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Huw Bowen is a specialist on British economic, imperial, maritime, and political history, with a particular interest in Britain’s commercial relations with Asia between 1600 and 1850.  He also writes about Welsh history and his next book will be on Wales and the World 1600-1914. Among his many publications are three books published by Cambridge University Press:  Revenue and Reform: The Indian Problem in British Politics, 1757-1773 (1991); War and British Society, 1688-1815 (1996); and The Business of Empire: The East India Company and Imperial Britain, 1756-1833 (2007).  He is currently exploring how the global copper industry shaped the industrial development of the Swansea Valley.  On behalf of Swansea University he led the Cu @ Swansea project, a major cross-sector heritage-led economic regeneration project located in the Lower Swansea Valley.  For more on this project see  Huw Bowen is the founding editor of the research monograph series 'The Worlds of the East India Company'.  He is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society; Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences; and Member of the Institute of Directors. He also writes about history, music, and sport in newspapers and magazines.


  1. Bowen, H. The East India Company and the island of Johanna (Anjouan) during the long eighteenth century International Journal of Maritime History 30 2 218 233
  2. Bowen, H. Wales and British India During the Late Eighteenth Century Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion
  3. Bowen, H. The consumption of British manufactured goods in India, 1765-1813: a prologue (Ed.), Towards a history of consumption in South Asia 26 50 New Delhi Oxford University Press
  4. Bowen, H. 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
  5. Bowen, H. Britain in the Indian Ocean region and beyond: contexts, contours, and the creation of a global maritime empire. (Ed.), Britain's oceanic empire: Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds c.1550-1850 45 65 Cambridge Cambridge University Press

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  • HIH118 Early Modern World, 1500-1800

    In 1500, European exploration and colonisation of the rest of the world was only in its infancy. America, two continents North and South, had been unknown to Europeans until just eight years previously. Most of it was still unmapped by Europeans, as were large parts of the rest of the world. By 1800, on the other hand, it was possible to construct a recognisable modern version of a world map. Europeans had explored, colonised, and resettled huge swathes of America in the first instances. They had killed or displaced millions of Native Americans in the process, wiping out whole civilisations, and they had enslaved 12 million or more Africans in that same process, inflicting immense damage on African societies. Europeans were in the early stages of colonising large parts of Africa and Asia too by 1800. And yet, advances in science had transformed human understanding of the universe, of the world, and indeed of ourselves. This was connected through the Renaissance in art, culture, and politics as well as science, to enormous changes in the structure of polities and societies. The early modern era perhaps saw the invention not only of modern empires, but of large, centralised modern states. Also, the Renaissance and then Enlightenment changed the way people and states interacted. Arguably, the early modern period represents the transition period between an era of medieval hierarchy and the origins of modern social and political democracy. Essentially, the aim of the module, through your lectures, seminars, and independent reading and thinking, is to give you a sense of the connections between these places and their histories, highlighting that the increasing inter-connection between them is itself a feature of the early modern period. You¿ll also get a broad sense of how the world as a whole changed between 1500 and 1800.


  • Benefits of and Barriers to Public Engagement with Research (PE-R) for Researchers, Institutions and the Public (current)

    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner
    Other supervisor: Prof Harold Thimbleby