Welcome to the Centre for Modern European Cultural History
Our Centre seeks to build on Sussex's long-standing tradition of interdisciplinary cultural history, with a view toward inviting interested colleagues across the School of Humanities and Social Sciences to take part.
As is well known, the field of Modern European History has undergone a fundamental shift in the last generation. Where much of the emphasis was once on political and social history, recent scholarship has moved in new directions toward what is generally known as "cultural history".
Cultural studies has of course been a presence across the humanities for some time now, but what distinguishes cultural history is its effort to widen the scope and source-base of historical enquiry into the study of the past, integrating the insights and conceptual tools of neighbouring disciplines in the humanities, most notably anthropology, art history, literary criticism, the history of science and media studies. The beneficial effects of this intermarriage of disciplinary scholarship has clearly been manifest in the burgeoning historical subfields of memory, everyday life studies and material culture, but can also be seen in the field's effort to recast intellectual history as something beyond a history of intellectuals.
The Centre for Modern European Cultural History aims to build on these recent developments in the study of Modern Europe, and is a unique feature not just at Sussex but in the UK as well. We hope that it can be the basis for future collaborative work and research grant applications. The Centre is located in the Department of History, but would have connections to other departments and research centres at and beyond Sussex, such as the Centre for German-Jewish Studies, the Sussex Centre for Cultural Studies and The Centre for Visual Fields. Working with scholars at the university and elsewhere, we aim to make our centre a place where work in serious cultural history could be pursued and presented without concern for disciplinary boundaries.