Race, Ethnicity and Equality at the RHS

The Royal Historical Society (RHS) published its Race, Ethnicity and Equality in History report in October 2018. The report highlighted racial and ethnic inequalities in the teaching and practice of History in the UK.

It drew attention to the underrepresentation of ‘Black and Minority Ethnic’ (BME) students and staff in university History programmes, the substantial levels of race-based bias and discrimination experienced by such historians in UK universities, and the negative impact of narrow school and university curriculums on diversity and inclusion. The report, a key component of the Society’s 150th anniversary programme, was founded upon a year of research and a survey of over 700 university-based historians.

Today, the legacy of the 2018 report continues. Along with the two subsequent roadmaps published in 2019 and 2020, the report offers relevant, practical advice and guidance for academic historians on taking positive action to address and diminish barriers to equality in the discipline.

Find out more about the working group and its ongoing work on the RHS website.

This page provides links to:

  • Publications from the RHS on Race, Ethnicity and Equality
  • Useful Links and External Resources for historians
  • Writing Race – a new blog series of blog posts by the current Past & Present Fellow Dr Diya Gupta
  • Race Update – a blog series from 2019-2020 by former Past & Present Fellow Dr Shahmima Akhtar

Recent blog posts on Race, Ethnicity and Equality

Can we unlearn imperialism in photographic research?

Can we unlearn imperialism in photographic research?

How should historians engage with the source materials that record and communicate empire from the perspective of imperial rule? Are there ways of working with sources that enable researchers to free themselves from the intellectual constraints imposed by historical...

‘Positive Action’ workshop for early-career historians of colour

‘Positive Action’ workshop for early-career historians of colour

In August of this year, the Royal Historical Society organised its first ‘positive action’ workshop for early-career historians of colour. The initiative was led by the Society's Race, Ethnicity and Equality Working Group which was responsible for the RHS's Race...

Cannabis, Race, and Mental Illness in Britain, 1980-1993

Cannabis, Race, and Mental Illness in Britain, 1980-1993

Were late-twentieth century British psychiatrists racist? Or psychiatry as a discipline? Or were they both products of the wider society they were situated within? For the ninth post in the RHS's ‘Writing Race’ blog series, Jamie Banks investigates “cannabis...

Nigerian cultural heritage abroad: the case of an Itsekiri chief

Nigerian cultural heritage abroad: the case of an Itsekiri chief

How do we study the material culture taken from Africa during colonialism, and what do we do about its continued alienation from places and communities of origin? Bringing us the seventh post in the RHS ‘Writing Race’ blog series, Allegra Ayida considers the material...