Making history

The Historians at Anglia Ruskin University again punched above their weight in numbers for the 2014 Research Exercise Framework, when they were recognised as having world-leading research. We were able to include the work of a new Junior and a new Senior History Research Fellow, Richard Carr and Lucy Bland, which added to the momentum of the Labour History Research Unit (LHRU), with specialisms respectively in twentieth-century politics and twentieth century gender.

The 2014 REF included a book of essays co-edited by Jon Davis on The Second Labour Government 1929–1931: a reappraisal (Manchester University Press, 2011). This started life as a successful LHRU conference in May 2009. The LHRU has now held two more conferences, one on Labour and the First World War (May 2014) and one on Labour and the 1980s, which will act as the basis of two fresh collections of essays. The other axis of research covers the broad spectrum of Popular History to Court Studies. In 2014 Dr Rohan McWilliam gave a scintillating professorial lecture which trailed features of his new research on the history of the West End of London. This included an analysis of the hugely popular celebration of the relief of Mafeking in the Boer War. Dr Séan Lang has also written about this event from the standpoint of Cambridge local history.

At the Court end of the spectrum Clarissa Campbell Orr has continued to research the history of various aspects of the Hanoverian court, 1714–1837. 2014 was the tercentenary of the accession of the ‘Georges’ from the Hanoverian dynasty, and she spoke at the universities of Coburg and Hanover. She is a member of the EU funded project on the role of royal consorts, ‘Marrying Cultures’, and gave the opening plenary lecture in 2014 at Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel, Germany. She is associated with some exhibitions organised by the Yale Center for British Art, where she was Andrew Mellon Senior Visiting Fellow in 2011 when an exhibition on Johann Zoffany opened. She contributed to its catalogue, which was named by the popular Cambridge Don, Mary Beard, as one of her books of the year for 2011. She is currently consultant on an exhibition on three Hanoverian royal consorts scheduled for 2016–2017. She also contributed to the exhibition on the eighteenth-century architect William Kent sponsored by the Bard Graduate School of Design in 2011–12 in New Work and at the V&A in London. Her biography of Mary Granville Delany, 1700–1788, botanical artist and court insider, will be published in 2016 by Yale University Press.