Latest stories from the Department

Latest news about the Department and its members, such as new appointments, publications, book launches, awards received, speaking engagements, media coverage and standings in world and national ranks.

Latest news


Dr Roham Alvandi in the Washington Post

Dr Alvandi, a historian of Iran and Modern Middle East, spoke with Miriam Berger about the past, present, and future of the Pahlavi family. They talked about history, memory, and Iranian nostalgia for the Pahlavi era. Read more.


Latest publication by Professor Steven Casey

Professor Casey contributed a chapter to From Quills to Tweets: How America Communicates about War and Revolution, edited by Andrea J Dew, Marc A Genest, and SCM Paine (Georgetown University Press). The book explores the roles that political narratives, media coverage, and evolving communication technologies have played in precipitating, shaping, and concluding or prolonging wars and revolutions over the course of US history. Professor Casey's chapter is on "Selling a Limited War in Korea, 1950-53".



December 2019


Lessons from Versailles

Professor David Stevenson participated in a panel discussion on the legacy of the First World War on 28 November with Professors Michael Cox (LSE IDEAS), Linda Yueh (LSE IDEAS), Margaret MacMillan (Oxford) and Barry Buzan (LSE International Relations). The event, "From 1919 to 2019: pivotal lessons from Versailles", is available on the LSE Player and focuses on the Versailles Peace Treaty and why the treaty has been so hotly debated ever since by critics and defenders alike. On 15 December, the panel discussion was also shown on BBC Parliament. Catch up with the briefings on the BBC iPlayer (UK only).


New release by Dr David Motadel

The Global Bourgeoisie: The Rise of the Middle Classes in the Age of Empire, edited by Dr David Motadel, Professor Christof Dejung (University of Bern) and Professor Jürgen Osterhammel (University of Konstanz) was released by Princeton University Press in the UK on 3 December. Bringing together eminent scholars, this landmark essay collection compares middle-class formation in various regions, highlighting differences and similarities, and assesses the extent to which bourgeois growth was tied to the increasing exchange of ideas and goods. Read more.

November 2019


Professor Janet Hartley gives opening lecture at Kazan Federal University

Emeritus Professor Janet Hartley gave the opening lecture in the “Alexander Festival” at Kazan Federal University on 28 November and participated in the unveiling of a new bust of Alexander I. The festival was held in honour of the founder of the university, Alexander I. Professor Hartley’s lecture was on “The Tsars in London: the Visits of Peter I and Alexander I”. Professor Hartley is an historian of 18th- and 19th-Century Russia. Her many publications include a biography on Alexander I. In 2016, she appeared in the first two episodes of the BBC Four programme, Empire of the Tsars: Romanov Russia with Lucy Worsley. She is currently a Board Member of The Paulsen Programme at LSE.


BSc International Relations and History student Daniel Lawes awarded a Princess Diana Legacy Award

In his own words:

“On Tuesday [26 November], I was awarded the Princess Diana Legacy Award for my charity work, alongside 19 other young leaders from across the world. It was the most amazing of experiences, with the award being presented by Princess Diana's brother, Earl Spencer. According the British Government, it is the highest award a young person can achieve for their humanitarian efforts and so I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank the people who have helped me get to this stage. "It involved a four day intensive leadership training programme, including a reception with Prince William at Kensington Palace and I had the privilege of meeting the most inspiring people; such as the Executive Director of UN Women, Executives from HSBC and British Airways, and members of the House of Lords (meeting Baroness Lawrence was a particular highlight). The most inspirational element of the experience, however, was meeting the other award recipients from across the world who had some incredible stories. It’s fair to say that I think we had one or two future UN Secretary Generals in the room!! The award was for my work in founding and leading the non-profit organisation YouthPolitics UK which now has over 60 volunteers, has trained over 14,000 young people from low income neighbourhoods across the country and has bridged the gap between young people and decision makers, with figures such as Theresa May, Lord Heseltine, Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair all getting involved or planning to get involved with our work. It was also a recognition of my work with youth mental health, leading the #OnMyMind campaign which has the aim of lobbying the Department of Health for additional funding to youth mental health services. I recently took part in a podcast series with the BBC about my journey, hosted by comedian Isy Suttie, which can be found here”.


Spohr's media appearances and newspaper quotes

Dr Kristina Spohr has been out promoting one of her latest book, Wendezeit. Die Neuordnung der Welt nach 1989 on the radio. On 3 November she was on a one-hour radio show on Saarländischer Rundfunk called “Questions to the Author” and on 5 November she had a ten-minute slot on Das Sachsenradio’s programme “30 Years after the Fall of the Wall – History in Stories”. In an LA Times article, on the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (6 November), Dr Spohr was quoted saying that the euphoria after the Berlin Wall fell led to an unprecedented East-West cooperation and the belief that global democratization was inevitable. However, that did not materialise. Today, she claimeds, there’s no spirit of cooperation. Read more. Two days later (8 November) she was also quoted in the Washington Post about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s nostalgic tour of sites where he served with NATO forces in Germany to mark the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Read more. On the same day, she was featured on DW News where she spoke about how the fall of the Berlin Wall and the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown informs our world today.


Wenderzeit top 10 best non-fiction books

Dr Kristina Spohr's German edition of her latest book One Wall One Square, Wendezeit: Die Neuordnung der Welt nach 1989, was voted one of November's Top 10 Best Non-fiction books in Germany by a jury of 30 literary critics and journalists from ZDF, Deutschlandfunk Culture and Die Zeit. Read more (in German).

October 2019


Dr Roham Alvandi on revisionism and US culpability for the 1953 coup in Iran

Dr Alvandi has co-authored an article with Professor Mark Gasiorowski (Tulane University) for Foreign Policy. “The United States Overthrew Iran’s Last Democratic Leader” (30 October) argues that the U.S. government was the key actor in the 1953 coup that ousted Mohammad Mosaddeq—not the Iranian clergy.

LSE100 Prize Winners 2019

LSE100 Award

Many congratulations to our undergraduate students Mohammadmehdi Sharifkazemi, Elizabeth Mackarel, Millie Di Luzio and Daniel Szoeke. They won the LSE100 Award for achieving straight Distinctions across all assessments on the course in 2018. The prize was awarded at the annual LSE100 Prize Giving Dinner on 16 October. Of the over 1700 students who took LSE100 last year, 84 students across LSE received the LSE100 Award and one received the Sir Robert Worcester Prize for Exceptional Academic Performance. Read more.


Dr Kristina Spohr's new edited volume

Exiting the Cold War, Entering a New World is Dr Spohr's fourth 2019 book release. Co-edited with Professor Daniel S. Hamilton (Johns Hopkins University SAIS), the book explores how and why the dangerous yet seemingly durable world order forged during the Cold War collapsed in 1989, and how a new order was improvised out of its ruins. The book includes an unusual blend of memoirs by senior officials who were directly involved in the decisions of that time, and contributions by scholars who have been able to draw on newly declassified archival sources to revisit this challenging period. Read more about the book and download it for free here. Catch up with the official book launch on 22 October on YouTube. Other events related to the new publication took place on 29 October in Berlin at "Expert Conference - 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall" and on 30 October in London, “Europe after the Cold War: whole and free?”. Dr Kristina Spohr is Associate Professor in the Department of International History at LSE and the 2019/20 Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Chair at Johns Hopkins SAIS.


New book out by Emeritus Professor Paul Preston, Director of Cañada Blanch Centre

Professor Paul Preston's Un Pueblo Traicionado was released in Spanish by Debate on 24 October. The book analyses the history of Spain from 1876 to present time, with the underlying theme of the mismatch between a population eager to progress and elites that do not cease to block their attempts. A People Betrayed provides a chronicle of the devastating disloyalty to the Spaniards by their political class, impassive of the country's social reality. Read more.


 Milllwood on historical context of China, LeBron and NBA debacle

LSE Fellow Dr Pete Millwood has contributed an article to the Washington Post blog, Made by History (18 October). In “LeBron James didnʼt need to apologize to China for NBA tweets“, US-China Relations historian Dr Millwood contextualises the recent row over an NBA General Manager’s tweets about the Hong Kong protests through reference to rows in US-China sports diplomacy in the 1970s. Read it here (with subscription).


Media coverage of Dr Kristina Spohr's latest book

Dr Spohr presented the German edition of her new book Wendezeit at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair where she also debated the consequences of the fall of the Berlin wall on the ZDF TV show "The Blue Sofa". Watch her interview here. She was also featured in the October issue of the History magazine of the largest Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Read her interview here. In the meantime, the English version of her new book, Post Wall Post Square, was reviewed by the Financial Times on 17 October. Tony Baber in “The broken dreams of 1989” says “Kristina Spohr beautifully reconstructs the events of the 1989-92 era, reminding us of the importance of intelligent, responsible political leadership at critical moments of history.” Read the full review here.


Dr Paul Stock releases third book

Europe and the British Geographical Imagination, 1760-1830 was released by Oxford University Press in early October. In his new book, Dr Stock provides a thorough and much-needed historical analysis of Britain’s enduringly complex intellectual relationship with Europe. He traces the history of ideas in non-elite contexts to discern widespread British attitudes to Europe, and not just the views of a few familiar prominent intellectuals.


New book by Dr Kristina Spohr out now

Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the World after 1989 (HarperCollins) provides an historical analysis of the crucial hinge years of 1989-1992, when the Berlin Wall fell and protest turned to massacre in Tiananmen Square, as well as the implications of these events for our times. Read more.

September 2019


Malevich's Black Square

Assistant Professor Dr Dina Gusejnova joined Professor Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Birmingham) in conversation on Third Text’s forum, “Decolonising Colour”. The conversation on “Malevich’s Black Square under X-ray: A Dialogue on Race, Revolution and Art History” ends with Dr Gusejnova stating, “let’s agree that the Black Square and its X-rayed past are another reminder that art is a social process, not a series of statements”. Read the full conversation here.

Professor Janet Hartley

Professor Janet Hartley on BBC Radio 4

Emeritus Professor Janet Hartley participated in an episode of Melvyn Bragg’s BBC Radio 4 In Our Time on 19 September. Alongside Dr Michael Rowe (KCL) and Dr Michael Rapport (Glasgow), she discussed why Napoleon invaded Russia in 1812, thought he was victorious yet had to retreat, losing most of his army and, soon after, his empire. Catch up with the episode, “Napoleon’s Retreat from Moscow”, on BBCiPlayer.


New article out by LSE Teaching Fellow Dr Pete Millwood in Diplomatic History

(Mis)perceptions of Domestic Politics in the US-China Rapprochement, 1969-1978” argues that it was not simply the condition of domestic politics in the two countries that influenced the diplomatic relationship, but, more precisely, the extent to which each government correctly perceived and understood the other government’s domestic politics and the influence of those politics on their counterpart’s negotiating position. Read the article for free here (LSE users).


Dr Isabelle-Christine Panreck

The Department welcomes Dr Isabelle-Christine Panreck, our 2019/20 Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Fellow in Modern European History. This fellowship gives post-doctoral fellows the opportunity to research and teach at LSE for twelve months, promoting excellence in modern history, contemporary history, and political science. Dr Panreck’s current research concentrates on the second generation of German scholars after the Second World War, specifically on the life and work of Klaus von Beyme.


Dr Cant participates in Conference in Paris

New Assistant Professor Dr Anna Cant recently attended the European Rural History Organisation Conference in Paris. Her paper was part of a panel on negotiating land reform programmes from the eighteenth to the twentieth century, which included cases as diverse as the Algarve in the eighteenth century and Chile under Allende’s Popular Unity government. Her paper, “Competing Visions of Peasant Mobilisation in Peru’s Agrarian Reform", discussed the ways in which local actors, including peasant communities and left-wing political parties, responded to the 1969 agrarian reform introduced by the military government of Juan Velasco Alvarado. Read more about the conference.


Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor

We are thrilled to welcome Professor Ulrich Herbert as our 2019/20 Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor. A renowned historian of National Socialism and the Holocaust, Professor Herbert (University of Freiburg) will spend a year with us teaching a postgraduate course on National Socialism: Old Theories and New Research Approaches. His latest book, A History of Twentieth-Century Germany, will be published by Oxford University Press in the autumn 2019. During his stay in London, Professor Herbert will prepare a book on migration policy in Germany and Europe since the 1980s.


Book prize for Dr Imaobong Umoren

Congratulations to Dr Imaobong Umoren who has received the 2019 Women’s History Network Book Prize for best first book on women and gender history! The judges thought "was an original concept, largely through its intersectional lens - the book is about the history of race, global freedom struggles and transnational history looked at through the perspective of gender". They also said the research was "breathtaking, ranging widely across geographical space – including both the Anglophone and Francophone African diaspora and which used sources in both languages". Read more here.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po at Warwick & Oxford Conference on China and Global History

On 16 September, he presented a paper entitled “Clothes Make the Modern Sailor: Naval Uniforms and Westernisation in Nineteenth Century China”. Dr Po will argue that not only does the evolution of these naval dresses provide insight into what the Qing state valued as it modernized and grew stronger, but the way fashion, as represented by these naval uniforms, shaped modernity within the confines of regulated clothing was also important. Dr Po spoke on the first day of the 2-day conference at Warwick in a panel titled “The Chinese Empire in Global Context”.


Dr Roham Alvandi quoted in The Telegraph

Dr Alvandi was quoted in The Telegrah in an article from 7 September on Iran's latest breach of the nuclear deal. He commented that Iran's step to speed up its uranium enrichment programme “does not bring them much closer to developing nuclear weapons” because “they are still subject to inspections by the IAEA who are monitoring their stockpiles”. Find out what else he had to say here.


New article by Dr Tanya Harmer

The ‘Cuban Question’ and the Cold War in Latin America, 1959-1964” is the most recent publication by Dr Tanya Harmer. Pubished in the Journal of Cold War Studies (21:3), the article explains how Latin American governments responded to the Cuban revolution and how the “Cuban question” played out in the inter-American system in the first five years of Fidel Castro’s regime, from 1959 to 1964, when the Organization of American States imposed sanctions on the island.


New book by Professor Matthew Jones

Professor Jones has released a new co-written book with Professor Kevin Ruane (Canterbury Christ Church University). Anthony Eden, Anglo-American Relations and the 1954 Indochina Crisis (Bloomsbury) recalls an earlier Eden before the 1956 Suez Crisis which led to his political downfall. The book examines Eden's vital role in settling a crucial question of international war and peace, which culminated in the 1954 Geneva Conference on Indochina.


Dr Kristina Spohr quoted in CNN article

Catch up with the latest contribution from Dr Kristina Spohr to a CNN article entitled “This chant brought down the Berlin Wall. Now the far right has stolen it” (31 August). She argues that AfD (Alternativ für Deutschland) posters and billboards declaring “We are the people!” is an abuse of history. What the AfD wants – a nationalist, inward-looking Germany – has nothing to do with what the people wanted in 1989. Read more of Dr Spohr’s comments here.

August 2019



Dr Joanna Lewis on Channel 4 documentary

Dr Lewis was featured as an expert in the first two episodes of documentary The Queen’s Lost Family. Using never-before-seen personal letters, diaries and photograph albums, the documentary tells the inside story of the royal family over three turbulent decades from the 1920s to the end of World War Two. First episode was aired on Sunday, 11 August, and the second episode followed one week later.


July 2019


Being a graduate of LSE International History pays

The latest figures from the Department for Education for Graduate Outcomes (subject by provider) show that LSE History & Archaeology graduates continue to top the ranks of average salaries five years after graduation. Results from the 2010-2011 cohort reveal that five years down the line, our graduates made on average £43,200 per year, nearly £5,500 more than Oxford or Cambridge counterparts. Read the Telegraph article here (19 July).


Accolade for The Blue Frontier

Congratulations to Dr Ronald C. Po, whose latest book The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2018) has been awarded the Specialist Publication Accolade in Humanities by the International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) 2019. Earlier in the year, Dr Po’s book was longlisted by ICAS for the 2019 Humanities English Edition Book Prize.


Staff news

We’re pleased to welcome two new LSE Teaching Fellows to the department starting in September 2019 – Dr Oscar Webber and Dr Thomas Ellis (pictured). Dr Oscar Webber joins us from the University of Leeds, where he completed his MA in Modern History and PhD in History. He is an Environmental Historian of the British Empire whose research interests concern the colonial Caribbean, human responses to nature-induced disasters and other environmental encounters more broadly defined. Dr Thomas Ellis obtained a BA in History and Politics from the University of York, an MPhil in historical studies from Cambridge and a PhD from the University of Southampton. His principal research interests are American perceptions of Russia, technological utopianism and how 20th century Americans have envisaged the future, all of which converge in his current book project which expands upon his doctoral research.


Dr David Motadel opinion piece in the New York Times

In “The Far Right Says There’s Nothing Dirtier Than Internationalism – But They Depend on It” (3 July), Dr Motadel argues that “internationalism” connotes everything that contemporary nationalists despise, above all the idea that our most pressing problems need to be resolved by working across borders. But internationalism, he continues, a concept that, after all, implicitly presumes the existence of the nation, and extreme nationalism are not necessarily incompatible. Read the full article here.


Dr Roham Alvandi in podcast by the Nixon Foundation

On the 50th anniversary of the Nixon Doctrine, Dr Alvandi joined several distinguished historians to discuss the Nixon Doctrine’s evolution, the context of the Vietnam War as well as its global application. Drawing on research from his book, Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah (2014), Dr Alvandi shed light on what the Nixon Doctrine can teach us about the power dynamics of US relations with its regional allies. Listen to the Nixon Now podcast here.


Dr Paul Stock cited in The Guardian

“Global tourism hits record highs – but who goes where on holiday?”, a 1 July article written by our student Molly Blackall (3rd year BSc IR and History) on the rise of tourism and where the world’s 1.4 billion international travellers go on vacation, utilises Dr Stock’s LSE Research video “Why People Go on Holiday” as part of a section outlining a brief history of tourism. Read the full article here.


Professor Ludlow contributes to EU publication

Professor Piers Ludlow has co-edited and contributed nine chapters to a new volume on the history of the European Commission, The European Commission, 1986-2000. A total of 52 academics and researchers from more than 30 universities and research centres in Europe, the United States and around 15 countries took part in the drafting of this work. Professor Ludlow’s chapters cover topics on the Commission and other EC/EU institutions, on fraud and the budget, on the Northern Irish PEACE programme and on former President of the European Commission Jacques Delors. The whole volume, released by EU publications, is available to download for free here.

Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Ludlow: Did we ever really understand how the EU works?

EC/EU historian Professor Piers Ludlow has recently contributed a blog post to the LSE Brexit Blog. He argues that the Brexit negotiations have highlighted the superficial understanding of the system acquired by much of the UK political class during the four decades spent inside the system. Find out why here.

June 2019


Dr Alvandi on the new US sanctions against Iran

Dr Roham Alvandi spoke to CNN's Richard Quest on 24 June about the new US sanctions against Iran. He argued that the current sanctions are a counterproductive policy that has manufactured an unecessary crisis. Additionally, new sanctions give the impression the US do not want to leave any room for a de-escalation on the part of Iran. Watch the interview here.


Third award for The Global Interior

Congratulations to Dr Megan Black, who received the Stuart L. Bernath Book Prize for best first book in the history of international relations from the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR). This is the third book prize for The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power, which was also awarded the 2018 George Perkins Marsh Prize and the 2019 British Association for American Studies Book Prize.

Noemi Levy-Aksu

Statement of Support for Dr Noémi Lévy-Aksu from the Department of International History

On 13 June 2019 an LSE Fellow in the Department of International History, Dr Noémi Lévy-Aksu, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison by a Turkish court in Istanbul for signing a petition as part of an "Academics for Peace" initiative in Turkey.  This petition was originally issued in January 2016, and has attracted the support of over 2200 academics.  Since the end of 2017, over 600 of them have been summoned by the Turkish authorities to court appearances, and almost 200 of these have been given prison sentences of various lengths. The petition had the title "we will not be a party to this crime", and called for an end to violence in the Kurdish regions of Turkey, and for a peaceful resolution to the situation there.  For this, Noemi and other academics were charged with "propagandizing for a terrorist organization." Noémi’s sentence is under appeal and she is safe and no longer in Turkey.

Noémi is a much-valued member of the Department who as an LSE Fellow for the past year has engaged our students through her teaching on HY324: Muslim-Jewish Relations: History and Memory in the Middle East and Europe, 622-1945, and HY459: The Ottoman Empire and its Legacy, 1299-1950.  Her research focuses on the legal, political, and social history of the late Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey.  Besides her book Ordre et désordres dans l’Istanbul ottoman (Karthala, 2013), she has published articles and book chapters on policing and urban history and justice in the late Ottoman Empire. She also co-edited The Young Turk Revolution and the Ottoman Empire: the aftermath of 1908 (I.B. Tauris, 2017).

We hope that the Turkish authorities will follow the rules and regulations of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), all of which Turkey has signed, and all of which protect the rights to freedom of expression and association.

In March 2017, after being dismissed from her position at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Noémi announced, "When I signed the Petition of Peace, I listened to my conscience, and I will continue to do so, together with many others. You may call it a political standpoint, but what 'political' means here is neither party membership nor opposition to another party. Peace, freedom and justice should be the common set of values that bind us together, despite our political differences."

We wish to express our support for our colleague, strongly protest this attack on academic freedom of expression, and would encourage the LSE community to take note of the boundaries being placed on such freedoms of expression and conscience in Turkey and elsewhere.


Cold War Conference in Budapest

The Cold War Archival Research Project (CWAR) and LSE-Columbia Visiting Professor Dr Victoria Phillips brought students from the Department and students from Columbia and West Point Military Academy to Budapest to present their research at the 10th Annual Cold War History Research Center International Student Conference at Corvinus University of Budapest on 4-5 June. Our own Professor Vladislav Zubok opened the conference with a keynote speech, “Did the Cold War End in 1991?”. Professor Phillips opened the second day with an introduction to her book, “Martha Graham’s Cold War: The Dance of American Diplomacy” (2019). LSE, CU, and USMA paper topics included migration and birth control, photojournalism and gender during revolutions, puppet theatre as propaganda, “Revolutionary Études,” the politics of state visits, “peace propaganda as a battleground,” and the implications of the Americanisation of Chinese food from the early 20th century through the Nixon administration. The conference was led by Corvinus Professor Csaba Békés and supported by the European Institute's Cultural Initiative at Columbia University, the Hungarian Academy of Science and the Hungarian National Bank. CWAR students also visited the Open Society Archives in Budapest in their free time to learn about its collections.


Professor Matthew Jones on the prelude to the Skybolt Crisis

Professor Jones's latest article, “Prelude to the Skybolt Crisis: The Kennedy Administration’s Approach and French Strategic Nuclear Policies in 1962”, released by the Journal of Cold War Studies, discusses the speech delivered by US Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara on 16 June 1962. The speech featured passages decrying the existence of separate, national nuclear forces within the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organisation. Professor Jones concentrates on this dimension of the speech by examining the context of McNamara’s remarks and the reactions they provoked, particularly in Great Britain. Read the article.


New article out by Dr David Motadel in the American Historical Review

“The Global Authoritarian Moment and the Revolt against Empire” sheds light on the history of anti-imperialism in the years of the global authoritarian surge of the 1930s and 1940s, looking at the evolving relations between anticolonial nationalists and the Nazi regime. Read the article here.


New book out

Dr Antony Best has just released a new edited book (with Peter Kornicki and the late Sir Hugh Cortazzi) entitled British and Japanese Royal and Imperial Relations, 1868-2018: 150 Years of Association, Engagement and Celebration. The volume is divided into three sections, the first of which examines the "royals and imperials" history during the Meiji era; the second assesses the first half of the twentieth century; and the third focuses on post-war history up to the present day. Published in association with the Japan Society, its appearance marks the abdication of Emperor Akihito and the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito in April 2019. Read more about his new publication.

May 2019


Students visit the University of Arkansas Special Collections

Departmental students Alex Penler, James Engels and Nick Cohen with Sunny Chen (Columbia University) worked at the University of Arkansas Special Collections in May 2019, researching the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Historical Collection as Cold War Archival Research (CWAR) fellows under the direction of Visiting Professor Dr Victoria Phillips. CWAR brings advanced undergraduates, MA and PhD students to archives to research cultural diplomacy during the Cold War under the sponsorship of the Columbia University European Institute's Cultural Initiative. The students work cooperatively with Dr Phillips and the archivists to further their theses and dissertations. Over five years, the students have formed an “alumni” network of historians, legal and business professionals, and international consultants to governments.


Review of The Global Interior

Dr Megan Black received a glowing review of her latest book The Global Interior in the Los Angeles Review of Books on 21 May. Reviewer Dexter Fergie writes that by zooming in on the work of this important but too easily forgotten agency, Dr Black’s book deftly arranges the last century and a half of American history in fresh and useful ways, informed by a few pioneering studies. She reads the Spanish-American War alongside space satellites and places the American Indian Movement next to OPEC. Most notably, though, her book allows us to see how settler colonialism served as the staging ground for the United States’s rise to its superpower status. Read the full review.


The Blue Frontier longlisted for book prize

Dr Ronald C. Po’s latest book, The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire, has been longlisted by the International Convention of Asia Scholars for the 2019 Humanities English Edition book prize. The prize aims to create an international focus for academic publications on Asia, thus increasing their worldwide visibility. Learn more about the prize.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po on Shi Lang

Dr Po has just released a new article in Modern Asian Studies (53:4). “Hero or Villain? The Evolving Legacy of Shi Lang in China and Taiwan”discusses Shi Lang, the commander-in-chief who led the Qing navy to annex Taiwan in 1683, and how he is essential to our understanding of the cross-strait tension and the murky outlook for its future. By analysing most of the previous appraisals and examinations of Shi Lang, Dr Po reveals the historical narratives of this admiral as being continually under construction in a shifting and mutually reinforcing process from the Qing dynasty to the present day.


New publication

Dr Kristina Spohr released a new co-edited book with Professor Daniel S. Hamilton (John Hopkins University SAIS) at the beginning of May. On the 20th anniversary of NATO enlargement. Open Door: NATO and Euro-Atlantic Security After the Cold War takes us back to the decade when the momentous decision to open itself to new members and new missions was made. The book, with a foreword by former Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, features chapters by former senior officials from the United States, Russia, Western and Eastern Europe who were directly involved in the decisions of that time. They are joined by scholars who have been able to draw on newly declassified archival sources to revisit NATO’s evolving role in the 1990s. Order a hardprint copy via Brookings Institution Press. Watch the book launch at SAIS on 7 May.


Dr Kristina Spohr on The Zeitgeist podcast

On 1 May, Dr Spohr spoke with Jeff Rathke, President of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at the Johns Hopkins University, on the “hinge” years of the Cold War in Europe from the late 80s to the early 90s and how decisions made then have ramifications today.  Listen to “Legacy of the ‘Hinge’ Years: 1990 to Today” here.

April 2019

Dr Megan Black

New article by Dr Megan Black in Modern American History

The article, “Scene/Unseen: Mining for ‘The Treasure of the Sierra Madre’’s Critique of American Capitalist Exploitation in Mexico” (2:1), discusses the film’s little-recognised but vibrant critique of American power and capitalist exploitation in twentieth-century Mexico. This analysis lies below the surface, buried in the subtext of the film’s onscreen action and hidden beneath layers of its production and censorship. Read it with open access here.


The Global Interior wins second award

Dr Megan Black's book, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power received the George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book in environmental history in 2018. The prize is awarded by the American Society of Environmental Historians (ASEH) and hers was selected from 95 books also submitted. This is the second prize Dr Black has received for her debut book. Earlier this year, The Global Interior was the winner of the 2019 British Association for American Studies Book Prize.


Keynote lecture at Oxford

Dr Ronald C. Po gave his first keynote lecture entitled “China and the Sea: Three Fallacies” on 23 April at the Third Annual China Humanities Graduate Conference, Resistance and Acceptance: Getting China Moving (University of Oxford). His talk offered three specific avenues of exploration to reinforce the proposition that the Qing was integrated into the sea through its naval development and customs institutionalisation throughout the long eighteenth century. He also argued that it is time to move beyond our understanding of maritime China from a “Southeast China centrism”.


New publication by Dr Kirsten Schulze

Dr Kirsten Schulze, historian of Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Southeast Asia, has a new article out in Contemporary Southeast Asia. “From Ambon to Poso: Comparative and Evolutionary Aspects of Local Jihad in Indonesia” was released in April's special issue on militant Islam in Southeast Asia (41:1) which Dr Schulze also co-edited with Dr Julie Chernov Hwang (Goucher College, USA). Access the issue here. Free for LSE users here.

Anna Cant

Staff news

We are pleased to announce that Dr Anna Cant, current LSE Fellow in the department, has been appointed Assistant Professor and will be taking up her new post from 1 September 2019. Dr Cant is a historian of Latin America with expertise in twentieth-century politics, cultural history and rural development. She gained her PhD in History at the University of Cambridge (2015) and is currently revising the thesis as a book titled Land Without Masters: Agrarian Reform and Political Change in Peru, 1968-75

Professor Janet Hartley

Professor Janet Hartley at Yale University

From 11-12 April, Professor Hartley participated in the Russian Grand Strategy in Historical Perspective Workshop at Yale University. The workshop was hosted by the Brady-Johnson Program in Grand Strategy and Professor Hartley presented a paper on “Imperial Russian and European Great Power Status”.


Visit to NATO Headquarters and SHAPE

Senior Visiting Research Fellow Dr Michael Reynolds, Visiting Professor Dr Victoria Phillips and MSc History of International Relations student Muna Hassan visited the NATO Headquarters and Shape in Brussels at the beginning of April. Students were invited by the Atlantic Council United Kingdom to meet with representatives of the Public Diplomacy Division – Engagements Section of NATO as part of NATO’s continuing interest in developing student’s interest in their work, particularly in cyber security. They were given the opportunity to question NATO staff on aspects of NATO organisation and policy, giving our LSE staff and student attendees a unique experience and an opportunity to gain insight into a highly successful organisation which has helped maintain peace in Europe since 1945.


Dr Spohr's latest events

Dr Kristina Spohr, currently the Inaugural Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Chair at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), has recently participated in two events of note. The first was a symposium commemorating Helmut Schmidt from 25-27 March called “Entangling the Pacific and Atlantic Worlds: Past and Present”, organised by the German Historical Institute Washington and ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin, und Gerd Bucerius, in cooperation with the Institute of European Studies & Institute of East Asian Studies, University of California, Berkeley. On the second day, she discussed “Helmut Schmidt: The Global Statesmean” with Christoph von Marschall and with Schmidt’s companions Ronny Chan (Hang Lung Properties Hong Kong), Theo Sommer (former Editor-in-Chief of Die Zeit), and Manfred Lahnstein (former Minister of Finance of the Federal Republic of Germany). Read more about this symposium. The second event of note was a panel discussion on International Institutions, as part of a conference entitled “The Future of Statecraft” on 2 April, hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Henry A Kissinger Center for Global Affairs at Johns Hopkins SAIS. The conference was part of the Future Strategy Forum, an initiative to connect scholars who research national security with its leading practitioners. More details on this conference and a recording of the proceedings can be found here. Dr Spohr's upcoming book Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the world after 1989 will be released later this year.

March 2019


Staff news

Dr David Motadel has successfully passed Major Review with promotion to Associate Professor, effective from August 2019. He has also been awarded the Promotions Teaching Prize, given for outstanding teaching performance above and beyond that required to pass Major Review.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po at AAS Conference

Dr Po organised a panel at this year’s Association of Asian Studies (AAS) conference in Denver, Colorado from 21-24 March. The panel, entitled “The New Qing History: A Maritime Approach”, proposed to study the Qing dynasty in the long eighteenth century from a maritime angle in an approach framed as the new Qing maritime history (haishang xin Qingshi). Together with five senior and junior scholars from Stanford University, Northwestern University, Brandeis University, University of Akron and the University of Birmingham, Dr Po contended that the Qing administration was attentive and deliberate in developing maritime policy.


The Global Interior wins book award

Dr Megan Black's new book The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Harvard University Press, 2018) has won the annual British Association for American Studies (BAAS) prize for best book. The prize committee commented that this was an accomplished account of the US Interior Department’s support for extractive capitalism in the US and the wider world, offering a highly original analysis of how federal bureaucrats employed by the US Geological Survey, the Bureau of Mines, and other Interior agencies served the needs of the state, settler colonialism, and corporate capital on the expanding mineral frontier.


Islam and Nazi Germany's War French translation released to rave reviews

The French translation of Dr David Motadel’s book Islam and Nazi Germany’s War (Harvard University Press, 2014) was released in February 2019. Dr Motadel has already received positive reviews, including in Le Figaro (13 February), L’Obs (14 February) and in Libération (20 February). The book was also cover story in Tel Quel (1 March), which published a dossier of articles on the book. Islam and Nazi Germany’s War is the first comprehensive account of the history of Muslims under Nazi rule in the Second World War. It reveals Berlin’s ambitious attempts to build an alliance with the Islamic world.


Dr Imaobong Umoren’s book shortlisted for prize

Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom has been shortlisted for a Pauli Murray Book Prize in Black Intellectual History by the African American Intellectual History Society. Released in May 2018 with University of California Press, the book explores how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century traveled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism, and racism.

February 2019


Dr Roham Alvandi quoted in The New York Times

Dr Alvandi, historian of Modern Middle East, was quoted in The New York Times on 27 February in an article about the “resignation” of Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif. Dr Alvandi comments that the role of the Foreign Ministry “has been sidelined to such an extent when it comes to Syria and Iraq and all the regional security issues that it’s really embarrassing”. In the Trump era, the Foreign Ministry’s remit has grown even smaller, as their function “has essentially been cut down to managing Iran’s relations with Europe”. Read the full article.


History at LSE 6th place in the world

We are extremely pleased to announce that the Department has improved its rank in the QS World University Rankings. In the latest QS World University History Subject Table for 2019, History at LSE jumped one place to 6th overall in the world (in 2018, it ranked 7th place), ahead of Stanford, Columbia, Princeton, UCLA and Chicago. In the UK and in  Europe, History at LSE continues to rank third, behind Oxford and Cambridge, but ahead of UCL, KCL and Leiden.


Staff news

The Department is thrilled to welcome Dr Dina Gusejnova (University of Sheffield) as our newest faculty member. She will join us as Assistant Professor of Modern European History starting 1 September 2019. Her research focuses on German political thought in transnational perspective. In her first monograph, European Elites and Ideas of Empire, 1917-57 (Cambridge University Press, 2016, she explores the cultural afterlife of fading empires. In a recent article, "Changes of status in states of political uncertainty: Towards a theory of derecognition" in European Journal of Social Theory, she proposes a theoretical framework for thinking about ways in which political transitions involve former holders of power. Her current interests include the cultural and intellectual history of migration and conflicts in twentieth-century central Europe, and the intellectual history of statelessness.


International History students featured on BBC2

Our undergraduate students were featured on Michael Portillo’s Great British Railway Journeys (series 10, episode 13), which aired on 20 February. They chatted with Michael Portillo about the founding principles of the LSE. Watch the full episode on BBC iPlayer. Our students' segment starts at 19m18s.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po participates in LSESU HKPASS Forum

Dr Po served as the Academic Chair for the 2019 LSE Forum organised by the Hong Kong Public Affairs and Social Service Society on 17 February. The LSE Forum is an annual debate competition hosted by the LSESU HKPASS, where students from universities across the UK gather to discuss and debate on some of the most contentious challenges faced by Hong Kong.

January 2019


Professor Steven Casey book award interview

Professor Casey was interviewed in the January issue of Historiography in Mass Communication (5:1) about his American Journalism Historian Association Book of the Year Award received last year for The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany (Oxford University Press). The book provides new insights into what American war correspondents witnessed, what they were allowed to publish, and how their reports shaped the home front’s perception of World War II. Read the interview.

Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Imaobong Umoren wins AHRC Network Grant

Dr Imaobong Umoren has won funding as a Co-Investigator on an AHRC Network Grant on Black Female Intellectuals in Historical and Contemporary Context. The project will facilitate interdisciplinary and cross-national dialogue among scholars and activist in the fields of literary studies, history, politics, and visual culture from the UK, US, Australia, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa working on transatlantic black female intellectuals (both from an historical and contemporary perspective) in the black diaspora. The project will also work with race equality ThinkTank, the Runnymede Trust and the partnership project, History and Policy. Dr Umoren will be working with Dr Becky Fraser from UEA who is the PI.


New publication by MSc student Emily Gregg

MSc History of International Relations student Emily Gregg, published a chapter in new book, Voices of Latin America, released by Latin America Bureau. “The Student Revolution” addresses the legacy of the region's dictatorships on its education systems and how students are changing that. Over the past three years, Emily has been volunteering for the Latin America Bureau, a charity made up of a group of journalists, academics and activists who write about human rights issues and grassroots activism in the region to provide a platform for voices who do not usually get heard in UK.