The Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies was founded in 1996 at the University of York and is based at the historic King's Manor in the heart of the city. Its staff members are drawn from the departments of Archaeology, English, History, and History of Art. The Centre has a lively research community within which students can individually and collaboratively pursue their interests in the history, culture, politics, literature, art and society of the period.

Postgraduate study

Our highly successful MA in Eighteenth Century Studies offers a wide choice of taught and practical modules. As an MA student at York, you'll combine your own specialised research with intensive seminar study under the guidance of a leading authority in your field.

Research degrees

If you're interested in pursuing a research degree, our staff are experts on a wide range of topics. We're always happy to hear research proposals, so please get in touch.


Twitter updates




Mapping piracy in Defoe

CECS Research Seminar Manushag Powell (Purdue University)


Piranesi in the Valley of Uncanny

Department of History of Art Research Seminar Caroline van Eck (University of Cambridge)


New Zealand

Global CECS

CECS staff members Jim Watt and Alison O’Byrne attended the David Nichol Smith Seminar in Eighteenth-Century Studies in Brisbane, Australia on the theme Natures and Spaces of Enlightenment.  The event is organized every three years by the Australia and New Zealand Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, and offered a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with former CECS students who are now based around the globe.

‘Contested Inheritances 1750-1830’ conference report

Each speaker discussed their own research in terms of the main theme of the conference, which focused on the varied nature of historical representation in eighteenth-century literature, and the ways in which such representations played into contested notions of British national identity.‌

Dr Mary Fairclough, Lecturer in the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies and the Department of English and Related Literature, has a new publication: Literature, Electricity and Politics 1740–1840: ‘Electrick Communication Every Where’

Dr Richard Johns, Lecturer in the Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies and the Department of History of Art has received a Digital Project Grant from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, to redevelop and relauch the Art World in Britain 1660-1735 website with the website's editor, Dr Richard Stephens.

CECS & English Department PhD graduate, Anaclara Castro Santana, has a forthcoming publication: Errors and Reconciliations: Marriage in the Plays and Novels of Henry Fielding



Discover postgraduate study at York. Arts and Humanities Virtual Open Day, 30 January, 3-5pm-GMT. Ask us questions and chat with other students. Register now.