Professor Huw Bowen

Professor Huw Bowen
Professor in Modern History
History And Classics
Telephone: (01792) 602350

About Me

Huw Bowen was educated at University College of Wales, Aberystwyth before being appointed as Sir James Knott Research Fellow at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in 1985. He worked as a teacher between 1988 and 1992 and then moved to the University of Leicester where, having been Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Economic and Social History, he was awarded a personal chair in 2006. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 1994 and is currently Honorary Visiting Fellow at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. He joined the History Department (now History and Classics) at Swansea as Professor of Modern History in 2007. In 2008 he was elected Academician of the Academy of Social Sciences and in 2011 he became a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales. He is founding editor of the research monograph series The Worlds of the East India Company published by Boydell & Brewer.

Huw Bowen is Convenor of History Research Wales.

In 2010-2011 he led the ESRC-funded research project 'History, heritage, and urban regeneration: the local and global worlds of Welsh copper'.


  1. The consumption of British manufactured goods in India, 1765-1813: a prologue. In Haynes, D., McGowan, A., Roy, T. & Yanagisawa, H. (Ed.), Towards a history of consumption in South Asia. (pp. 26-50). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  2. Bullion for trade, war, and debt-relief: British movements of silver to, around, and from Asia, 1760-1833. Modern Asian Studies 44(3), 445-475. doi:10.1017/S0026749X09004004
  3. Britain in the Indian Ocean region and beyond: contexts, contours, and the creation of a global maritime empire.. In Bowen, H.V., Mancke, E. & Reid, J.G. (Ed.), Britain's oceanic empire: Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds c.1550-1850. (pp. 45-65). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. Asiatic interactions: India, the East India Company, and the Welsh economy, 1750-1830. In Bowen, H. (Ed.), Wales and the British overseas empire: interactions and influences,1650-1830. (pp. 168-192). Manchester: Manchester University Press.


  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HI-M58 Oceans of History: Themes and Concepts in Maritime and Imperial History

    The emergence of Asian and South American states as major players on the world markets and a widening consensus on the need for tackling looming ecological problems from a global perspective are crucial in explaining the demise of Eurocentrism as a paradigm for the interpretation of human cultures across the globe. This module will introduce students to the historical origins and background of some of the current globalization debates by investigating a selection of key themes in maritime and imperial history. Subjects typically covered will include maritime trade, commerce, and migration and their disruption by piracy, privateering, and warfare, the impact of technological innovations and their environmental costs, the cultural imprint made by the dissemination of European religion and Imperial and racial ideologies. The most influential concepts and historical debates will be investigated to illustrate the changing perceptions of Europe’s presence in the non-European world and the economic, cultural, and ecological legacy of its Empires to the present day.

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HIH121 Europe of Extremes: 1789 - 1989

    The nineteenth century saw the rise of a western European civilization, characterized, as Eric Hobsbawm has noted, by capitalist economics, liberal politics, and the dominance of a middle class that celebrated morality and science. In the twentieth century this civilization faced unprecedented challenges from new political ideologies, and from a working class demanding the right to govern in its own name. The result was an eruption of violence not seen on the continent for centuries; in its wake, the Cold War divided the Europe with an Iron Curtain, and saw the continent become the client of two world superpowers – the USA and the Soviet Union. This team-taught module relies on the specialist knowledge of its tutors to examine economic, political and social themes in the history of nineteenth and twentieth-century Europe.

  • HIH266 Researching and Re-telling the Past

    Research project focusing on a specific historical topic. Refer to departmental literature for details. This module allows students to work with original historical sources to produce text and images on an historical topic which communicate its meaning to a wider audience.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

  • HIH3313 Imperial Nation? (1): Britain and empire 1750-1900

    In the eighty years or so after 1750 Britain lost her thirteen American colonies, but gained an extended territorial empire in South Asia thereby laying the foundations for what eventually was to become a global empire. This module critically assesses the extent to which imperial crisis and expansion shaped Britain, and the lives, outlooks and attitudes of the British people between c.1750 and 1830. It is based upon the study of key concepts, debates and theories and detailed consideration will be given to a wide range of primary source materials. The themes to be discussed will include the economic impact of empire, the dynamics of expansion; consumption and empire; the cult of the imperial hero; imperialism and popular culture; patriotism and empire; literature, art and empire.

  • HIH3314 Imperial Nation? (2): Britain and Empire 1830-1900

    In the seventy years or so after 1830 Britain created the seemingly powerful global empire on which the sun 'never set'. Yet Victorian imperial self-confidence proved to be fragile, with British strength and resilience tested by successive crises: the Indian 'mutiny' or uprising, the Jamiacian Rebellion, Anglo-Afghan wars, and the Boer War. Running alongside a sense of civilising 'mission' were deep concerns about the value and cost of empire, and this provoked much debate about Britain's role in the world, so much so that in recent years some historians have been questioning the extent to which the British were an 'imperial people'. This module critically assesses the extent to which the imperial experience shaped Britain, and the lives, outlooks and attitudes of the British people between c.1830 and 1900. It is based upon the study of key concepts and historiographical debates, and detailed consideration will be given to contemporary views expressed in a wide range of primary source materials. The themes to be discussed will include the economic impact of empire, the empire and popular culrure, religion and empire, migrations and empire, different views of the empire, and anti-imperialism.

  • HIH3318 Invention, innovation and technological revolutions

    Why do people talk about technological ‘revolutions’? Is life really so different before and after such a revolution? For whom? Is technological change the major factor in historical change? Or is the impact more limited? To explore these questions, this course will focus on four key historical transitions commonly called ‘revolutions’: the secondary products revolution (the acquisition and use of products that are obtained from living animals, e.g. wool, milk), the engineering revolution (the development of infrastructure and construction by the Romans e.g. aqueducts, roads, concrete); the industrial revolution (what do we mean by that actually?), and the electrical revolution (power at the flick of a switch). These topics are studied through a mix of reading, illustrated lectures, class discussions, and short debates.


  • Evaluating Public Engagement (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Professor Harold Thimbleby
  • 'Reassessing the Failur eof the ''''Braddock Plan'''' of 1755.' (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Steven Sarson
  • Visualising the past (current)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Professor Matt Jones
  • 'Lord of Conquest, Navigation and Commerce: Diplomacy and the Imperial Ideal During the Reign of John V, 1707-1750' (awarded 2012)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Dr Stefan Halikowski-Smith
  • 'The South Wales Miners'''' Contribution to the Tunnelling Companies on the Western Front during the Great War.' (awarded 2012)

    Student name:
    Other supervisor: Professor Christopher Williams