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Personal profile


Jim Livesey is an applied eighteenth-century historian. He writes about the cultural, economic, and political conditions that allowed for significant innovation in the eighteenth century. He also works with colleagues in urban development and the creative economy in Dundee to apply insight to transformation. He is currently Dean of the School of Humanities at the University of Dundee, Co-Director of InGame, an AHRC-funded Creative Economy Research and Development Project, and his next book, Provincialising Global History, will be published by Yale in January 2020


Jim has three substantial research projects in hand and is happy to consider research students in any of these areas.

Working on developing critical historical approaches to eighteenth century global history. This work has developed from long-time interests in the conceptual and practical histories of democracy, revolution, economic institutions, and civil society. Some of the latest work in this area confronts difficult problems of slavery and poverty. This work also aligns with the new historiography in the history of capitalism.

Understanding practice in the creative economy as well as in science and technology unites theoretical approaches, conceptual work and very direct areas of practice. Partnership-based work with colleagues in business, civic organisations, and civil society in Dundee is branching out to new work the British Council. The goal of this work is to develop a theory, history, and practice of play.

Irish Intellectual and Cultural History and Eighteenth-Century French History are both exciting fields that exemplify the more thematic concerns of my research. I continue to publish work in this area and would like to develop doctoral projects that place those regions in transnational and global contexts.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University

Award Date: 1 Jan 1994

External positions

Co-Director, InGame: Innovation for Games and Media Enterprise

1 Sep 2018 → …

Co-Director, Creative Economy Hub SGSAH

1 Apr 2017 → …

Director, Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities

1 Jan 2014 → …


  • D204 Modern History
  • Global History
  • French Revolution
  • Atlantic History
  • Science Studies
  • Creative Economies

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Research Output

An Alternative Genealogy for Global Capitalism: The Rhine Becomes an Inland Sea 1792-1815

Livesey, J., 1 Nov 2019, In : Critical Historical Studies. 6, 2, p. 223-245 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • James T Kloppenberg. Toward Democracy: The Struggle for Self-Rule in European and American Thought. New York: Oxford UP, 20116

    Livesey, J., 30 Apr 2017, In : American Historical Review. 122, 2, p. 467-470 4 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article review

    Berkeley, Ireland and eighteenth-century Intellectual history

    Livesey, J., Aug 2015, In : Modern Intellectual History. 12, 2, p. 453-473 21 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • From Athens to Paris: The Legislative Assembly and Democracy in the Summer of 1792

    Livesey, J., 2014, Athenian Legacies: European Debates on Citizenship. Kitromilide, P. (ed.). 1st ed. Florence: Casa Editrice Leo S. Olschki, Vol. 34. p. 315-330 15 p. (Il Pensiero Politico; no. 34).

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


    Moore Institute Visiting Research Fellowship

    Livesey, James (Recipient), 1 Apr 2017

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

    Thinking at World's Edge: Irish Intellectual History 1500-2000

    Livesey, James (Recipient), 1 Nov 2014

    Prize: Fellowship awarded competitively

  • Activities

    UK-Ireland Collaboration in the Digital Humanities Workshop

    James Livesey (Participant)

    22 Oct 201923 Oct 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Revolutions Past and Present: A Roundtable

    James Livesey (Participant)

    17 Sep 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Women in Games Innovation Lab

    James Livesey (Participant)

    28 Feb 2019

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - public lecture/debate/seminar

    Risk, Reason, and Play: Provocations Past and Future

    James Livesey (Speaker)

    22 May 2019

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - public lecture/debate/seminar

    Harvard Business School

    James Livesey (Visiting researcher)

    12 Dec 201914 Dec 2019

    Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external academic institution

    Press / Media

    Groundbreaking Gaming Research Centre

    James Livesey


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research

    Dundee University Launches Three New Research Centres

    James Livesey


    1 item of Media coverage

    Press/Media: Research