Centre for Regional and Local History


Prefix telephone numbers with 0116 252 (or 223/373 where indicated) when calling from outside the University. 

Centre leadership

Dr Angela Muir

Lecturer in British Social and Cultural History and Centre Director 

Angela is a social and cultural historian of Britain in the long 18th century with a focus on gender, sex, crime, deviance, medicine, and the body in Wales and England. Her current research focuses on reading per-trial depositional evidence from the Court of Great Sessions in Wales ‘against the grain' for evidence of identity, cultural practices, and sociability. 


Dr Richard Jones

Associate Professor in Landscape History and Acting Centre Director

Richard is currently the longest-serving member of the Centre. He is a medieval landscape and environmental historian whose research explores the complex relationships that developed between rural communities and their locales/environments in England, Wales, and France across the whole of the Middle Ages (c. 500-1500AD).


Centre members

Dr James Bothwell

Lecturer in Later Medieval English History

James teaches Later Medieval English History at the University of Leicester. Alongside other areas of research (esp. the nobility and monarchy), he is interested in charity and giving in Leicestershire (1200-1500), and the role of the Midlands in the Revolt of 1381.


Professor John Coffey

Professor of History

John’s research focuses on religion, politics and ideas in the Protestant Atlantic world, c. 1600-1850. His current research examines religious activism and British abolitionism, which has included analysis of the 1832 Demerara Slave Rebellion. He is editing a scholarly edition of the diaries of William Wilberforce.


Dr Simon Dixon

Head of Archives and Special Collections, Library and Learning Services

Simon is a social and religious historian whose research has spanned the mid-17th to the early 20th century. He is research the business, sporting and literary interests of Thomas Hatton, whose topographical collection provides the foundation of the Library’s nationally significant local history holdings.


Dr William Farrell

Research Services Team, University Library

William is a librarian and historian. As librarian, he is interested in digital collections and open publishing for history and heritage. He maintains the Centre for Regional and Local History Theses and Papers website. As a historian he has published on the silk industry and smuggling in 18th century Britain. He is currently working on the migration of apprentices to London during the early modern period. 


Professor Corinne Fowler

Professor of Colonialism and Heritage

Corinne is Professor of Colonialism and Heritage. She specialises in colonial history, decolonisation and the British countryside’s relationship to Empire. Her most recent book is Green Unpleasant Land: Creative Responses to Rural England’s Colonial Connections Peepal Tree Press, 2020). Her forthcoming book is Our Island Stories: Country Walks Through Colonial Britain (Penguin Allen Lane, 2023).


Dr Zoe Groves

Zoe is a social and cultural historian of nineteenth and twentieth-century Southern Africa with a focus on migration, cities and popular culture. She is interested in local and regional identities, transnational and Pan-African movements, and cultural practices. Zoe's book Malawian Migration to Zimbabwe, c.1900-1965: Tracing Machona was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2020. Her current research explores dance histories in Malawi and the wider central-southern African region during the colonial and post-independence eras. 


Dr Sarah Inskip

UKRI Future Leaders Fellow

Sarah is an Osteoarchaeologist in the School of Archaeology and Ancient History. Her research focuses on revealing the impact of tobacco on the health of Western Europeans from 1600-1900. Dr Inskip integrates skeletal evidence obtained from archaeological human skeletal remains with historical and modern health narratives. By utilising modern research techniques she is able to reveal new insights into archaeological questions. Her research interests also include human biology and genetics, with a strong interest in the history and evolution of Hansen's Disease – also known as leprosy - and other infectious diseases. 


Professor Ben Jervis

Professor of Medieval Archaeology

Ben is an archaeologist whose research explores experiences of urban and rural life in medieval England. He is particularly interested in the study of material culture (especially ceramics and stone objects) and the application of innovative theoretical perspectives to address historical questions.


Professor Turi King

Professor of Public Engagement and Genetics

Turi King is Professor of Genetics and Public Engagement at the University of Leicester. She is perhaps best known for having led the genetic and statistical identification of King Richard III and is now co-presenter of BBC DNA Family Secrets with Stacey Dooley. Her research concentrates around ancient DNA and, mostly, human remains, with the odd ancient kitty thrown in.


Dr Zoe Knox

Associate Professor of Modern Russian History

Zoe’s research focuses on religious tolerance and intolerance in the modern world, in Russia and beyond. She is researching the pioneering work of Keston College, a rights organisation founded in Kent in 1969 in order to collect, analyse, and publicise material on religious persecution under communist regimes.


Dr Viji Kuppan

Research Associate

Viji is a Researcher associated with The Centre for Hate Studies and School of Museum Studies. He is currently engaged on The Rural Racism Project: Moving Towards an Inclusive Countryside. In this this role he is working on the historic, cultural and symbolic representations of racism in the English countryside. More broadly, his research and writing has explored the intersectional histories of race and disability. For example, in his 2018 chapter, ‘Crippin’ Blackness: Narratives of Disabled People of Colour from Slavery to Trump’ in A. Jonson et al. Eds. The Fire Now: Anti-Racist Scholarship in Times of Explicit Racial Violence. London: Zed Books, p. 60-73.  


Professor George Lewis

Professor of American History

George has a long association with the inter-disciplinary Centre for American Studies. Much of his research focuses on civil rights and ideologies of white supremacy, which has seen him work closely with Journey to Justice. As part of Journey to Justice’s travelling exhibition, he has worked to anchor global stories of social justice in the local community, which has seen him establish collaborations with local researchers, community groups and schools.


Veena Patel

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Veena’s PhD research focuses on the role of water and healing during the Reformation. It examines aspects of water culture in early modern England from 1520-1680 in order to demonstrate the magnetism of water and the natural world in early modern society.


Dr Rosemary Shirley

Associate Professor of Art Museum and Gallery Studies 

Rosemary's research centres on the intersection of art and rural places. This is explored in her book: Rural Modernity, Everyday Life and Visual Culture and in her work as a curator. Recent curatorial projects include the critical landscape exhibition Creating the Countryside at Compton Verney, and Everywhere: Life in a Littered World an exhibition exploring artistic responses to litter and pollution.


Dr Deborah Toner

Associate Professor of History

Deborah is a social and cultural historian of alcohol and food in the Americas, especially in relation to ideas of race, ethnicity, gender, identity and nationhood. She is researching the historical development and operation of racial stereotypes about alcohol use in Mexico and the United States, and the global history of medical and psychiatric frameworks for understanding alcohol use disorders. As a member of the Centre for Regional and Local History, she is interested in exploring how particular foods and drinks can act as markers of regional and local identities, how those symbolic associations are formed and contested, and the power dynamics involved in those processes. To get a taste of this approach, you can listen to an episode of the Pass the Chipotle podcast, in which I talk about pulque – an alcoholic drink from central Mexico – as emblematic of local, regional and national identities at different times. 


Professor Mark Williams

Professor of Palaeobiology

Mark teaches and researches the history of life on Earth. Having spent much of his career examining very deep-time fossil records, from millions of years ago, much of his current focus is on biosphere change in the Anthropocene. This extends to an interest in the long-term resilience of woodland, with a special focus on Leicestershire.


University Fellows and Honorary Visiting staff

Name  Position  Email
Dr Juliet Bailey Honorary Fellow  jb867@le.ac.uk
Dr Amanda de Belin  Honorary Visiting Fellow  mdb36@le.ac.uk 
Yvonne Cresswell Honorary Visiting Fellow yc393@leicester.ac.uk
Karen Donegani Honorary Visiting Fellow kd257@le.ac.uk 
Professor Christopher Dyer  Leverhulme Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of Regional and Local History  cd50@le.ac.uk 
Dr Pamela Fisher  Victoria County History of Leicestershire (LVCHT)  pjf7@le.ac.uk 
Dr Michael Gilbert Honorary Visiting Fellow (and Chair of the Friends) mg502@le.ac.uk
Dr Richard Gilbert  Honorary Visiting Fellow   
Dr Rachael Jones Honorary Visiting Fellow rj176@leicester.ac.uk
Dr Susan Kilby  Honorary Visiting Fellow  sk565@le.ac.uk
Dr Roger Morris Honorary Visiting Fellow rm457@le.ac.uk 
Professor Charles Phythian-Adams  Former Head of Department of English Local History  cvpa1@le.ac.uk 
Mr Julian R. Pooley  Honorary Visiting Fellow  jrp21@le.ac.uk 
Professor Kevin Schurer Emeritus Professor of English Local History  ks291@le.ac.uk 
Professor Keith Snell Emeritus Professor of Rural and Cultural History  kdm@le.ac.uk 
Dr Paul Stamper Honorary Visiting Fellow ps478@le.ac.uk 
Dr Andrew Watkins Honorary Visiting Fellow (LVCHT)  aw394@le.ac.uk 

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