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Dr Richard A Marsden

Profile summary

Professional biography

In 2016 I started my current role at the Open University, as a Staff Tutor and Lecturer in History. This involves designing and writing new modules, coordinating existing provision and line managing Associate Lecturers, and publishing research which will inform future developments in the curriculum. 

Previously I was a Senior Lecturer at Cardiff Metropolitan University and before that I worked as a Lecturer at Cardiff University. Prior to that I held concurrent roles as a Research Associate at the University of South Wales and a Faculty Manager and Associate Lecturer at the OU. My doctorate in History was awarded by the University of Glasgow and I also hold an MA in History from Cardiff University. 

Research interests

My primary interests relate to the ways in which ideas about the past have helped to shape identities in Britain from the eighteenth century to the present day. My 2014 monograph, entitled Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland's Past c.1825-1875, took a detailed look at that theme with regard to nineteenth-century Scotland. I have also published on modern views of Gerald of Wales, the development of medievalism studies, and representations of the old Scottish parliament in the devolution era. 

I am currently working on the following research projects:

  • Texts, artefacts and specialisation in Scottish antiquarianism, c. 1850-1900
  • Antiquarian representations of the Middle Ages in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, c. 1850-1880

I am also convener for the research group 'Britain and Ireland: Connections and Contexts' in the OU's History Department. 

Teaching interests

I currently chair A329, the Making of Welsh History., and led on its creation in 2016 and 2017.  This is an innovative online dissertation module which gives students the opportunity to use Wales as a microcosm through which to explore some of the big themes in European history over the past thousand years. I also supervise the UK-wide delivery of A327, Europe 1914-1989: War, Peace and Modernity.

In addition, I have taught or been a module team member on the following OU modules:

  • AA100, The Arts Past and Present
  • A172, Start Writing Essays
  • A182, Small Country, Big History: Themes in the History of Wales
  • A200, Exploring History: Medieval to Modern 1400-1900
  • AD281, Understanding Global Heritage
  • A825, MA Hisdtory Part 1
  • A826, MA History Part 2

At Cardiff University and Cardiff Met I taught various topics related to British cultural and intellectual history in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These include modules on national identities, imperialism, medievalism, heritage studies and historical theory. Whilst at Cardiff University I also acted as pedagogic advisor on the institution’s first MOOC.

Prizes and awards

  • Recipient of an Open University Merit Award for A329 (2017)
  • Shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society Whitfield Prize (2015)
  • Winner of a Vice-Chancellor’s Excellence Award at Cardiff University (2014)
  • Shortlisted for the Saltire Society History Book of the Year Prize (2014)
  • Awarded a Scouloudi publication grant by the Institute of Historical Research (2013)

Impact and engagement

Over the last few years I have been involved in various research impact, community engagement and widening access activities. These include producing articles and courses for Openlearn, radio work, writing for newspapers, magazines and websites, and delivering public lectures, workshops and seminars. From 2012 to 2015 I ran the Exploring the Past pathway at Cardiff University, which provided a route through which adult learners without formal qualifications could progress directly onto degrees in History, Archaeology and Religious Studies. In the same period I convened the Exploring the Past Public Lecture Series and was involved with Cardiff University's CAER Heritage Project, winner of the 2014 Engage Prize from the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement. 

External collaborations

  • Honorary Research Fellow in History – Cardiff University, 2015-present
  • Curriculum Consultant - Agored Cumru Access to HE, 2013-present
  • External Examiner in Humanities – Aberystwyth University, 2012-16
  • Curriculum Consultant - WJEC Exam Board, 2012-14
  • Senior Examiner - OCR Exam Board, 2006-2011

Professional and Learned fellowships

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Historical Association
  • Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors



Medievalism: New discipline or scholarly no-man’s land? (2018-02-01)
Marsden, Richard A.
History Compass, 16, Article e12439(2)
Scottish parliamentary record scholarship in the devolution era (2018)
Marsden, Richard
Parliaments, Estates and Representations ((Early Access))
The Weakness of European Wales (2017)
Marsden, Richard and Bestic, Penni
Planet: the Welsh Internationalist, 225 (pp. 29-36)
[Book Review] Remembering the Past in Nineteenth-Century Scotland: Commemoration, Nationality and Memory (2015)
Marsden, Richard
Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 35(2) (pp. 247-249)
Imaginary investments: Illness Narratives Beyond the Gaze (2013)
Marsden, Richard; Willis, Martin and Waddington, Keir
Journal of Literature and Science, 6(1) (pp. 55-73)
The antiquarian photography of Cosmo Innes (2012-05)
Marsden, Richard
History Scotland Magazine, 12(3) (pp. 30-35)
Gerald of Wales and Competing Interpretations of the Welsh Middle Ages c. 1870-1910 (2011-07-01)
Marsden, Richard
Welsh History Review, 25(3) (pp. 314-345)
Book Review: Alex Benchimol, Intellectual Politics and Cultural Conflicts in the Romantic Period (2010); Richard J. Hill, Picturing Scotland through the Waverley Novels (2012) (2011)
Marsden, Richard
Romantic Textualities: Literature and Print Culture 1780-1840, 20 (pp. 74-78)
[Book Review] National Museums: New Studies from Around the World (2011)
Marsden, Richard
Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 13(1) (pp. 84-85)
Book Review: Slaves and Warriors in Early Medieval Britain and Ireland, 800-1200 by Dr. David Wyatt (2010)
Marsden, Richard
The Kelvingrove Review, 5, Article 9
Cosmo Innes and the Defence of Scotland's Past c.1825-1875 (2014-08-20)
Marsden, Richard A.
ISBN : 978-1-4094-5593-6 | Publisher : Ashgate | Published : Farnham
Innes, Cosmo Nelson (1798-1874), antiquary (2016-05-26)
Marsden, Richard A.
In: Cannadine, David ed. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Publisher : Oxford University Press | Published : Oxford
Gerald of Wales; Welsh patriot or English Imperialist? (2012)
Marsden, Richard
In: Bowen, H.V. ed. Heroes and Villains in Welsh History: A New History of Wales (pp. 45-51)
ISBN : 9781848514850 | Publisher : Gomer Press | Published : Llandysul
Anglo-Welsh wars (1067-1415) (2011)
Brough, Gideon and Marsden, Richard
In: Martel, Gordon ed. The Encyclopaedia of War (pp. 102-106)
ISBN : 9781444338232 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Jacobite rising (1745–46) (2011)
Marsden, Richard
In: Martel, Gordon ed. The Encyclopaedia of War (pp. 1124-1126)
ISBN : 9781444338232 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Stuart, Charles Edward (“Bonnie Prince Charlie”) (1720–88) (2011)
Marsden, Richard
In: Martel, Gordon ed. The Encyclopaedia of War (pp. 2094-2096)
ISBN : 9781444338232 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Llywelyn the Great (c.1173-1240) (2011)
Brough, Gideon and Marsden, Richard
In: Martel, Gordon ed. The Encyclopaedia of War (pp. 1262-1263)
ISBN : 9781444338232 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Gwynedd, Owain (1137-1170) (2011)
Brough, Gideon and Marsden, Richard
In: Martel, Gordon ed. The Encyclopaedia of War (pp. 967-969)
ISBN : 9781444338232 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Rhys ap Gruffudd (1132-1197) (2011)
Brough, Gideon and Marsden, Richard
In: Martel, Gordon ed. The Encyclopaedia of War (pp. 1815-1818)
ISBN : 9781444338232 | Publisher : Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Scottish Burgh Record Scholarship c. 1830-1880 (2009)
Marsden, Richard
In: McNair, Aimee and Ryder, Jacqueline eds. Further from the Frontiers: Crosscurrents in Irish and Scottish Studies (pp. 75-87)
ISBN : 978-1-906108-06-9 | Publisher : AHRC Centre for Scottish and Irish Studies | Published : Aberdeen
Race and imperialism: twelfth-century English attitudes towards Scotland (2004)
Marsden, Richard
In: Kehoe, S and MacPhiail, I eds. A Panorama of Scottish History: Contemporary Considerations (pp. 10-23)
Publisher : Glasgow University Press | Published : Glasgow
Editing the Past: Cosmo Innes and the Scottish Medieval Church (2008)
Marsden, Richard
In : Cardiff University Reading Conference (Jun 2007, Cardiff, UK) (pp. 13-30)
Game of Thrones: imagined world combines romantic and grotesque visions of Middle Ages (2018-10-17)
Marsden, Richard
The Conversation
Brexit and the mythologies of nationalism: a warning for Wales (2018-07-25)
Marsden, Richard
History and Policy
Henry Tudor: a Welsh hero...? (2018-01-12)
Marsden, Richard
OpenLearn, The Open University, Milton Keynes.
Who was St David? (2016-02-28)
Marsden, Richard
OpenLearn, Open University in Wales, Cardiff.
The real reason Yes Scotland avoids Braveheart nostalgia (2014-09-05)
Marsden, Richard
The Conversation
Off Sick Project Online Exhibition (2013)
Willis, Martin; Waddington, Keir and Marsden, Richard
University of South Wales
Gerald of Wales: patriotic Welshman or arrogant agent of English imperialism? (2011-03-24)
Marsden, Richard
Trinity Mirror
Time to consign this view of the past to the history books (2010)
Marsden, Richard
Trinity Mirror

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