Dr Stefan Halikowski-Smith
Associate Professor
Telephone: (01792) 602392
Room: Office - 136
First Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus

Dr Halikowski Smith studied at Cambridge University, where he was awarded the Gladstone Memorial Prize for the best dissertation in the Social Sciences Faculties, and Johns Hopkins University, and defended his doctorate at the Istituto Universitario Europeo in Fiesole, Italy in 2001. Before joining Swansea University, he taught at the Central European University in Budapest and occupied the Vasco da Gama Chair in Portuguese Overseas History at Brown University, Rhode Island, for three years. In 2015 he completed the monograph Between Illusions and Reality: two late seventeenth-century missions to Southeast Asia.and has recently been working on a contribution on English plant-hunters at the Cape issuing from the first international conference Histories of Nature and Environments: Perspectives and Dialogues (March 2017).

Dr Halikowski Smith is a member of Clioh-world, and has been invited to join the Board for the Centro de Alem Mar in Lisbon.

Areas of Expertise

  • History of early European overseas empires; early modern Catholic Europe


  1. Halikowski Smith, S., Halikowski-Smith, S. Lisbon in the sixteenth century: decoding the Chafariz d’el Rei Race & Class 60 2 63 81
  2. Halikowski-Smith, S. Between Illusions and Reality: Two Late Seventeenth Century Missions to Southeast Asia ACMRS
  3. Halikowski-Smith, S., Jennings, B. British participation in the quincentenary commemorations of the death of Prince Henry ‘the Navigator’ (1960) Práticas da História: Journal on Theory, Historiography and Uses of the Past 8 85 138
  4. Halikowski Smith, S., Halikowski-Smith, S. Primor E Honra Da Vida Soldadesca No Estado Da India: An Anonymous Late Sixteenth-Century Manual of Soldiery and Political Affirmation of the Military Frontier in India Romance Studies 37 1 12 29
  5. Smith, S., Halikowski-Smith, S. Languages of subalternity and collaboration: Portuguese in English settlements across the Bay of Bengal, 1620-1800 International Journal of Maritime History 28 2 237 267

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  • HI-M22 Dissertation

    Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.

  • HI-M52 The Forging of the Portuguese Overseas World, 1415-1808

    Portugal has often been viewed as a poor appendage to Spain, but this obscures a remarkable and far-flung early modern world empire and a population diaspora that stretched from Lima in South America to Nagasaki in Japan. The nature of Portuguese power was, however, always markedly different to the Spanish: maritime rather than territorial; decentralised rather than metropolitan; its population racially mixed rather than segregated. The product of a small population, this `network of spaces¿ ¿ often outside official government control - was created extremely rapidly by two or three generations of brilliant individuals and, as a European empire, was not only the first, but outlasted all others.

  • HIH122 Making History

    History is an imprecise art and what historians say and write about the past is not the same as what actually happened in the past. Most people's knowledge about the past doesn't come from professional historians at all but rather from 'public history'. Public history is the collective understandings of the past that exist outside academic discipline of history. It is derived from a diverse range of sources including oral traditions, legends, literature, art, films and television. This module will introduce you to the study and presentation of the past. It will consider how the content, aims and methods of academic and public history compare and contrast and you will engage in your own small research project to investigate this. The module will also teach you about the fundamentals of studying and writing history at university. You will learn about essay writing, group work and critical analysis and employ these skills to understand and assess history today, both as an academic activity and as public knowledge.

  • HIH235 The Golden Age of Spain and Portugal, 1450 - 1700

    This course will provide an introduction to the history of Spain, Portugal and their empires in the early modern period. Students will come away with a broad knowledge of the political, cultural, religious and social history of Iberia during its period of greatest influence. We will begin by surveying the political history of Castile, Aragon and Portugal, seeking to understand the complex series of inheritances and political manoeuvres that created Spain. After looking at Early Modern Iberian imperial government, we will turn to the area¿s social and intellectual history. Here we will discuss Portuguese and Spanish culture, literature and art, as well as the intense religious fervour that launched both a global missionary effort and the Inquisition. The final weeks of the course will be devoted to studying the Spanish and Portuguese empires, both in Europe and elsewhere in the world. Here, our perspective will be decidedly metropolitan as we seek to understand how Iberian social and political institutions were exported overseas. We will also discuss the problems encountered by the Iberian monarchy as it attempted to manage the world¿s first truly global empire and faced the problem of dynastic decline.

  • 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.