About History at Goldsmiths

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History is a relevant, dynamic, fascinating, and important field of study which, at Goldsmiths, is approached in creative, innovative, and exciting ways.

The study, analysis and understanding of the past is as important today as it has ever been and it continues to make vital contributions to how we comprehend and interact with the world around us. Understanding past societies fosters emotional intelligence and allows us to appreciate the diversity and adaptability of human life.

Understanding our pasts can help us to shape our futures and, crucially, help us shape those futures intelligently, insightfully, fairly, and with compassion.

History is here and now as well as being there and then.

History student Danielle takes us behind the scenes of the department.

About the department

We are a friendly and motivated department, with cosmopolitan, student-focussed, and enthusiastic staff who are committed to equipping and empowering students to pursue their own historical interests and to achieve their full potential. We have a keen and expert sense of history which allows us to be progressive in developing new initiatives while still remaining true to our discipline.

We undertake and publish internationally-recognised and award-winning research which feeds directly into our teaching and public engagement. We are acutely alert to the relevance and potency of history in contemporary contexts and the influential role of history and historians in public life. We constantly seek to confound expectations, inspire curiosity, and challenge orthodoxies.

We are pioneers in Black British History, Queer History and histories of sexualities, non-traditional military history, the history of emotions and senses, medical humanities and histories of medicine, histories of religion and dissent, histories of politics and power and histories of peoples and places. Our reach extends beyond the textual, with material culture, visual culture, oral history, and spatiality informing our research and our research-led teaching.

  • We are exciting and challenging: our innovative interdisciplinary approaches to the subject encourage students to approach and explore the past thematically rather than chronologically and we venture into issues, areas and topics that are often overlooked
  • We are global: our international body of staff research and deliver modules covering a wide geographical range including Asia, Africa, the Americas, the British Isles, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East
  • We excel in what we do: our staff are nationally and internationally recognised award-winning experts in their fields; they are at the forefront of research excellence and research-led teaching
  • We put you first: our students are always our top priority and our staff are excellent educators who foster independent and progressive thinking in challenging but supportive environments
  • We broaden minds: history stimulates critical and analytical thinking and, at Goldsmiths, we also encourage creative and imaginative thinking that takes our students beyond the traditional boundaries of the subject.
  • We think about your future: alongside intellectual and personal development we equip our students with the skills and experience needed to progress into rewarding graduate careers. This might be through our History in Practice work-placement module or through other career-orientated opportunities and forms of assessment