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Centre for Cultural History

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Examining a wide range of historical periods

The Centre for Cultural History was first set up in the early 2010s as an informal hub for scholars interested in a wide range of historical periods - from the late Middle Ages to the early twenty-first century. Following the insights of the later 鈥楢nnales鈥 school, the Centre fosters innovative, interdisciplinary and microhistorical research into all aspects of 鈥榣ow鈥 and 鈥榟igh鈥 culture, and how they can reshape our awareness of wider contexts and trends.

By taking an inclusive view of cultural history, the Centre also supports collaborative research that draws on the University鈥檚 unique research strengths in art, literature, theology, philosophy and sporting history. In the REF 2021 research assessment, 65% of the 天美传媒官方鈥檚 History submission was judged to be either internationally renowned or world-leading.

We welcome approaches from potential postgraduate research students or cultural organisations interested in working with us. Please contact Professor Hugo Frey at h.frey@chi.ac.uk for more information.

Military on boats


Hugo Frey
Professor Hugo Frey
Alwyn Turner
Alwyn Turner
Danae Tankard
Dr Danae Tankard
Lorenza Gianfrancesco
Dr Lorenza Gianfrancesco
Mark Bryant
Dr Mark Bryant
Andrew Chandler
Professor Andrew Chandler
Daria Mattingly
Dr Miles Leeson
Dr Miles Leeson
Paul Quinn
Dr Paul Quinn
Benjamin Noys
Professor Benjamin Noys
Fiona Price
Professor Fiona Price
Tommy Lynch
Dr Tommy Lynch


We work at the forefront of diverse scholarly fields, both individually and with a variety of local, national and international partners 鈥 on research outputs, archival and oral history projects, and events.

History from below

To uncover the past, whether recent or distant in time, is to reframe the habits of thought that make and sustain contemporary life. Dr Alwyn Turner鈥檚 longstanding research on in twentieth century history excavates the messy political, cultural and social processes through which British national identity was made and remade in the Edwardian era, the post-war period, and beyond.

Reaching further back, Dr Nikki Clark鈥檚 research asks new questions about the Tudors 鈥 another powerful episode in national mythmaking 鈥 by turning attention away from the 鈥榟ousehold names鈥 of Henry VIII鈥檚 reign and focusing instead on the ladies-in-waiting who served them behind the scenes. Similarly, Dr Mark Bryant鈥檚 recent research has included a project exploring the neglected influence of the French King Louis XIV鈥檚 secret wife and confidant, Mme de Maintenon, and Dr Lorenza

Gianfrancesco鈥檚 groundbreaking research on early modern Naples places marginal communities at the heart of its analysis. By considering hitherto overlooked influences (and influencers) at moments of pivotal change, this work re-engages with enduring questions and assumptions in modern European history.

With Ukraine in the global spotlight following Russia鈥檚 full-scale invasion in early 2022, building and sharing an understanding of its history is more important than ever. Dr Daria Mattingly鈥檚 work on twentieth-century Ukraine, particularly the 1932-33 famine known as the Holodomor, traces the rank-and-file perpetrators of a tragedy that forms a crucial part of Ukraine鈥檚 collective memory and national identity. Mattingly is a contributor to the Ukrainian History Global Initiative, and the Advisory Board of the project 鈥5am, 24.02.22鈥, which explores personal testimonies from the current war in Ukraine.

The lens of the local

The 天美传媒官方 has a unique place in the history of West Sussex. One of our lecture rooms was used as the Operations Room of RAF Tangmere, acting as the nerve centre for squadrons of fighter planes involved in the D-Day landings of 1944.

The University was also an important context for local gender history in the 1870s, when Ms Louisa Hubbard, campaigning with the Suffragettes and supported by Florence Nightingale, successfully petitioned the institution (then known as Bishop Otter College) to become a training college specifically for women.

Professor Andrew Chandler鈥檚 longstanding research into modern church history includes a biographical dictionary (jointly edited) of women in British churches from 1890-1960, alongside a range of projects focussing on the importance of local church figures, such as Bishop George Bell, within the wider context of British religious history.

Likewise looking into the local past, Dr Danae Tankard鈥檚 scholarship reconsiders the history of everyday things in Sussex 鈥 especially clothing 鈥 and how they played into contemporary ideas about individuality, community and place. What we wear has always been a way of asking something of the world around us, and of placing ourselves, in often complex ways, within that world. Tankard鈥檚 current research considers the importance of factionalism and dissent in late seventeenth-century Chichester, specifically.

Reading visual culture

Professor Hugo Frey鈥檚 work on graphic novels, comics and film is known all over the world. In 2022 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Ghent, where he researched French and Belgian 1940s and 1950s comics and their representations of post-war society. This is being followed by a planned exhibition of Visionary Comics at the Museum of Comic Art, Brussels, in 2025.

He is currently a co-recipient of a British Academy conference grant for research, soon to be published in the Proceedings of the British Academy, and will, with the help of a PhD researcher be partnering up with the Italian Cultural Centre in London to make a small exhibition of 1960s Italian comics and the British strips that were translated and published in Italy.


Our members publish regular monographs, journal articles, book chapters and other work with leading publishing houses.

The REF 2021 research assessment exercise saw 66% of our work rated as internationally excellent or world leading.

We also serve on a host of editorial boards and historical society committees with responsibility for outputs of various kinds, including the Institute of Historical Research, Manchester University Press, the Association for the Studies of Nationalities, the Heldt Book Price Committee, the Sussex Record Society, the British Agricultural Society, and the new Churches Forum for History.

Professor Hugo Frey is currently co-editing the groundbreaking book series.

Other recent and ongoing book-length publications include Dr Alwyn Turner鈥檚 Little Englanders: Britain in the Edwardian Era (part of a multi-volume series on Britain in the twentieth century with Profile Books), Dr Nikki Clark鈥檚 The Waiting Game: The Untold Story of the Women who Served the Six Wives (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), Dr Danae Tankard鈥檚 Factionalism & Dissent in a Late Seventeenth-Century City: Chichester, 1678鈥1685 (Routledge), Dr Gianfrancesco鈥檚 The Science of Naples: Making Knowledge in Italy鈥檚 Pre-eminent City, 1500鈥1800 (UCL Press, co-edited with Neil Tarrant), and Professor Andrew Chandler鈥檚 The Letters of George Bell and Alphons Koechlin, 1933鈥1958 and War, Peace and the British Free Churches 1900鈥1945 (both Bloomsbury, co-edited with Gerhard Ringshausen and David Ceri Jones, respectively).

Current peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters include studies on Stalinism and sexual violence during the Holdomor famine in Ukraine by Dr Daria Mattingly, and a special edition article on noblewomen, court service and crossing borders in sixteenth-century England, by Dr Nikki Clark.

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Fully half our research impact in History was judged to be of the highest 4* (world-leading) quality in the most recent REF (2021) assessment. We are eager to continue to work with external organisations and individuals to make a difference through our research.

Our members regularly feature in prestigious media outlets, in writing, interviews, and public engagement events. Current and recent engagements include:

Reframing the Political Present

With the 2024 publication of his most recent monograph Little Englanders, Alwyn Turner is busy with interviews and podcasts, including for HistoryExtra, Engelsberg Ideas, The Books Podcast and Times Radio, alongside guest talks at various historical societies.

Amplifying Ukrainian History

Dr Daria Mattingly鈥檚 recent public engagements have included appearing on the Daily Telegraph podcast Ukraine: The Latest, in December 2023, and speaking at a press conference on the launch of the Ukrainian History Global Initiative (UHGE) at the British Museum in November 2023.

History around Henry

Dr Nikki Clark鈥檚 many ongoing speaking commitments include talks at Southwark Cathedral, the British Library鈥檚 Histfest, Hillingdon Archaeology Festival, and Suzannah Lipscomb鈥檚 Not Just For Tudors podcast. Her work has also featured in the Six Wives exhibition catalogue at the National Portrait Gallery.

Comic art exhibitions

In partnership with Italian Cultural Institute London, Professor Hugo Frey is curating an exhibition of 1960s pop art-inspired comics (Chichester University Campus), and is co-organizing (with Professor Simon Grennan) a British Academy-funded conference entitled 鈥楾he Business of Comics鈥 (May 2024). In 2022 he was a Visiting Professor at the University of Ghent, where he researched French and Belgian 1940s and 1950s comics and their representations of post-war society. This is being followed by a planned exhibition of Visionary Comics at the Museum of Comic Art, Brussels, in 2025

Events and News

The Centre hosts a regular series of talks, including free public lectures at the University and in Chichester and the surrounding area.

We are also closely affiliated with Chichester Marks Holocaust Memorial Day, which organises a diverse programme of events each year.

Externally, centre members are engaged in a wide range of events and promotional activities across 2024, including:

  • Book launch event for Dr Alwyn Turner鈥檚 Little Englanders on 6 March (Bishop Otter Campus)
  • Talks by Dr Nikki Clark on her latest book The Waiting Game on 2 May (Southwark Cathedral), 11 July (National Portrait Gallery) and 13 July (Hillingdon Archaeology Festival)
  • A talk on 'Clothing in Seventeenth-century Sussex' by Dr Danae Tankard at a Tudor & Stuart Sussex day school (12 October 2024)
  • Professor Hugo Frey was part of the panel on the Contours: The Cambridge Literary Studies Hour episode The Graphic Novel. You can watch the full episode below.

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