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 32 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Room B13 - they will be followed by drinks at the George IV pub.

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 2017/18 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: Grace Carrington, Judith Jacob, Will King, Alex Mayhew, and Eline van Ommen

Seminar Programme 2017-18

Venue: 32L.B.13


27 September
British Cold War Intelligence
Thomas J. Maguire (University of Cambridge): "British Overseas Security Assistance: Counter-subversion, Stability and Influence in the Cold War Global South"
Will King (LSE): "Anglo-American Intelligence Cooperation and the Japanese Biological Warfare Program, 1944-1947"

11 October
Culture, Cuba and the USSR
Isabel Story (University of Nottingham): "Culture is not a Luxury: Cuba and the USSR in the 1980s"
Anna Clayfield (University of Chester): "Sovietisation and Siege Mentality: Mass Mobilisation in Cuba in the 1980s"

25 October
Nuclear Non-Proliferation
Jonathan Hunt (University of Southampton): "'The Side of the Angels': Lyndon Johnson and the Absolution of American Power, 1963-1969"
Malcolm Craig (Liverpool John Moores University): "Islamic States and Fissionable Material: US Nuclear Non-proliferation Policy, the Middle East, and the International News Media, 1979-1991"

15 November
International Fascism
Daniel Kressel (Columbia University): "Spiritual Technocrats: The Francoist authoritarian-technocratic state-ideology in Latin America’s Southern Cone in the 1960s and 1970s"
Nathaniel Kunkeler (University of Cambridge): "The Myth of International Fascism: Practice, Propaganda, and Public Relations"

29 November
Public Diplomacy in the Cold War
Simon Ottersbach (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen): "Radio Free Europe’s Production and Transatlantic Circulation of ‘Cold War Knowledge’ (1950–1971)"
Óscar José Martín García (Universidad de La Laguna): "The Soft Power of Modernization. The United States’ Public Diplomacy, Student Unrest and Regime Change in Authoritarian Spain, 1967-1975"


10 January
British Politics in the 1980s
Oliver Barton (LSE): "‘Special no more?’ Britain and the INF Treaty"
Benjamin Bland (Royal Holloway): "Riding the Tiger... from Rome to London: The Political Thought of Julius Evola and Anglo-Italian Neo-Fascism in the 1980s"

24 January
East Asia in the Cold War
Seung Mo Kang (LSE): "Deciding on the Signatory States for the Japanese Peace Treaty: the case of South Korea and Indochinese States"
Katrin Heilmann (King’s College London): "The 1969 Sino-Soviet border conflict: a Chinese national civil defence perspective"
Casper Wits (University of Tübingen): "Pro-China Conservatives in Japan: The “China Faction” in the LDP, 1958-1972"

7 February
India, Empire and Identity
Teresa Segura-Garcia (Universitat Pompeu Fabra): "The Indian princely states and America at the end of empire, 1900–1939"
Somak Biswas (University of Warwick): "India, Indenture and the Empire: Cultural Politics of a Transnational Discourse, 1904-1945"
Oliver Coates (University of Cambridge): "An African Orient? West Africans in World War Two India, 1943-1947"

28 February
Belgian Relief during the Great War
Tomas Irish (Swansea University): "The Relief of Belgian Scholars during the First World War"
Elisabeth Piller (University of Trondheim): "‘Poor Little Belgium’ and the Greater War. An International History of the American Commission for Relief in Belgium, 1914 – 1925"

14 March
Citizenship and Nationalism in the French Caribbean
Susannah Savage (SOAS): "Strangers in strange lands: Indians and the path to citizenship in the French Caribbean"
Grace Carrington (LSE): "A Forgotten Massacre: Understanding the Significance of ‘Mai 67’ for Decolonisation in Guadeloupe"

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, Tommaso Milani, stating your affiliation and area of research.

More detais and seminar programme for 2017-18 can be found in the LSE IDEAS website.