Professor Louise Hill Curth’s Inaugural Lecture

Professor Louise Hill Curth gave her inaugural lecture at a well-attended event at the University of Winchester on Thursday 27 October 2016. The event celebrated Louise’s ground breaking contribution to the field of early modern medieval history and, in particular, the history of health and illness in early modern animals. Inaugural lectures allow recently appointed professors to let their colleagues, the wider academic community and the general public to provide an overview of their contribution to scholarship and signpost future directions for their own research. First Deputy Vice-Chancellor Elizabeth Stuart introduced Louise and noted their shared enthusiasm for gardening and love to animals, an appropriate introduction given the topic of the lecture: ‘For man and beast: animal health care in Early Modern England’. The lecture allowed Louise to reflect on her impressive corpus of research and preview her future research. The paper showed that, contrary to the previous orthodoxy, veterinary medicine did not spring out of a vacuum with the opening of the Royal Veterinary College in 1791 but that early modern people took great care to maintain the health and well-being of their animals. Louise explained how a multitude of factors ranging from economic necessity to emotional attachment to religious and cultural norms made early modern people care deeply about the health of their animals. The event finished with Emeritus Professor Michael Hicks thanking Louise for her contribution to the department and the wider academic community.


[Left to right]: Professor Louise Curth; Emeritus Professor Michael Hicks; Professor Simon Jobson; First Deputy VC Professor Elizabeth Stuart.

Photo courtesy of P&G Wells.

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Winchester historians participate in BBC History Weekend

Several members of the History department participated in BBC History Magazine’s ‘Winchester History Weekend’ between 7 and 9 October 2016. Dr Ryan Lavelle was the first speaker of the weekend talking about ‘Cnut the Great and his English Kingdom’. Lavelle was joined in giving hour long talks by distinguished authors and historians such as A.C. Grayling, Barry Cunliffe, Jonathan Dimbleby, Marc Morris, Michael Wood and Dan and Peter Snow to name but a few.

The weekend also afforded other members of the department to give 10 minute public talks on their research. Dr Rob Houghton spoke on ‘It’s Just a Bunch of Staff that Happened: Does Historical Accuracy Matter in TV, Films and Games?’, drawing on his expertise on the importance of the media in modern perceptions of the Middle Ages. Dr Sian Edwards drew on her research on youth movements in the English countryside, which she currently writing a monograph on, for her paper ‘Girls and Young Farmers’ Club training in 1950s Britain’. Recent PhD students Karl Alvestad and Emily Stiles spoke on aspects of their research on the use of St Olaf in the construction of Norwegian identity and the cultural memory of the Holocaust in Britain respectively.

The weekend also afforded the opportunity for five of the department’s research students to share the initial fruits of their work with the general public, in short 10 minute presentations. Nicola Tallis spoke on Lady Jane Grey; Terri Bickford spoke on the Equal Pay Acts of 1970 and 2010; Alison Wilcox spoke on ‘Defiant, Dissenting and Disobedient Women of the Great War’; Tom Wex spoke on the perceptions of soldiers and criminality in England at the end of the Hundred Years War; and Tony Griffiths spoke about England’s approach of medieval Jewish memory looking specifically at Winchester.

In all the weekend allowed the department to showcase its wide range of research interests and maintain its commitment to sharing such expertise with the general public.

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First Modern History Seminar of the Academic Year


The first Modern History Seminar of the academic year will be held on Thursday 16 October. Papers are normally held monthly at 6pm on a Thursday evening in Medecroft 16 at the university. For our first seminar we are delighted to welcome Fatma Coşkuner from Koç University in Istanbul who will discuss Russian and Ottoman orientalisms. The paper continues the seminar’s fine tradition of having papers on international topics as well as British history. Later on in the year we welcome Markus Wein from the American University in Bulgaria who will give a lunch time paper in the university board room. We are also looking forward to Sian Edwards, a recent arrival in the department, talking about youth movements and citizenship in the Post-War Britain and Stuart McBratney who is a PhD student in the department looking at Thomas Jefferson and Slavery.

The series will also mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution and be involved with an exhibition on LGBT History at the Winchester Discovery Centre in February. More details of these events to come.

Below is the series for this year. Members of the public are welcome to attend all of the department’s seminars.

13 October @ 6pm in Medecroft room 16 University of Winchester – King Alfred Campus
Ms Fatma Coşkuner (Koç University, Istanbul Turkey).
Russian and Ottoman orientalisms through the artistic visions of Vasily Vereschagin and Osman Hamdi Bey

10 November Noon in Boardroom: Dr Markus Wien (American University in Bulgaria)
Redefinition of Jewish Group Identities in Bulgaria after 1878

10 November @ 6pm in Medecroft 16: Dr Ben Anderson (Keele University)
The Modernity of being Anti-Modern: Mountaineers in turn-of-the-century England and Germany

8 December @ 6pm in Medecroft 16:  Dr Sian Edwards (University of Winchester)
Stewards of the Land: Youth Movements, Citizenship and the English Countryside in Post-War Britain

12 January 2017 @ 6pm in Medecroft 16:  Professor Emma Griffin (University of East Anglia)
What has masculinity ever done for us? Rethinking fatherhood and family in Victorian Britain

9 February @ 6pm in Medecroft 16 Dr Emma Vickers (Liverpool John Moores University) Sanctuary or sissy? Male cross-dressing as entertainment in the British Armed Forces, 1939-1944  [This is in correlation with the exhibition Diversity History Month – LGBT History at Winchester Discovery Centre. More information available soon]

9 March Noon, venue to be confirmed: Mr Stuart McBratney (University of Winchester) Thomas Jefferson and Slavery: A Revolutionary Paradox

9 March @6pm in Medecroft 16: Dr Rebecca Clifford (Swansea University)
Impossible Reconstructions: The Dilemmas of Family Reunification after the Holocaust

25 May @ 6pm in Medecroft 16 Dr Michael Brown (University of Roehampton)
A Theatre of Emotions: Sensibility and the Politics of Pain in Early Nineteenth-Century British Surgery
[This is event is co-hosted with the Centre for Medical History]

In May, the Modern History Research Centre will celebrate the centenary of the Russian Revolution with a public event, ‘The International Historical Significance of 1917’. More information soon to come!

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1066 and All That History


Dr Matthew Bennett; Dr Katherine Weikert; Dr Ryan Lavelle

On Friday 16 September 2016 the Trowbridge Civic Centre hosted an event entitled ‘1066 and All that History Conference’ which marked the 950th anniversary of the Battle of Hastings. The all-day event featured talks from a wide range of experts on Anglo-Saxon and post-Conquest England. The participants included three members of the Winchester History Department: Dr Ryan Lavelle (Reader in Early Medieval History), Dr Katherine Weikert (Lecturer in Early Medieval European History) and Dr Matthew Bennett (Part-Time Hourly Lecturer in History.) All three were invited because of their expertise on various aspects of the Conquest and their talks reflected on their own specialisms: Ryan on the impact of the Anglo-Danish kingdom; Matthew on the three battles of 1066; and Katherine on the foreign queens of Norman kings. Lavelle, Weikert and Bennett were delighted to be invited to speak and enjoyed the experience.


Dr Matthew Bennett speaking on the three Battles of 1066.



Dr Ryan Lavelle speaking on the impact of the Anglo-Danish kingdoms

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Medical History Seminars

The University’s Centre for Medical History begins its third seminar series on Thursday 29 September with Professor Jonathan Reinarz from the University of Birmingham speaking on ‘Learning from your mistakes: a history of medical education in provincial England, c.1825-193’. Professor Reinarz has published widely on the history of hospitals, medical education and medical specialisation, including paediatrics and dermatology.

One of the centre’s great strengths in the past has been that the seminar series has held seminars on broad range of topic relating to the history of health and medicine through all historical periods. This year’s programme continues this tradition.

Later in the semester our own Professor Louise Curth will be giving her inaugural lecture on animal care in early modern England (more information to follow).

Below is the full list of seminars for this academic year. All are welcome.

Date Topic Speaker(s)
Thurs, 29 September

6 pm – Medecroft 16

 Learning from your mistakes: a history of medical education in provincial England, c.1825-1939 Professor Jonathan Reinarz

University of Birmingham

Thurs, 27 October

6 pm – Stripe Lecture Theatre

*For man & beast: animal health care in early modern England


Professor Louise Hill Curth

University of Winchester

Thurs, 24 November

6 pm – Medecroft 6

‘Christ the Physician walks the wards’: Medicine & religion in the Middle Ages Professor Carole Rawcliffe

University of East Anglia

Thurs, 26 January

6 pm – Medecroft 1

The soul takes a stroll: Early modern interpretations of a Hippocratic place Dr Guido Giglioni

School of Advanced Study, University of London

Thurs,   23 February

6 pm – Medecroft 16

Trends and transformations in sleep: practices, values and inequalities Dr Robert Meadows

University of Surrey

Thurs, 23 March

6 pm –  Medecroft 16

Health and Illness in 19th century Hampshire Sarah Lewin

Hampshire Records Office

Thurs, 27 April

6 pm –  Medecroft 16

Significant Impacts: Causes, Consequences and Treatment of Prehistoric Head Injuries Dr Martin Smith

Bournemouth University

Thurs, 25 May

6 pm – Medecroft 16

**A Theatre of Emotions: Sensibility and the Politics of Pain in Early Nineteenth-Century British Surgery Dr Michael Brown

Roehampton University

*RSVP mandatory for this paper only – email:

**  Co-hosted with Centre for Modern History

For more information email the Head of the Centre for Medical History – Prof. Louise Hill Curth at

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First History Research Seminar of the 2016-17 Academic Year

The History Department hosts four of the University’s research seminars: The Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology; the Modern History Research Centre; the Centre for Medical History and the Centre for Gender Studies. Members of the public are welcome to attend all of the department’s seminars.

The first seminar of the academic year will be hosted by the Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology. Our former head of department, Emeritus Professor Michael Hicks will be speaking on ‘What went on in and around the Late Medieval church’. Professor Hicks has published widely on numerous aspects of the political, social and religious history of Late Medieval England. He is the former director of the Wessex Centre for History and Archaeology and principal investigator of the ‘Mapping the Medieval Countryside’ and ‘Overland Trade’ research projects.

Emeritus Professor Michael Hicks, “What went on in and around the Late Medieval church”

Date and time: 22 September 2016. 6pm

Location: Hampshire Record Office, Sussex Street, Winchester.

[Details of all the department’s seminar programmes will be added shortly]

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Summer activities of Winchester staff

As we wrap up the second semester and prepare to disperse for the summer, here is the first in a series of entries letting you all know what faculty members are going to be getting up to during the next couple of months.


Cindy Wood is publishing a book based on her experience of teaching undergraduates the joy of medieval history. Studying Late Medieval History: A Thematic Approach will introduce students to many of the key themes of the period to help with a greater understanding of the period, for example, monarchy, warfare, the Church, women and chivalry. This covers Medieval Europe from 1300 to 1555. Published by Routledge it will be available via Amazon from 31st May.


Rob Houghton will be running a strand on Violence in Medieval Italy at the Leeds International Medieval Congress in July and a strand on History and Games at the Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA) conference in Abertay in August while Simon Sandall will be trawling through the archives in York, Canterbury, Norwich, Winchester, and London researching for his project ‘Shame and the courts in England, c.1550-1700’.

canterbury cathedral

We will post reports and pictures across the summer alongside details of other faculty members in their research and conference activities so keep an eye out.

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