Reader in International History
BA University of Leeds
PhD University of Leeds
Phone: +44 (0)1970 622858
Fax: +44 (0)1970 622709
I have a BA in International History and Politics and a PhD in International History from the University of Leeds, and joined the Department in September 2002. I am a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and Vice-Chair of the British International History Group. In 2012-2013 I was a Visiting Fellow at St Peter’s College, Oxford. My research interests range widely across twentieth century international history, ‘collective memory’, and theory and method in historical writing. My last monograph offered a reading of the historiography of the origins of the Second World War as a discourse of collective memory, and I am currently completing a book on the global collective memory of that conflict since the end of the Cold War for Oxford University Press. My teaching interests include Second World War collective memory, the League of Nations and the inter-war years, and cultural approaches to international history. I have previously served as the Department’s Director of Research and Deputy Head and as its Director of Undergraduate Studies. I am currently Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Institute of Geography, History, Politics and Psychology.
My research interests lie in two key areas. First, I am an historian of international relations, with particular reference to the inter-war period and to historiographical and conceptual issues. Second, I am an historian of ‘collective memory’, especially in relation to the Second World War.
I have published widely on the international history of the 1920s and the origins of the Second World War, and I am currently developing a collaborative project on the League of Nations and the Balkans in the 1920s. I have also written extensively on the intersections between international history and critical theory, and have become a recognized authority on ‘culturalist’ international history (and, indeed, on history and theory more generally). My 2010 monograph – Remembering the Road to World War Two - on the relationship between international history, national identity and collective memory in the historiography of the origins of the Second World War was my single largest statement to date in this vein. I have developed important international collaborations with a growing group of scholars interested in conceptual, methodological and historiographical issues in this field. I am currently co-editing a theme issue entitled ‘Debating the Cultural Turn’ in the prestigious International History Review with two Portuguese colleagues; this will appear online in 2016 and contains my own piece on bodies and affect in international history. I am also a core member of an AHRC-funded network on ‘The Practice of International History in the 21st Century’ led by Peter Jackson (Glasgow) and Simon Ball (Leeds).
The other key strand in my research relates to the thematic of collective memory, especially in relation to the Second World War. I am completing a monograph entitled How the Second World War Still Shapes Our Lives for Oxford University Press, a panoramic, transnational, global history of the collective memory of the Second World War since the end of the Cold War. This is a work of cultural history, but it is also thoroughly interdisciplinary as it draws evidence from a range of discourses including literature, visual culture, politics, the law, museums and academic scholarship. It argues that memories of the war – and the powerful normative concerns of human rights, apology and reparation with which they are entwined - have a palpable significance in contemporary cultural life and on domestic and international politics.
Concurrently with the completion of this book, I have been developing a next major project, exploring the problematic of ‘authenticity’ in contemporary cultural memory of the Second World War. I have been building an international collaborative network to develop this project, not least through work on two preliminary edited collections. The first is an edited book Remembering the Second World War – forthcoming in 2016 – for the Routledge series ‘Remembering the Modern World’. The contributions to this book are particularly concerned to challenge ‘nation-centric’ approaches to memory studies by exploring transnational transactions, local and sectional memories and new practices of remembrance such as video games, re-enactment and ‘dark tourism’. The second is a guest-edited theme issue for the journal Rethinking History on ‘authenticity’. This is a wide-ranging interdisciplinary exploration of the problematic of authenticity in historical theory, collective memory, historical fiction, the arts and public history. (I have previously edited similar interdisciplinary collections, including a 2013 theme issue of the Journal of European Studies on the Soviet author Vasily Grossman.) The ‘authenticity’ project will be taken forward in 2016 through a panel which I have organized at the European Social Science History Conference in Valencia and a funding bid.
More broadly, I am an editorial board member of Rethinking History and the Journal of War and Culture Studies. I am a member of the AHRC Peer Review College and have also refereed for the ESRC and as an expert evaluator within Horizon2020. I have received research funding from numerous bodies including the AHRC and the British Academy. I have spoken about my research on BBC Radio 4 and Radio 5, and on Radio Wales. Finally, I have a long track record of PhD supervision and welcome inquiries from prospective students wishing to work on topics within any of the areas described above.
IP12320 World Politics in the Age of the Two World Wars
IP34220 Land of Ghosts? International Politics in the Balkans since 1919
IP32720 Remembering World War Two
IQ32420 The League of Nations
IPM2420 Power, Culture and Identity in International History
Collective memory, especially in relation to the Second World War
Critical historiography in international history
Inter-war international history and the origins of the Second World War
International history and politics of South Eastern Europe
Historical theory, especially the work of Hayden White
'It is a terrible thing to condemn even a terrible man': Vasily Grossman on judging perpetrators. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) pp. 344-356. 10.1177/00472441135017492013.
Introduction. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) pp. 277-282. 10.1177/00472441135017462013.
Keith Jenkins and the Heroic Age of British Postmodern Theory. Rethinking History 17 (2) pp. 172-190. 10.1080/13642529.2013.7781232013.
Teaching the 'Cultural Turn'. British International History Group Newsletter pp. 10-13. Other2013.
The Ubiquitous Presence of the Past? Collective Memory and International History. International History Review 10.1080/07075332.2013.8286462013.
Vasily Grossman and the Myths of the Great Patriotic War. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) pp. 312-328. 10.1177/00472441135017472013.
2013. Vasily Grossman: Ruthless Truth in the Totalitarian Century. Journal of European Studies 43 (4) Other
D-Day 2004: Passing the Torch to History? In K. Hall, K. Jones (eds), Constructions of Conflict : Transmitting Memories of the Past in European Historiography, Culture and Media. Cultural History and Literary Imagination Peter Lang pp. 223-240.2011.
Land of Ghosts? Memories of War in the Balkans. In G. Kassimeris, J. Buckley (eds), The Ashgate Research Companion to Modern Warfare. Ashgate Research Companions Taylor & Francis pp. 343-363.2010.
Remembering the Road to World War Two: International History, National Identity, Collective Memory. Taylor & Francis Other2010.
Bridging Multiple Divides in IR Theory: Confronting Terrorism, International History, Culture and the War on Terror. International Relations 23 (1) pp. 75-83. 10.1177/00471178081006122009.
Hayden White, international history and questions too seldom posed. Rethinking History 12 (1) pp. 103-123. 10.1080/136425207018389262008.
International History. Other2008.
The Stories of Defeated Aggressors: International History, National Identity, and Collective Memory after 1945. In J. Macleod (ed), Defeat and Memory: Cultural Histories of Military Defeat in the Modern Era. Palgrave Macmillan pp. 97-116.2008.
The Diplomatic Temptation. Cultural and Social History 3 (4) pp. 472-481.2006.
Palgrave Advances in International History. Palgrave Macmillan, London2004.
The Macedonian Question in the 1920s and the Politics of History. In K. Brown, Y. Hamilakis (eds), The Usable Past: Greek Metahistories. Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham pp. 87-103.2003.
2002. Memory, Identity and War in South Eastern Europe. Rethinking History 6 (1) Other
”And I will tell you who you are”: Historiographies of Munich and the Negotiation of National Identity. In F. Taubert (ed), Mythos München: Le Mythe de Munich/ The Myth of Munich. Veröffentlichungen des Collegium Carolinum De Gruyter, Munich pp. 315-334.2002.
The romance of decline: the historiography of appeasement and British national identity. Electronic Journal of International History Other2000.
1939 After Sixty Years. Historian pp. 16-21.1999.
The Origins of the Second World War. Arnold Readers in History Bloomsbury Publishing, London1997.