Prof Rohan McWilliam

Rohan McWilliam

Professor of Modern British History

Professor McWilliam teaches British and American History and is Course Leader for history.

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Much of Rohan's research has been devoted to the politics and culture of  Victorian Britain. He is currently President of the British Association for Victorian Studies, the main organisation in the UK that promotes research into 19th-century Britain. His publications draw on political, social and cultural history but he's also an advocate of interdisciplinary approaches that engage with literature, film, political science and sociology among other subjects.

Rohan is a director of the Labour History Research Unit at Anglia Ruskin University which has organised conferences and publications that explore the politics of the Left in modern Britain. As well as this, he's the editor of two book series, Becoming Modern: New Nineteenth Century Studies (University Press of New England) and New Directions in Social and Cultural History (Bloomsbury), which is organised on behalf of the Social History Society. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Victorian Culture where he is reviews editor.

Currently, Rohan is at work on a history of the West End of London since 1800.

Research interests

  • Victorian studies
  • Modern British and United States history
  • Labour history
  • The history of popular culture
  • Historiography
  • Theory and history

Areas of research supervision

Rohan is available to supervise postgraduates in post-1800 British history.


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BA (Hons) History


  • DPhil, University of Sussex, 1990
  • MA, University of Sussex, 1983
  • BA (Hons), University of Sussex, 1982

Memberships, editorial boards

  • President, British Association for Victorian Studies
  • Member, Social History Society
  • Member, Sherlock Holmes Society of London
  • Member, North American Victorian Studies Association

Selected recent publications

McWilliam, R., 2014. Elsa Lanchester and Bohemian London in the 1920s. Women’s History Review, 23(2), pp.171-187.

McWilliam, R., 2014. E.P. Thompson, Eric Hobsbawm and the Remaking of Nineteenth Century British History. Social History, 39(2), pp.149-159.

McWilliam, R., 2011. Melodrama. In: Gilbert, P. (Ed.). Blackwell Companion to the Sensation Novel. Oxford: Blackwell.

McWilliam, R., 2011. Political Cultures. In: Hewitt, M. (Ed.). The Victorian World. London: Routledge.

McWilliam, R., 2011). Jonathan Miller’s Alice in Wonderland (1966): A Suitable Case for Treatment. Historical Journal of Film, Television and Radio, 31(2), pp.229-246.

McWilliam, R., 2010. Unauthorised Identities: The impostor, the fake and the secret history in nineteenth century Britain. In: Finn, M., Lobban, M. and Bourne Taylor, J. (Eds.). Legitimacy and Illegitimacy in Nineteenth-Century Law, Literature and History. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.67-92.