History and Politics (new Tripos)
History and Politics at Cambridge is an exciting new Honours degree which will run for the first time in October 2017. It offers subjects from our highly-regarded History and Politics and International Relations courses, together with bespoke papers which will allow students to explore the space between the two disciplines. Students will develop skills in analysing the operation of power and politics across histories, institutions, and societies around the world. Students will also be able to build strengths in understanding the nature of evidence, methodology, and approaches in both History and Politics. They will be able to choose from a wide range of topics in British, European, American and World history and politics.
Cambridge is uniquely placed to teach History and Politics and International Relations together. Both Faculties are widely regarded as world-leading. The History Faculty is one of the largest in the United Kingdom and is consistently ranked as the best in research and teaching assessments. It has internationally recognised experts in all relevant fields of study. The Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS) is a medium-sized department with about 30 academics with a huge range of specialisms. It has particular research strengths in international politics, international history and international law, comparative politics and political thought.
Staff in the Faculty of History and at POLIS have a wide range of shared interests in political and international history, the origins of contemporary politics and international relations, and the history of political ideas. This new degree balances a strong grounding in the two component subjects with the opportunity to explore the ways in which historical and political understanding together illuminate the modern world.
With strong traditions in both History and Politics, and active communities of students and Fellows in each subject, St Catharine’s is an excellent college in which to study History and Politics. The breadth of areas and approaches covered by the Fellows in both subjects means that you are likely to be supervised in College for much of your work. Attracting students from all over the world to study History and Politics, St Catharine’s will provide you with a stimulating, supportive community in which to pursue your studies.
We require an A Level (or equivalent qualification) in History, but not necessarily formal qualifications in politics. Applicants will have a variety of relevant examination qualifications; they will be expected to demonstrate an interest in both subjects and will be assessed on their potential to succeed in them.
All applicants will take a pre-interview admissions assessment. Candidates should normally expect two interviews. Applicants should be prepared to discuss their relevant interests and potential directions they may wish to follow. Applicants should also submit two examples of recent work in History, which will be available to interviewers and may be discussed at interview.
Our typical conditional offer for History and Politics is A*AA at A Level. IB offers are usually for a total of 40-41 points, with 776 at Higher Level.
Professor Nora Berend
Dr Nora Berend is Professor of European History at the Faculty of History. She has worked on medieval social and religious history, including minorities and state building. At the Gate of Christendom: Jews, Muslims and Pagans in Medieval Hungary c. 1000 - c. 1300, which won the Gladstone Prize, explores the relationship between Christians and non-Christians in a kingdom on the frontier of Latin Europe. The edited volume Christianization and the Rise of Christian Monarchy: Scandinavia, Central Europe and Rus' c. 900-1200 analyses the interconnected processes of Christianization and the establishment of political power. The co-authored Central Europe in the High Middle Ages is an overview of the medieval history of Bohemia, Hungary and Poland. Currently, she works on the formation of identity in medieval and modern times. She supervises for the European history papers 14 and 15.
Dr Valentina Caldari
Dr Valentina Caldari studied History in Rome before completing a joint PhD at the Universities of Kent (Canterbury, UK) and Porto (Portugal). She joined St Catharine’s in September 2018 after spending three years as a Departmental Lecturer in History at Balliol College, University of Oxford. Her research addresses early modern European politics and diplomacy, and the ways in which they were informed by global events in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. While preparing her book manuscript on The Global Spanish Match for publication, she has co-edited a volume of essays on Stuart Marriage Diplomacy (Boydell and Brewer, 2018). Valentina is Director of Studies for Part I and supervises for Papers 4, 16, and 21.
Professor Sir Chris Clark
Professor Christopher Clark's research interests are centered on the history of nineteenth-century Germany and continental Europe. His books include Iron Kingdom: the Rise and Downfall of Prussia 1600-1947 (2006), which won the Wolfson Prize for History, and The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 (2012), which won the LA Times Book Prize (History) in 2013. In September 2014, he succeeded Richard Evans as the Regius Professor of History at the University of Cambridge. He was made Knight Bachelor in the 2015 birthday honours list for services to British-German relations. Chris supervises for paper 17, 'European History 1715-1890'.
Dr Tim Rogan
Dr Tim Rogan specialises in modern British history and modern intellectual history. He is working on a book about social and political thought in twentieth-century Britain. He supervises for the modern British history papers 6, 10 and 11, and for the modern political thought paper 5 (in Part II), and directs studies for Part I.
Dr Harald Wydra
Dr Harald Wydra is the Holden Fellow in Politics. He was born in Poland, grew up in Germany and studied for undergraduate and graduate degrees in Spain and Italy. After spending a post-doc year in Paris, he has been Director of Studies in Politics and International Relations at St Catharine’s College since 2003, a task which he has greatly enjoyed. He teaches across different papers in all three years of the Human, Social, and Political Sciences Tripos. He firmly believes that teaching students and doing research are activities that mutually reinforce and benefit each other. Combining historical and anthropological approaches to politics and international studies Harald has extensively written on European politics, especially Eastern Europe and Russia, democratisation, the politics of memory, and the anthropological foundations of politics. His most recent work deals with the problems of collective identity in an increasingly boundless global world. One of the paradoxes he tries to address is why our supposedly rational and secular age cannot do without presumably irrational categories such as ritual, myth, or the sacred. He also is the editor of the journal International Political Anthropology (politicalanthropology.org). He is currently editing a Handbook of Political Anthropology (under contract with Edward Elgar).