Georgian Perspectives Blog

Announcing a new blog ‘Georgian Perspectives’ launched by Louise Ryland-Epton, a¬†PhD candidate with the History department at The OU.¬†

Louise writes:

I am a PhD candidate at the OU researching eighteenth century poverty, welfare legislation and the inner workings of the Georgian state.  I wanted to blog because I have been spending a lot of time in archives recently and sometimes I come across things which whilst not relevant to my current research is maybe unusual, surprising or tragic.  I am also interested in how history has parallels or resonances with what is happening today.  So one post deals with the creation of an early soup kitchen in a town which today has a food bank.  These responses to food crisis are two hundred years but both have very similar objectives.  A blog is great as it allows me to focus on individual stories which would not otherwise be told in an engaging way which I hope is interesting.

Click here to visit Louise’s blog ‘Georgian Perspectives’.¬†

PhD Research Day 2017

A PhD research day took place in The Open University Library Seminar rooms 1-2, Milton Keynes, on 26 May 2017. The event was organised by Dr Silvia De Renzi and Dr Anna Plassart and provided OU History department PhD candidates an opportunity to present their work and exchange ideas.

For further details, see the full programme below.


  • 10.00: Registration and coffee
  • 10.20: Welcome and introduction
  • 10.30: Chris Mains, ‘Plots and religious conflicts in Elizabethan time: the view of Sir Robert Cecil’
  • 11.10: Katherine Lucas, ‘Developments in the political thinking of Wolfe Tone’
  • 11.50: Break
  • 12.00: Louise Ryland Epton, ‘Welfare provision in the late eighteenth century’
  • 12.40: Lunch
  • 14.00: Lucinda Borkett-Jones, ‘Representations of Anglo-German relations before the First World War’
  • 14.40: Sam Aylett, ‘Museums and the legacies of the British Empire: key questions and methods’
  • 15.20: Coffee break
  • 15.30: Tom Probert, ‘The changing historiography of counterinsurgency: from minimum to exemplary force’
  • 16.10: Concluding remarks


New collaborative Studentship with the Imperial War Museum

Thomas Probert will be joining us in October, to study ‚ÄėThe Impact of Post-war counterinsurgency on British Service Personnel‚Äô. The doctoral supervisory team is Karl Hack (History), Alex Tickell (English), and Simon Innes-Robins (Imperial War Museum). ¬†Thomas has an MSc¬†in War and Psychiatry, and experience of service in the British Army, and so brings a wide range of experience and training to bear. This is a particularly exciting collaboration for us, combining as it does History, English, and heritage and memory.

Talk: Carolin Schmitz ‚ÄėCrossing healing spaces: the sick and their mobility in early modern Spain‚Äô

On 18 June 2015 our visiting PhD student in history Carolin Schmitz (Instituto de Historia de la Medicina y de la Ciencia “L√≥pez Pi√Īero”,¬†University of Valencia) gave a talk on ‚ÄėCrossing healing spaces:¬† the sick and their mobility in early modern Spain‚Äô. Carolin works on health care in early modern Spain. She is using trial records to recover the perceptions and actions taken by sick people seeking help and care.


Funding success for Karl Hack and Alex Tickell

Karl Hack (and Alex Tickell of the OU English Department) have been awarded an AHRC-funded collaborative studentship with the Imperial War Museum, to the value of £55,000.

Consequently, Kathryn Butler will be joining us in October 2014 to start a thesis on ‘The Impact of postwar counterinsurgency on the psyche of the British military’.


Prize: History student wins OU poster competition

Congratulations are due to Alice Smalley, a History research student, who won the Arts category in the recent OU Postgraduate Poster Competition and goes forward to compete in the Midlands Hub final on 12 July. Her entry demonstrated the use of GIS to determine where crimes reported in the 19th-century illustrated Police News actually took place.