The Centre for Modern and Contemporary History

World-class research that engages the public

Established in 2022, the Centre for Modern and Contemporary History (CMCH) supports the research of LJMU's historians, strengthens our partnerships with museums and historical societies and creates opportunities for new collaborations with researchers and historical institutions locally, nationally and internationally. Specialising in modern and contemporary history (1750s-present), the CMCH is comprised of the following Research Clusters.

The Americas

The Americas research cluster is concerned with the history and contemporary nature of the Americas (North, Central, and South) in domestic, regional, and international contexts. The cluster brings together scholars studying a wide variety of topics, including - but not limited to - economic history, social movements, slavery and its legacies, foreign relations, immigration, and identity.

Cluster leader - Dr Malcom Craig: 

The Postcolonial World: Ends and Legacies of Empire

The end of European global empires in the decades following World War II seemed to herald a fundamental and unprecedented historical shift from a world of empires to a world of nation-states. The process of decolonisation in Asia and Africa, its contingencies and contested outcomes, has come under sustained historical scrutiny in recent years, and the study of newly independent states in the post-colonial world is a key area of interest within the wider context of global history. Yet the questions of whether imperialism really ended with the decolonisation of European empires - particularly given the character of American and Soviet power in the post-war era, and the continued efforts by Britain and France to maintain their imperial spheres of influence - and the nature and extent of the legacy of European imperialism in today’s world, remain key academic and public concerns. This cluster brings together historians of diverse regions and scholars from associated disciplines who work on the ends and legacies of empires in the recent past and contemporary world, with the aim of facilitating sustained conversations and potential collaborations among members of the CMCH. It currently houses Dr Chris Vaughan's AHRC-funded Regionalism in East Africa project.

Cluster leader: Dr Dan Feather -

Gender, Race and Sexuality

This cluster brings together the complex research and ideologies that constitute the histories of gender, race and sexuality.  By taking an intersectional approach to these histories, the Gender, Race and Sexuality cluster will provide a space for discussion, sharing of ideas, and constructive feedback for researchers working across disciplines.

Cluster leader: Dr Andrea Livesey -

Risk, Emergencies and Security

Crises, emergencies, and the notion of a global “risk society” have become a mainstay of the public discourse. In the first two decades of the 21st century alone, societies faced the challenges of international terrorism, global financial crises, the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change, and various armed conflicts. We believe these pressing contemporary issues are rooted in long-term historical developments and thus warrant historically-informed analysis and discussion. Understanding these phenomena requires multi- and cross-disciplinary approaches, and we are therefore keen to include colleagues with a background in sociology, political science, media studies, linguistics and literature, and law (but not limited to them)  in the work of the cluster alongside colleagues from history. This cluster aims to provide a forum for researchers in to engage with these issues and to facilitate multi, inter- and cross-disciplinary discussion and collaboration.

Cluster leader: Dr Andre Keil -

The CMCH hosts a range of activities throughout the year, including seminars, workshops, book launches and other public speaking events. For updates on these events, please follow us on Twitter - @LJMUHistory.

For any enquiries related to the CMCH, please contact one of its Directors:

Dr Chris Vaughan -

Dr James Crossland -

Our latest publications

The following are some of our latest publications, which featured in LJMU History's 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission.

Faq Items

Susan Grant, Soviet Nightingales: Care Under Communism (Cornell University Press, 2022)

Gillian O'Brien, The Darkness Echoing (Penguin: 2020)

James Crossland, War, Law and Humanity: the Campaign to Control Warfare, 1850-1914 (Bloomsbury: 2018)

Malcom Craig, America, Britain and Pakistan's Nuclear Weapons Programme, 1974-1980 (Palgrave: 2017)

James Crossland, Melanie Oppenheimer and Neville Wylie (eds.), The Red Cross Movement: Myths, Practices and Turning Points (Manchester University Press, 2020)

Tom Beaumont, Fellows Travellers: Communist Trade Unionism and Industrial Relations on the French Railways, 1914-1939 (University of Liverpool Press, 2019) 

Nick White, In Trust: A History of PNB (MPH: 2018)

Our Research Impact case studies

Our historians produce research that is having impact beyond the world of academia, influencing pubic conversations and cultural activities within the UK and beyond. Below are some of the Impact Case Studies, produced by LJMU History researchers, for the recently concluded 2021 Research Excellence Framework (REF).

Faq Items

Emma Vickers - 'Dry Your Eyes Princess'

Gillian O'Brien - 'Presentingthe Past: Creating Content for Historic Sites & Museums'