Academic & Teaching staff
+44 (0)113 34 33584
My research explores the complex relationship Britain had with its army and other military forces during the 18th and early 19th centuries. I look at both the grand scale - considering such issues as national identity, the growth of the state, and the relationship between Britain's central and local administration - and at the level of the individual examining how the war affected the way they viewed themselves, each other, and the communities they lived in.
You can follow what I am up to via twitter http://twitter.com/#!/historykevin
Current research project: Soldiers and soldiering in Britain 1750-1815
Britain's relationship with its soldiers during the eighteenth century was a complex one. Georgians branded these men a danger to liberty, victims of oppression, and 'bloody backs', whilst also celebrating their victories and championing their generals, such as General Wolfe at Quebec in 1759. Britain's soldiers were both heroes and the 'scum of the earth', yet this dynamic and multifaceted connection has yet to be fully explored, largely because the scale of Britain's military mobilisation has not been recognised, nor its significance fully appreciated. This fraught relationship became more complicated with the increasing mobilisation of the male population into novel forms of military service beyond the full-time soldiering of the British Army. The militia, reformed during the Seven Years' War in 1757, and large-scale volunteer forces (part-time soldiers raised for home defence) in the American War of Independence and especially the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars created new types of soldier in Britain and new ways for men to be under arms. At its peak in the Napoleonic Wars, some 680,000 men were involved in some form of military service, yet the experiences of these men remains largely forgotten. This project is funded by the AHRC Research Grants (Early Career) Scheme. I am the Principal Investigator and Dr Matthew McCormack from the University of Northampton is a co-investigator.
I welcome contact from applicants interested in researching British History 1715 to 1815, particularly:
- Military history and relationship between government, society, and the armed forces
- History of British 'identity' in this period
- British political history during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars
- The Peninsular War, 1807-1814
- Local armed forces in the Eighteenth Century, such as fencibles, militia, yeomanry, and volunteers
Current research students
- Coombs, Danielle, The domestic economy of British soldiers; military society, criminality and perception c.1740-1830
- David Croxford, British military & naval inter-dependence in the war of 1812
- King, Stephen, Military accommodation in England from 1688 - 1853
- Juliette Reboul, French emigration to the British Isles from 1789: culturaltransfers and identity discourse on the longue duree
- Cheetham, Matthew (2011) The way back from defeat: Britain during the aftermath of the American Revolutionary Wars
- Coombs, Danielle (2010) Soldiers and women - female agency in desertion from the British Army c. 1740-1815
- Dawson, Paul (2010) French Mounted Troops in 1813: a logistical re-assessment
- Bamford, Andrew (2009) uin=uk.bl.ethos.509031">The British Army on campaign, 1808-1815: manpower, cohesion and effectiveness
Undergraduate research scholar
I am currently working with Gemma Bagshaw, through the Undergradaute Research Scholar Scheme, in finding and publishing documents online about the experience of war in the early 1800s, in preperation for the bicenternary of the Battle of Waterloo in 2015. The material will be chosen for a public audience, and could be used in teaching or for those just interested in the period.
- Thomas Paine's Rights of Man (HIST1300). This is a primary source course.
- Students as Scholars (HIST2500). A module created as a result of my University Teaching Fellowship in which students are prepared for attending our research seminars by thinking about how history works, what others have written about the subject of the seminar, and even questions to ask the presenter.
- Historical Research Project (HIST2535). This module allows students to write history on a topic of their choice, making use of primary sources that are available online, in the library, or in local archives. In takes students through the process of research and the issues involved.
- Georgians at War (HIST3685). This module stems from many years of research and scholarship into the impact of war on Georgian lives and takes a broad perspective of the period. It encompasses society, politics, culture, and gender to explore the multi-faceted interactions between the military and society. The course embraces the experience of the ‘elite’ and ordinary men and women who were affected by war. The sources that will be consulted will include parliamentary debates, newspapers, digitised archival material, material culture, private letters, and individual testimony, utilised in Kevin Linch's recent research..
Previous modules have included Web Research for Historians (HIST2530). In this module, students undertook an extended piece of project work, with the aim of producing a web-based resource hosted in the University's own Wikipedia. I taught it using a mixture of seminars, on-line materials, reflective writing, workshops and individual supervision. This module was used as a case study in a JISC-funded Social Software study into the effective use of social software in supporting and enhancing student learning and engagement. From the experience of teaching this course I developed HIST2535 Historical Research Project
- Defending the Nation: Britain during the French Revolutionary & Napoleonic Wars, 1793 to 1815 (HIST5540M). This module brings together existing but often disparate genres of History and my current research on individuals, identity, and the government's efforts to know better the country it was trying to defend. This module is offered as part of the MA in Modern History and the MA Social and Cultural History.
Learning and teaching innovations
I've been awarded a University Teaching Fellowship (UTF) for 'outstanding contributions to teaching and the development of student learning'. This Full Fellowship provides me with access to project funding of £15,000 and commences this year.
The UTF award involves a three year project examining the different ways students can become involved with research at university, and developing new modules that allow history students at Leeds to find out more about their tutor's research, new historical findings, and how the subject is changing. There are several types of schemes available to science students, particularly in the USA, but nothing for history students so this scheme will be unique to the United Kingdom. Also, I think that the students who get involved with research will get really useful skills for their future, including project work, data analysis, presentation skills and team working - and the module will form one of the School's opportunities available as part of the LeedsforLife scheme. For the latest developments on my project work, please see my UTF Project website.
I've also been involved in several projects to develop students and improve the student experience, in particular reworking the first year induction programme and developing a nationally recognised module HIST2530 Web Research for Historians where I work with students to publish a website based on their own historical research.
I'm also currently involved in two ongoing projects:
- TQEF-funded investigation into the student experience, which has covered issues such as understanding of University marking criteria, effective communication, contact hours, and research-led teaching
Over the past few years I've undertaken several L&T enhancement projects for which I gained funding:
- 2008-2010: TQEF / HEA-funded project investigating the use of Grademark for electronic marking and feedback on student essays
- 2007-2008: TQEF / White Rose Enterprise CETL funded my time to develop Web Research for Historians (HIST2530), a module now nationally recognised for its innovative use of web 2.0 technology in higher education (it has been used as a case study in a JISC-funded Social Software study into the effective use of social software in supporting and enhancing student learning and engagement)
- 2006-2007: TQEF funded an exploration of the use of wiki technology in teaching
In May 2007 I was recognised for my contribution to learning & teaching with a Faculty of Arts Teaching Development Prize.
Learning and teaching papers and articles
- Communicating Research: engaging students with research
- Online marking and feedback
- Learning Possibilities: learning and teaching with Web 2.0
- Reading Lists & Web 2.0
- Using Text in Teaching - find out more about this on the Higher Education Academy Website
- Wikis in Teaching
- Using Wikis in Teaching
Roles outside of the School
I currently Chair the Faculty of Arts Web Management Board that implemented the new Arts website in May 2011. I sit on several other working groups / committees outside of the School:
- Chair of the Leeds for Life working group
- Leeds for Life Board
I came to the University of Leeds in 1993 and graduated with a BA (Hons) in History in 1996. During my undergraduate degree I was able to further my interest in the Napoleonic War period by taking modules in 18th century literature and politics, America in the colonial period, Europe during the Enlightenment and Revolutionary Era, and a special subject on the French Revolution. My undergraduate dissertation combined all of these interests into a study of the response of East Sussex to the invasion crisis of 1803-1805, which won the Le Patourel prize for the best piece of original research.
Having looked into Britain during the Napoleonic War, I realised that there was much more to do on this subject so I stayed on at Leeds and undertook an MA by Research on the part-time military forces in the West Riding of Yorkshire between 1793 and 1814, and then moved onto a PhD study of the recruitment of the British Army during the Peninsular War period, funded by the AHRC. Since then, I have held various teaching and / or administrative posts around the University both in and out of the School, until securing my current role in 2004. I am a fellow of The Higher Education Academy.
- Linch K (2011) Britain and Wellington's Army. Palgrave MacMillan.
- Linch KB (2012) Conscription. European History Online, Leibniz Institute of European History, .
- Linch KB (2013) Making new soldiers 1740-1815: legitimacy, identity and attitudes. In: McCormack M; Linch KB Britain’s Soldiers: Rethinking War and Society, 1715-1815, Liverpool University Press, .
- Linch KB (2012) The Politics of Foreign Recruitment in Britain during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. In: Arielli N; Collins B Transnational Soldiers: Foreign Military Enlistment in the Modern Era, Palgrave Mcmillan, .
- Linch KB (2006) 'This Exposed Maritime County': East Sussex and the Preparations for Invasion, 1803-04. In: Cross A; Lewis-Jones H The Trafalgar Chronicle, Yearbook of the 1805 Club, 16, The Trafalgar Chronicle, pp. 50-62.
- Linch KB (2009) 'A Citizen and not a Soldier': The British Volunteer Movement and the War against Napoleon. In: Forrest AI; Hagemann K; Rendall J Soldiers, Citizens and Civilians: Experiences and Perceptions of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, 1790-1820, Palgrave Macmillan, .
- Linch KB; McCormack M (2013) Defining Soldiers: Britain’s Military, c. 1740-1815. War in History, 20 , pp. 144-159.
- Linch KB (2001) 'A Geography of Loyalism? The Local Military Forces of the West Riding of Yorkshire, 1794-1814. War and Society, 19 (1), pp. 1-23.