Richard Carwardine's election as President of Corpus, from January 2010, marked his return to his undergraduate college, where he read Modern History from 1965 to 1968. As the Ochs-Oakes Senior Scholar in American History at Queen's College (1968-71), he worked on a doctoral study of American and British nineteenth-century religious revivalism. He spent one of his graduate years at the University of California, Berkeley, during an era of campus convulsions (1969-70). Appointed to a Lectureship in American History at the University of Sheffield in 1971, he became Professor of American History in 1994, and served a term as Dean of the Faculty of Arts (1999-2001). He has held research awards from the British Academy and the Leverhulme Trust, and has taken visiting positions at Syracuse University (1974-75) and - as a Fulbright/American Council of Learned Societies Research Fellow - at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1989). In 2002 he was elected Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford and a Fellow of St Catherine's College. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2006.
His research focuses on American politics and religion in the nineteenth century. His publications include Transatlantic Revivalism: Popular Evangelicalism in Britain and America 1790-1865 (Greenwood Press, 1978) and Evangelicals and Politics in Antebellum America (Yale University Press, 1993). His analytical biography of Abraham Lincoln won the Lincoln Prize in 2004 and was subsequently published in the United States as Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power (Knopf, 2006). He has given papers and lectured widely on both sides of the Atlantic to academic and general audiences. He gave the Birkbeck Lectures in religious history at Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2004. In July 2009, as an adviser to the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, he convened - with his Corpus colleague Jay Sexton - an international conference in Oxford to examine Abraham Lincoln's global legacy: the proceedings appeared as The Global Lincoln (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011). He is now working on a study of religion in American national construction between the Revolution and the Civil War.