MPhil/PhD workshop and seminars



Students registered for the MPhil/PhD in International History are required in their first year to attend the Department's research training programme: HY501 - Research Student Workshop. Students are also advised to attend relevant seminars organised within the other colleges of the University of London or the School, such as the ones below.

You can find more information on the Department's courses in LSE research course guides.

HY501 - International History MPhil/PhD Research Training Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to familiarise new MPhil/PhD students with the practical research and writing skills necessary for the preparation of a first-rate PhD thesis in history, and to discuss some general methodological and theoretical issues in international history as a research field.

Schedule of meetings 2017-18
Wednesdays, 12:00-14:00, 32L.LG.20

Convenor: Professor Vladislav Zubok


11 October
The nature of a PhD thesis. The university regulations. The PhD upgrading requirements. The originality requirement. Examples of previous theses and thesis topics. Selecting a topic. Relationship to other researchers in the field.

18 October
Methodological aspects: the making of history
History and its relationship to the social sciences. International history and other forms of history. What do historians do when they do history? What are its claims to objectivity? Interpretation and controversy in history. History and post-modernism. Please do some reading beforehand and come prepared with questions.
Participants: Dr Imaobong Umoren and Dr Megan Black

25 October
Notes and record keeping
One of the main tasks of the historian is to accumulate evidence from written and oral sources on which to base their work. We will discuss how we can do this effectively and to minimise problems of storage and recovery.
Participant: Dr Paul Keenan

8 November
Electronic sources for historians

A valuable opportunity to run through the search tools available on-line via the Library. Note: this meeting will take place in LRB.R08 on the lower ground floor of library.
Participant: Dr Paul Horsler (History librarian, LSE Library)

15 November
Oral History and Interviewing

A useful, and occasionally the only, method of obtaining information on contemporary issues is by interviewing witnesses. There are, however, important issues of technique, confidentiality, reliability and record-keeping that arise from this procedure. Before attending this meeting, please consult one of the relevant items on the reading list and/or the website of the Oral History Association.
Participant: Professor Nigel Ashton

22 November
Working in the archives
An informal discussion of aspects of archival research at home and abroad, with practical advice offered by several faculty members.
Participant: Dr Taylor C. Sherman

29 November
The Writing Process

An informal discussion of aspects of thesis writing. Please note: bring to this meeting at least one example of GOOD historical or other non-fiction writing and be prepared to explain why you chose it.
Participant: Dr David Motadel

6 December
Presenting Papers at Seminars and Conferences

An informal discussion on how to give a paper: preparation and delivery, how to deal with criticisms and questions. IT aids: PowerPoint. How to get published: academic journals and book publishers: sources of advice. What makes a good paper/article?
Participants: Professor David Stevenson and Dr Ronald C. Po


There will probably be three or so meetings in the Summer term, depending on the number of first- year students who are preparing for the upgrade. The meetings will be given over to presentations by students of the draft chapter they will be submitting for the upgrading exercise. Two students will normally make presentations at each meeting. They will be asked to summarise their chapter, explaining its thesis and how it is underpinned. The order of appearance will be decided toward the end of the Michaelmas term.

HY509 - International History Research Seminar

All International History PhD students are invited to attend HY509 on alternate Wednesdays during term time from 16:00 to 18:00 in Clement House, 3rd floor, room 04 - they will be followed by drinks at the Olde White Horse pub in St Clements Lane.

This seminar is organised by the doctoral students in the Department and includes both internal and external speakers. Attendance is mandatory for all of the Department's research students who have passed their upgrade and are present in London.

The HY509 programme for 2018/19 is listed below. Papers will be circulated in advance and can also be access below with a password. Participation is open to all, including non-LSE staff and students. External visitors will be required to register through Eventbrite to access the building. For further information please email the convenors.

Convenors: Molly Avery, Hamish McDougall and Katherine Arnold

Seminar Programme 2018-19

Venue: CLM.3.04


3 October
Science and Intelligence in the Early Cold War

Simon Graham (University of Sydney): Cold War Collaborations: An International History of Intelligence Sharing between East German, Czechoslovak and Soviet security services, 1952-1968

Dr Charlie Hall (University of Kent): The Spoils of War: British Exploitation of German Science and Technology and the Start of the Cold War

17 October
US foreign policy in the final decade of the Cold War

Joseph Ledford (UC Berkeley): A Reagan Revolution: The Iran-Contra Affair and American Statecraft, 1981-1993

Dr Una Bergmane (LSE): US foreign policy, the Baltic Question and the Collapse of the Soviet Union, 1989-1991

24 October
European Integration in the 1970s and 1980s

Andi Shehu (EUI): Between Crisis and Economic Development: European Foreign Policy from the War in Afghanistan to Project PHARE, 1979-1989

Sara Venditti (LUISS Guido Carli): Europeanization of Space: The Ariane project between Europeanization and Independence, 1973-1979

21 November
Ideas of Asia

Xue Chang (Princeton University): Opening One’s Eyes to Observe the World: Foreign Geography and the Studies of Xinjiang in Nineteenth-Century China

Dr Nicole CuUnjieng Aboitiz (University of Cambridge): The idea of ‘Asia’ in turn-of-the twentieth-century Philippine Pan-Asianist Action and Political Thought

12 December
New perspectives on empire

Agata Bloch (Institute of History, Polish Academy of Sciences): Living on the Edge: Did Colonialism Really Create Outsiders? The Case of the Early Modern Portuguese Empire

Tiraana Bains (Yale University): Provincializing the Bengal Presidency: Intra-Imperial Contests and the Remaking of the British Empire in South Asia and the East Indies, circa 1750-1799

David Gomez (Institute of the Americas, UCL): Canals and Borders: Economic Diplomacy and the Anglo-Guatemalan Territorial Dispute over Belize, 1821-1870

HY510 - LSE-Sciences Po Seminar in Contemporary International History

Since 2014-2015, the Cold War Studies Project at LSE IDEAS, the Department of International History at LSE, and the Centre d’histoire de Sciences Po in Paris have co-organised the joint LSE-Sciences Po Seminar in Contemporary International History (HY510).

The seminar welcomes presentations on any aspect of contemporary international history, with a focus on the Cold War.

The seminar is open to all PhD students and staff at both LSE and Sciences Po. We also welcome outside participants: if you would like to take part in the seminar, please e-mail the course organiser, Dr Tommaso Milani, stating your affiliation and area of research.

More detais and seminar programme for 2018-19 can be found in the LSE IDEAS website.