Staff profile

Dr William Tullett

Postdoctoral Fellow in History




College of Arts, Humanities and Education



Research centre

Identity, Culture and Representation Research Centre


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus



I am a Postdoctoral Fellow in History. Before coming to the University of Derby in 2018, I was a Teaching Fellow in Early Modern History at King's College London and a Past and Present Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London.

My research focuses on the period between 1600 and 1850. I am currently interested in sensory history, especially the place of smell and sound in past societies. My work also overlaps with histories of the body, gender, space, and material culture.

In addition to my research, I also teach several History modules at BA and MA level.

Teaching responsibilities

Research interests

Britain between 1600 and 1850; Sensory History; Emotions History; Cultural and Social History; Urban Life; The Body; Medicine; Space; Gender; Material Culture.

I am currently finishing my first book, entitled Smell in Eighteenth-Century England: A Social Sense. This is a history of smell in England between 1660 and 1830, tracking the shifting role of smells and smelling in places ranging from coffee houses to chemistry lecture halls and from pleasure gardens to pacific islands.

My latest project focuses on the history of sound in England between 1600 and 1850. I am currently researching and writing a book on bells in this period - ranging from huge church bells down to the tiny bells found on animals. A second part of this project focusses on the history of silence. I am also preparing articles on urban rhythms and the senses in eighteenth-century England; masculinity and bell ringers; and the use of reconstructing soundscapes for understanding the past.

Other research interests include sensory histories of occupation, inequality, and education.

Membership of professional bodies


BA (Hons) History, University of Oxford

MA Eighteenth-Century Studies, King's College London

PhD History, King's College London

Recent conferences

I have presented at a wide range of conferences and seminars. I regularly present at the annual British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies and Social History Society conferences.

In the last year I have given invited seminar papers at the University of Oxford, the Wellcome Library, and the Ludwig Maximilien University, Munich.

Additional interests and activities

I have run public engagement events at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Institute for Historical Research. I am always keen to hear from and work with heritage organisations looking to expand the sensory elements of their activities.

I have reviewed books for The London Journal; Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies; Reviews in History; Senses and Society, and Cultural and Social History.

In the media

My research has appeared in History Today and on the BBC World Service program 'The Forum'.

Recent publications

W. Tullett, 'The Success of Sweet Smells', History Today, 65:8, (2015), pp.28-35

W. Tullett, ‘The Macaroni’s ‘Ambrosial essences’. Perfume, Identity and Public Space in Eighteenth-Century England’, Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, 38:2 (2015), pp. 163-180

W. Tullett, ‘Grease and Sweat: Race and Smell in Eighteenth-Century English Culture’, Cultural and Social History, 13:3 (2016), pp. 307-322, also OA here 

W. Tullett, 'Re-Odorization, Disease, and Emotion in Mid-Nineteenth-Century England’, accepted and forthcoming in The Historical Journal