Reform' and 'Associational Culture': Social Relations in Dublin and Edinburgh 1815-1845.
- Phil Dodds (AHRC award, MESH). The Cartography of Alexander Kincaid.
- Anne Feintuck (AHRC award, MESH), Printing and Publishing: Edinburgh 1890-1930
- Alastair Learmont (ESRC 1+3 award),The Scottish West Indian Planter Class in Distress 1800-1815.
- Malcolm Noble, The Common Good of Edinburgh c.1820-56.
- Jane O’Neill (ESRC 1+3 award), Youth, Sexuality and courtship in Scotland 1945-80.
- Michal Palacz, The Polish School of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh (1941-1949): A case study in the transnational history of Polish wartime migration to Great Britain..
- Iida Saarinen, (Funded by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology and Fondation Catholique Ecossaise) ‘Belonging’ in a Roman Catholic Seminary in the Nineteenth Century: A Prosopographical Study of Scottish Mission’s France-Trained Students and Seminarian Social Identities, 1818-1878
- Rian Sutton (funded by the College of Humanities and Social Science), Victims or Villains: Denial of Female Agency in Cases of Murder in Britain and the USA 1850-1900
Charlotte Holmes, The Role of Women in Medical Care in Early Modern Scottish Households
Kevin Hall, Vagrancy and Crime in Edinburgh and Canongate, 1560–1640
Chien-Yuen Chen, Daniel Defoe’s Moral and Political Thought in its Religious Context
Daisy Cunynghame, The History of the Edinburgh, Kelso and Newcastle Dispensaries, 1776–1800
Jessica Campbell (ESRC 1+3). Alternative Therapies in British Psychiatry since c. 1840