Institute of History areas of expertise

The Institute of History includes research clusters in migration history, sports history and photographic history and specialisms in British, European, colonial and global history.

Its members have produced ground-breaking monographs on topics such as internment in the First World War, the history of Montenegro, cultural exchanges in the Indian Ocean World and the history and heritage of the Olympic Games. Its research has featured on numerous media programmes, including BBC TV’s My Family, Partition and Me: India 1947 and BBC Radio 4’s Sport and the British.

It is home to two world-renowned research centres: the International Centre for Sports History and Culture and the Photographic History Research Centre.

Research centres

The International Centre for Sports History and Culture (ICSHC) is a world-leading centre of excellence for the study of sports history.

Its members have research interests in a range of sports and sporting events, producing books and articles that links sport to the social, political, cultural, and economic contexts in which it has been played. They are all regular speakers at conferences and public events in the UK and overseas, and they contribute to television, radio, web, and print media features on sports history.

Two book series is edited from ICSHC: Peter Lang’s Sport, History and Culture, and Palgrave Studies in Sport and Politics. In addition, members are involved in running DMU’s ICSHC/History research seminar series, and in organising conferences and workshops.

As well as supervising PhDs in sport and leisure history, ICSHC members run two MA programmes, the Sports History and Culture MA and  the Management, Law and Humanities of Sport MA (in collaboration with FIFA, SDA Bocconi School of Management in Milan, and the University of Neuchâtel). Members also contribute sports management and heritage modules to DMU’s Business Management in Sport MSc, and sports history modules to DMU’s History BA (Hons).

ICSHC works closely with DMU’s Special Collections on the development of sporting archives, with recent accessions including materials relating to the Special Olympics, Boxing England, and the Ski Club of Great Britain.

Contact details

Professor Martin Polley, Director, International Centre for Sports History and Culture

De Montfort University
Clephan Building
The Gateway
Leicester, LE1 9BH

T: +44 (0)116 257 7662

Since 2012, the Photographic History Research Centre (PHRC) has been committed to international and interdisciplinary research on photography and its theories and practices from the 19th century to the present day. Research staff at the centre explore the multiple strands of photography’s history as an interconnected set of social and cultural processes, and as a visual economy which embraces the photographic industry, networks of photographic knowledge, science and technology, art, evidential and informational values and institutional practices.

The centre is particularly focused on extending both the theoretical and historiographical base of photographic history and access to its primary sources. It forms a centre for international scholarship, drawing in scholars with interests in a wide range of different but interrelated fields, including history of science, geography, anthropology, art history, cultural studies, science and technology studies, museology, material culture studies, digital media and three-dimensional imaging. It also provides an important base for the development of digital technologies for resource preservation, publication, discovery and access.

Postgraduate teaching is a core activity of the PHRC. Teaching and supervision is available from PHRC’s internationally-recognised team of research staff. It offers a PhD programme that reflects its range and diversity of interests.

Contact details

Dr Kelley Wilder, Director, Photographic History Research Centre

De Montfort University
The Gateway
Leicester, LE1 9BH


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