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History at Goldsmiths takes place within a lively, interdisciplinary Department with specialists in visual history, oral history, the history of ideas, art and medicine, feminist history, interfaith relations and philosophy. The Department offers an expanding and flexible range of taught postgraduate programmes, covering medieval studies, contemporary thought, debates and methods in cultural history and visual history, as well as supervision in interdisciplinary research. The distinctive emphasis of Goldsmiths History is an approach to research and teaching which is theorised, interdisciplinary and comparative; the culture of the Department is open, friendly and accessible.
Research students are encouraged to be innovative in their use of sources and methodologies. Research training takes place inside the Department by specialists in their field, and in courses held in common at the Institute of Historical Research in Senate House, London WC1. This means that research students in History at Goldsmiths can belong to both the diverse and interdisciplinary range of students across the University, and the London community of graduates centred at the Institute of Historical Research. At the same time, because the Department of History at Goldsmiths is small (11 full-time and one part-time member of staff, one research fellow, and between 30 and 40 research students), research students have individual attention from more than one member of staff, and through the Goldsmiths History seminar, as well as regular (student-organised) workshops and conferences, can get to know everyone in the Department. The Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 noted that 'postgraduate activity was outstanding' in terms of research environment, and that the Department has "a very large and well supported research student community."
Staff have editorial involvement with African Affairs, History Workshop Journal, and Psychoanalysis and History, and contribute to projects including The New Dictionary of National Biography. We have received grants from the Arts Council, AHRC, the British Academy, the Leverhulme Trust, Nuffield Social Sciences, and the Wellcome Trust. In recent years, staff have helped to host a series of interdisciplinary conferences and colloquia in Cultural History, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, History of Ideas, and Religious Studies, and have attended conferences in locations from Florence to Korea.
The Department also provides the base for a collaborative venture with the State University of Pennsylvania, for the UK’s first online refereed electronic journal in the humanities.
The Goldsmiths History Seminar is a chance to discuss papers presented by staff, postgraduates, and guest speakers. Working Papers in Cultural History and Philosophy are published online within the Department.
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