The use of energy and its relationship to changes in the pre-modern economy is the focus of research on developments in Europe from the late Roman Empire to the Industrial Revolution. Work concentrates on quantification and of various forms of energy consumption as well as developments in technologies which had an impact on levels and types of energy people used. Complementary is work on the patterns of change in energy consumption in Canada in the last two centuries and the role of the aluminum industry in the development of electricity generation.
- Medieval and Early Modern economic history
- History of technology
- Energy consumption since 1300
R.W. Unger; J. Thistle. Energy Consumption in Canada in the 19th and 20th Centuries A Statistical Outline. Naples: Consiglio Nazionale delle Richerche, Istituto di Studi sulle Società del Mediterraneo, 2013.
R.W. Unger ed., Shipping and economic growth, 1350-1850. Boston: Brill, 2011.
R.W. Unger. Ships on maps: pictures of power in Renaissance Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd, 2010.
R.W. Unger, ed. Britain and Poland-Lithuania: contact and comparison from the Middle Ages to 1795. Boston: BRILL, 2008.
R.J.A. Talbert, R.W. Unger eds. Cartography in antiquity and the Middle Ages: fresh perspectives, new methods. Boston: Brill, 2008.
R.W. Unger. Beer in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004.
R.W. Unger. A History of Brewing in Holland, 900-1900: Economy, Technology and the State. Leiden: Brill, 2001.
R.W. Unger. Ships and shipping in the North Sea and Atlantic, 1400-1800. Aldershot: Ashgate, 1997.
R.W. Unger. The Art of medieval technology: images of Noah the shipbuilder. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press, 1991.
Articles/ Book Chapters
“English Energy Consumption, Beer and the Impact of the Black Death,” European Review of Economic History, 24, 1 (February 2020), 134–156.
“Ships and Shipping Technology,” The Routledge Companion to Marine and Maritime Worlds, 1400–1800, Claire Jowitt, Craig Lambert, and Steve Mentz. eds., Abingdon: Routledge, 2020, 221- 240.
“Afterthoughts,” The International Journal of Maritime History, 31, 3 (2019), 612-623.
(with Robert Allen) “The Allen-Unger Global Commodity Prices Database.” Research Data Journal for the Humanities and Social Sciences (2019), 1-21.
“Ship Types in Atlantic Navigation from the Fourteenth to the Seventeenth Centuries,” Navegação no Atlântico/Atlantic Navigation, XVIII Reunião Internacional de História da Náutica/XVIII International Reunion for the History of Nautical Science, Francisco Contente Domingues and Susana Serpa Silva, eds., Ponta Delgada, Azores: CHAM, 2019, 39-50.
“Markets and merchants: commercial and cultural integration in northwest Europe, 1300-1700,” Maritime Networks as a Factor in European Integration, Atti delle “Settimane di Studi e altri Convegni”, Florence: Firenze University Press, 2019, 431-452.
“Channelling violence at sea: States, international trade and the transformation of naval forces from the high Middle Ages to the age of steam,” The International Journal of Maritime History, 31, 2 (2019), 202–221.
“Métabolisme social, consommation d’énergie et méthodes de mesure pour le Moyen Âge,” Sous le soleil. Systèmes et transitions énergétiques, du Moyen-Âge à nos jours, Charles-François Mathis et Geneviève Massard-Guilbaud, eds., Paris, Éditions de la Sorbonne, 2019, 133-147.
“Shifting Energy Sources in Canada: An International Comparison, 1870-2000,” Canadian Journal of History/Annales Canadiennes D’Histoire, 53, 3 (Winter/Hiver, 2018), 480-514.
“Shipbuilding, Knowledge, Technology And Heritage: Portuguese Shipbuilding & Low Countries Practices. Iberian Influences In The Dutch Golden Age,” Shipbuilding Knowledge and Heritage, Amélia Polónia and Francisco Contente Domingues, eds., Porto: Centro de Investigação Transdisciplinar Cultura, Espaço e Memória, 2018, 159-176, https://ler.letras.up.pt/uploads/ficheiros/17286.pdf
“The Brewing Industry and Governments in the Low Countries from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries,” Entrepreneurs, Institutions and Government Intervention in Europe [13th-20th centuries] Essays in Honour of Erik Aerts, Brecht Dewilde and Johan Poukens, eds., Brussels: Academic and Scientific Publishers NV, 2018, 177-187.
“Conclusion: accounting, money and mercantilism in European exchange, 1500-1900,” Mercantilism, Account Keeping and the Periphery-Core Relationship, Cheryl Susan McWatters, ed.. London: Routledge, 2018, 180-194.
“The maritime war in the Mediterranean, XIIIth-XVth centuries,” The Sea in History The Medieval World/La Mer dans l’Histoire Le Moyen Âge, Martlesham, UK: Boydell Press and Association Océanides, 2017, 90-100.
“Ships and Sailing Routes in Maritime Trade around Europe, 1300-1600,” in The Routledge Handbook of Maritime Trade around Europe, 1300-1600, Wim Blockmans, Michail Krom and Justyna Wubs-Mrozewicz, eds, London: Routledge, 2017, 17-35.
“Der Bierhandel in die Niederlande und nach Skandinavien,” Kein Bier ohne Alster Hamburg – Brauhaus der Hanse, Ralf Wiechmann, ed., Sabrina Werner and Lara Wessendorf, trans., Hamburg: Mseum für Hambrugische Geschichte, 2016, 86-101.
R. W. Unger, “Trades, Ports and Ships: the roots of differences in sailor’s lives”, in Law, Labour, and Empire: Comparative Perspectives on Seafarers, c. 1500-1800, 2015, pp. 1-17.
R. W. Unger, “Trade, Taxation and Government Policy in the High Middle Ages”, Viator, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 195-217, 2015.
R. W. Unger, “Commerce, Communication and Empire Economy, Technology and Cultural Encounters”, Speculum, vol. 90, no. 1, pp. 1-27, 2015.
“The Brewing Boom of the Middle Ages,” Seeing the Woods, A Blog of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, posted 14 March, 2018, https://seeingthewoods.org/2018/03/14/the-taproom-richard-unger/
“Brewing, Industrialization, and London Water Supplies,” Environment & Society Portal, Arcadia Summer 2016, no. 9. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. http://www.environmentandsociety.org/node/7618.
R. W. Unger, “Energy Transitions in History Global Cases of Continuity and Change, Rachel Carson Center, Munich,”, 2013. [Online]. Available: http://www.carsoncenter.uni-muenchen.de/news_media/news_events/rcc_news/energy_perspectives/index.html.
R. W. Unger and Allen, R., “Global Commodity Prices Database”. 2009.