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News

In this section you can find news of relevance 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.

2017

April

LSEVolunteerCentre
International History Students Nominated LSE Volunteer of the Year

This year, the LSE Volunteer Centre received nominations for 27 students for the LSE Volunteer of the Year award, including two international history students. Allan Rogers (BA History) and Isabella Wilkinson (BSc in International Relations and History) received nominations for their volunteer work as LSE Peer Supporter and as a volunteer for child.org, respectively. We warmly congratulate our undergraduate students in these very deserving nominations. As LSE Careers Volunteer Centre says, “you’re volunteering has been invaluable and your nomination is a recognition of your great efforts!” The winner of the award will be announced on their celebratory ceremony on 27 April.
 
mjones1
Professor Matthew Jones Invited to Give Talks in Brazil on Latest Research 

Professor Matthew Jones, an expert in British foreign and defence policy and nuclear history during the Cold War, delivered invited talks in Brazil on his recent work on British nuclear history. He was at the Centre for International Relations of the Getulio Vargas Foundation, São Paulo, on 4 April, and at the Brazilian Naval Academy, Rio de Janeiro, on 7 April. Professor Jones's forthcoming books, The Official History of the UK Strategic Nuclear Deterrent, Volume I: From the V-Bomber Era to the Arrival of Polaris, 1945-1964, and Volume II: The Labour Government and the Polaris Programme, 1964-1970 will be released by Routledge in May 2017. Written with full access to the UK documentary record, both volumes are of much interest to students of British politics, Cold War history, nuclear proliferation and international relations.
 
Professor Rodriguez-Salgado
New Article by Professor Maria José Rodriguez-Salgado

Emeritus Professor Maria José Rodriguez-Salgado, a specialist in 16th and 17th Century Europe and Anglo-Spanish Relations, contributed an article to the online publication Discover Society on the European Union’s future by way of its past (April 2017). Read it here (open access).
 
CaseyTheWarBeatEurope
New Book by Professor Steven Casey Released in the US

Professor Steven Casey’s newest book, The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany was released by Oxford University Press in the United States on 3 April. The book will be released in the UK in June. War Beat, Europe presents the challenges faced by World War II American correspondents mediating between their battlefield reporting and the US press management. Based on a wealth of previously untapped primary sources, Professor Casey provides the first comprehensive account of what reporters, such as Ernie Pyle, Robert Capa, Margaret Bourke-White and Walter Cronkite, witnessed, what they were allowed to publish, and how their reports shaped the home front's perception of some of the most pivotal battles in American history. Pre-order the UK edition here.
 

March

Professor David Stevenson
Great Centenary Lecture and Future Book Publication by Professor David Stevenson

On 21 March 2017, Professor Stevenson was a guest speaker at the University of Birmingham Great War Centenary Lectures, where he gave a talk on “1917 Revisited”. In its fourth series, the lectures aim to commemorate the anniversary of the First World War. They are organised by the Centre for War Studies, Department of History, University of Birmingham. Professor Stevenson’s focus on 1917 is not incidental. He is currently working on 1917: War, Peace, and Revolution, an international history of the year 1917, under preparation for Oxford University Press. The book is due for release in October 2017. It is the first international study of the events of the year 1917, a turning point in the history of the First World War and the evolution of the modern world. The book marks the centenaries of key events, including the Russian Revolutions, American entry into WWI, and the Montagu Declaration. It examines how the war was transformed, but also what kept it going and why it continued to escalate. It blends political and military history, moving from capital to capital, and from the cabinet chamber to the battle front. Read more about Professor Stevenson’s upcoming book in the publisher’s website (OUP).
 
Professor David Stevenson
Professor David Stevenson Participates in Events Aimed at School Students

Professor Stevenson, a specialist in the First World War, participated in the The Great War Debate, which took place on 7 March 2017 in Birmingham and covered the topic “Peace Settlements: Did the Western Allies Win the War but Lose the Peace?”. The Great War Debate is a series of interactive panel discussions, sponsored by the Department of Education, featuring leading historians and academics aimed at helping to improve students’ knowledge of the causes and consequences of the First World War. The purpose is to get young people to think and talk about the events of a hundred years ago. Panels have run approximately monthly since June 2016 and will carry on into 2018. For more information visit The History Press. Professor Stevenson was also lead judge for the national final of the Historical Association (HA) school public-speaking competition, Great Debate. The final was held in the Imperial War Museum on 11 March 2017. Students addressed the question "How did the First World War affect me and my community?”. After twenty five-minute talks and much deliberation from the judges, Professor Stevenson announced that Hannah Boyle from Benton Park School in Leeds was this year’s winner of the Great Debate. Historian and HA Fellow Paula Kitching claims in the HA’s website that "Hannah spoke eloquently about medical developments from the Thomas Splint to CBT with a well-researched and thoughtful argument.” Read about the event in the Historical Association website.
 
Jacob
PhD Candidate Judith Jacob New Editor of LSE International History Blog

Judith Jacob is the new editor of our department's blog, the LSE International History Blog. She is a doctoral candidate in the Department, supervised by Dr Kirsten Schulze, and a HY509 International History Research Seminar co-convenor. Her PhD research focuses on the evolution of jihadist ideology among terrorist groups in Indonesia from 1945 to the 1990s. Ms Jacob received her masters and undergraduate degrees at the LSE, obtaining a MSc (Distinction) in Conflict Studies and a joint BSc in Government and History.In addition to her academic research, she provides political and security risk analysis on East and Southeast Asia for several media organisations.
 
TheGlobalChancellor
More Scholarly Praise for The Global Chancellor (OUP 2016)

After T. G. Otte, Professor of Diplomatic, International and Military History at University of East Anglia, praised Dr Kristina Spohr’s The Global Chancellor in Diplomacy & Statecraft 4/2016 as ‘international history at its best’, her book has received more positive scholarly reviews in 2017. Prof. Kenneth Dyson (Cardiff University) wrote in International Affairs 1/2017: "In this book Kristina Spohr offers a major and long overdue reassessment of German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. […] a major contribution by a first-rate scholar and should be widely read. It is testament to the importance and value of detailed archival research." Prof. Thomas W. Maulucci, Jr. (American International College) asserted in German History Spring 2017 that "In her fine new study, Kristina Spohr makes the case for re-evaluating Schmidt’s role in international politics. […] Spohr has written an excellent brief account of Schmidt’s role in Western councils during the 1970s and early 1980s. In doing so, she has gone a long way towards rehabilitating his role as a statesman as well." 
 
Dr Piers Ludlow, Reader in International History
Dr Joanna Lewis and Dr Piers Ludlow Promoted

The Department is delighted to announce that Dr Joanna Lewis has been promoted to Associate Professor and Dr Piers Ludlow (pictured) has been promoted to Professor. Both positions will become official on 1 August 2017. Dr Joanna Lewis is an expert in Modern Africa History. Her forthcoming book Empire of Sentiment: Livingstone and myth of Victorian imperialism is coming out in 2017 published by Cambridge University Press. She is currently writing a book on the history of British journalists in Africa from Henry Morton Stanley to the present day. She is an Assistant Professor in our department teaching courses on the British Empire and Africa. She holds an LSE Teaching Prize; was a two-time nominee in the LSE Student Led Teaching Excellent Awards (2014-15 and 2015-16) and last year’s runner up the category of most dynamic lecturer. Dr Piers Ludlow's research focus on the history of the European integration process and of Britain’s troubled relationship with it. He is the author of Roy Jenkins and the European Commission Presidency, 1976-1980 (Palgrave, 2016). Dr Ludlow teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on European Integration and on the Cold War. In 2016, he was awarded an LSE Excellence in Education Award with other members of the Department.
 
Dr Ronald C. Po
New Publication by Dr Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po has contributed a chapter to the edited volume History of Coastal Defense in Modern China: A Revisionist Approach by Ricardo Mak (Hong Kong: Joint Publishing Co. Ltd., 2017). “Camphor-harvesting and Warship Construction in Early Qing China”, written in Chinese, seeks to identify the correlations between timber harvesting (particularly camphor) in Taiwan and the changes in warship building in eighteenth century China, thereby arguing that the Qing court did not overlook the importance of administrating its maritime frontier at the time.
 

February

Dr Tanya Harmer
LSE Pro-Director Education Vision Fund Awarded to Department's Pilot Project, "Diversifying the Curriculum"

In February 2017, the Department of International History was awarded funds from the LSE Pro-Director Education Vision Fund to support a pilot project called "Diversifying the Curriculum". Curricula in the Department of International History cover vast areas of the globe and range over more than six centuries. This pilot project, headed by Dr Tanya Harmer, the Department's Director of Teaching, will review five undergraduate courses in the department, with the aim of redesigning core topics, reading lists and teaching approaches to reflect the diversity of the discipline. The Pro-Director Education Vision Fund was established to support the delivery of the School’s Education Strategy and to allocate funds to projects designed to make a significant impact on students’ educational experiences. Following the submission of 13 proposals across LSE, the Department of International History was one of seven different academic departments and professional service units across LSE to be awarded funds. Learn more about the 2016-17 Pro-Director Education Vision Fund winners.
 
Kristina Spohr
Kristina Spohr on Russia's Restart of the Nuclear Arms Race

Dr Kristina Spohr has contributed an article to The Conversation on Putin’s aggressive nuclear strategy. The article, published on 21 February, argues that the deployment of new ground-launched cruise missiles known as SSC-8s is the latest manifestation of Vladimir Putin’s reassertion of Russian power in his quest to make Russia “great again”. In order to reestablish peace and security in Europe, Dr Spohr suggests it falls on US President Donald Trump to reunite the Western alliance and conduct a genuine dialogue with Russia. Read the full article here.
 
Berkeley
Two International History Undegraduates Accepted at LSE-Berkeley Exchange Programme

BA History student Esther Lutz Davies and BSc International Relations and History student Andrea Garcia-Ochoa Lee won a fully funded place in the coveted LSE-Berkley Undergraduate Exchange programme. LSE and Berkeley launched its undergraduate student exchange in 2016. Esther and Andrea, 2nd-year undergraduates, are two of less than ten undergraduate students from each institution to study at the other in the next academic year, 2017-18. The programme, which is open to students across most academic departments at both institutions, aims to create global citizens with enhanced study experiences and potential career prospects. Read their interview here.
 
guberek.tamy
Former Masters Student Publishes Dissertation in Archival Science

Ms Tamy Guberek, former LSE-Columbia University Double MSc in International and World History student, has published a revised version of her masters dissertation in Archival Science. The article, entitled “On or off the record? Detecting patterns of silence about death in Guatemala’s National Police Archive”, is available online now and it will be published in print in a forthcoming issue. Ms Guberek graduated from the LSE-CU MSc in 2012 and received the Richard Hofstadter Prize for best dissertation. She is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan. Her article includes research she began in the Double MSc on patterns of silence in death records in the Historical Archive of the National Police and also a comparative section on archives by her advisor at University of Michigan, Professor Margaret Hedstrom.
 
Kristina Spohr
Dr Kristina Spohr in the Danish and German Media

On 11 February, Dr Kristina Spohr shared her views on Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump in an interview for the Danish newspaper Kristeligt Dagbald. Read the full interview here (with subscription, in Danish). Dr Spohr was also interviewed by the German regional magazine Friedrich for their January 2017 issue (pp. 10-11). Dr Spohr talked about one of her latest books, Helmut Schmidt: The Weltkanzler, and the late Chancellor's role in the creation of “summit diplomacy”. Read the full interview here (in German).
 
Lewis3
Dr Joanna Lewis Awarded IGA-Rockefeller Grant

Dr Joanna Lewis was awarded an LSE Institute of Global Affairs-Rockefeller Grant for two years to lead a project on Somalia, entitled “‘Pathways to Resilience’: The Role of an Urban Diaspora in Post-Conflict Reconstruction, London and Hargeisa, 1991 to the Present Day.” The project will be based at the Firoz Lalji LSE Centre for Africa.
 
EthnicAndRacialStudies
New Article by Dr Kirsten Schulze in Ehtnic and Racial Studies

Dr Kirsten Schulze has a new article out in the Ethnic and Racial Studies journal. The article, entitled "The 'ethnic' in Indonesia’s communal conflicts: violence in Ambon, Poso, and Sambas", is part of a forthcoming Special Issue on "Affect, Interest, and Political Entrepreneurs in Ethnic and Religious Conflicts", which was made available online on 1 February. Dr Schulze’s article looks at the communal violence in Ambon, Poso, and Sambas in post-Suharto Indonesia from a comparative perspective. It explores why Ambon and Poso were seen as religious while Sambas was seen as ethnic despite the fact that in all three conflicts different religions and ethnicities fought each other. Examining the “ethnic” elements, the article advances three arguments. First, that the Poso and Ambon conflicts were no less ethnic than the Sambas conflict as they had similar “ethnic causes”. Second, that the religious narrative dominated in Ambon and Poso because it reflected the Islamic resurgence in Indonesia since the 1990s while the narrative in Sambas reflected that it was the latest round of a pre-existing anti-Madurese conflict which had already been “defined” as “ethnic”. Third, that the narratives were framed strategically, thus influencing the trajectory of the conflict but also responding to it. LSE account users, can read the article online for free here.
 
AnneIrfan
PhD Candidate Anne Irfan Jointly Wins Award for Best Essay

PhD candidate Anne Irfan has jointly won the Jerusalem Quarterly Ibrahim Dakkak Annual Award for the best essay on Jerusalem, “Is Jerusalem International or Palestinian? Rethinking UNGA Resolution 181“. Anne Irfan is currently writing a doctoral thesis on Palestinian nationalism in the refugee camps (1967-82) under the supervision of Dr Kirsten Schulze. Her winning essay will appear in a special issue of Jerusalem Quarterly slated for publication in June 2017.
 

January

ZubokTheIdeaOfRussia
Professor Vladislav Zubok Publishes New Book, The Idea of Russia

Professor Vladislav Zubok’s newest book, The Idea of Russia: The Life and Work of Dmitry Likhachev, was released by IB Tauris this month. As the title indicates, The Idea of Russia focuses on the life and work of one of the most prominent Russian intellectuals of the twentieth century, Dmitry Likhachev (1906-1999). His life spanned virtually the entire century - a tumultuous period which saw Russia move from Tsarist rule under Nicholas II via the Russian Revolution and Civil War into seven decades of communism followed by Gorbachev's Perestroika and the rise of Putin. In 1928, shortly after completing his university education, Likhachev was arrested, charged with counter-revolutionary ideas and imprisoned in the Gulag, where he spent the next five years. Returning to a career in academia, specialising in Old Russian literature, Likhachev played a crucial role in the cultural life of twentieth-century Russia, campaigning for the protection of important cultural sites and historic monuments. He also founded museums dedicated to great Russian writers including Dostoevsky, Pushkin and Pasternak. In this, the first biography of Likhachev to appear in English, Professor Zubok provides a thoroughly-researched account of one of Russia's most extraordinary and influential public figures. Buy The Idea of Russia here. The Idea of Russia is a shorter English version of Dmitry Likhachev. The Life and the Century also authored by Professor Vladislav Zubok and published in Russia by Vita Nova in 2016.
 
LewisIvory
Dr Joanna Lewis on Keith Somerville's Ivory for the the Africa at LSE Blog

Dr Joanna Lewis contributed a passionate and analytical review of BBC broadcaster Keith Somerville’s newest book, Ivory: Power and Poaching in Africa for the Africa at LSE blog (27 January 2017). Dr Lewis describes Somerville’s book as the best academic account to date of the history of the supply side of ivory trade. "He argues, that it is more the petty, everyday reality of corruption, crime and politics, which enables illegal poaching to survive (and even surge) when there is any kind of international push for a more extensive ban on the trade. The logic then is that hunting and therefore the trade should be regulated.” Dr Lewis, herself a passionate animal lover, concedes that “when the argument comes from Somerville, the heart has to yield to the head”. “Supporting and strengthening communities so they can manage wildlife responsibly from the bottom up, with some controlled hunting, is an argument that many wildlife experts have come to see is the only long term viable solution.”“Still”, concludes Dr Lewis, “what a deterrent it could be that, if caught, those men who organise the hunting and butchering of elephants for pleasure and for their tusks, also have something they hold dear cut off…” Read Dr Joanna Lewis’s full review of Ivory here.
 
Lewis3
Dr Joanna Lewis Reviews Martin Plaut's Understanding Eritrea in Times Higher Education

Dr Joanna Lewis, our expert in Modern Africa History, reviewed Matin Plaut’s newest book, Understanding Eritrea: Inside Africa’s Most Repressive State, in the Times Higher Education (26 January 2017). “Plaut’s extensive evidence shows how the regime’s repressive stance in power is a consequence of its ruler,” writes Dr Lewis. “A study of the North African country lays bare a ruler at war with his own people”. Read Dr Joanna Lewis’s review here.
 
Jonescropped
Dr Heather Jones Talks about “The Howth Mauser" on BBC Radio 3 “The Essay”

Dr Heather Jones, a specialist in First World War Studies in our Department, contributed a 15-minute long piece to The Essay, a BBC3 Radio programme where leading writers on arts, history, philosophy, science, religion and beyond provide insights, opinions and intellectual surprises on a particular theme. In an episode aired on 27 January, under the theme of Gun Culture, Dr Jones talked about the deadly symbolism of the Howth Mauser and other guns as the struggles for freedom began in 20th Century Ireland. “The arrival of crate-loads of already out-of-date German rifles in 1914 proved electrifying to the Irish Nationalist struggle and the cult of the gun had deep meaning for all sides in the struggle to come." Download the podcast here.
 
SpohrBerlinTV
Dr Kristina Spohr on TV.Berlin

On 21 January, Dr Kristina Spohr was on TV.Berlin to talk about one of her latest books, Der Weltkanzler, with host Peter Brinkmann. She appeared on his weekly show 'Standort Berlin’. Der Weltkanzler, published by Theiss in 2016, is the extended German edition of Dr Spohr’s The Global Chancellor: Helmut Schmidt and the Reshaping of the International Order (OUP, 2016). The book retrieves Schmidt's true significance as a pivotal figure who helped reshape the global order during the crisis-ridden 1970s. Watch Part I and Part II (in German).
 
Dr Valeria Zanier
New Modern Asian Studies Special Issue Co-Edited by Dr Valeria Zanier

Dr Valeria Zanier, an historian of Contemporary China, and a 2015-16 Visiting Research Fellow in our department, has co-edited the latest special issue of Modern Asian Studies (vol. 51, issue 1, 2017). The issue, entitled “Circumventing the Cold War: the parallel diplomacy of economic and cultural exchanges between Western Europe and Socialist China in the 1950s and 1960s”, is one of Dr Zanier's research outputs, carried out from 2013-15, whilst based in our Department as a Marie Curie (IEF) FP7 Senior Fellow. The special issue includes an introduction, co-written with Dr Angela Romano (European University Institute), and an article authored by Dr Zanier, “Western European Industrialists and China’s Dream of Self-reliance: the Case of ENI (1956-1965)". The special issue “brings together historians with expertise on China and Western Europe with the explicit intent to question the dominant narrative that argues in favour of the early 1970s, and the US move in particular, being the starting point of meaningful relations between the West and the PRC, relegates Western European states to the role of followers, and implies that Mao had curbed previous attempts at linking with the West.” Dr Zanier's article “explores the relationship between Chinese officials and Western European industrialists, revealing that in the second half of the 1950s, there already was a specific Western European interest to cater to China’s high market potential, and that this was met with favour on the Chinese side. In order to become a strong and independent country, PRC was especially interested to evaluate the most variegated range of offers in the chemical and energy sectors."
 
TheGlobalChancellor
The Global Chancellor Receives Positive Reviews in the US

Dr Kristina Spohr’s The Global Chancellor, published by Oxford University Press last year, has received positive reviews in the United States. Foreign Affairs, the leading magazine for analysis and debate of foreign policy, economics and global affairs, claims in this month’s issue that “[Dr Spohr] has done readers a service by crafting a well-documented English-language treatment of this leading twentieth-century statesman” (January/February 2017, vol. 96, no. 1). Read more (free access). Choice magazine, the publishing branch of the American Library Association, highly recommends Dr Spohr’s book in this month’s issue. “Spohr deftly designs a political history that goes beyond the ordinary political biography”, argues Dr R. A. Harper, “engaging the reader to reevaluate the complex (and now often forgotten) times when Schmidt served and his ability to manage many unknowns” (January 2017, vol. 54, no. 5). Read more (free for LSE users). Last year, the Wall Street Journal also reviewed Dr Spohr’s book, claiming that “[t]he strength of the book is the way it illuminates Schmidt's thinking on both economic and strategic questions and the relationship between them" (29 July 2016). Read more (paid subscription).
 
SpohrNewStatesman
"Putin's Revenge": Dr Kristina Spohr Co-Writes Cover Essay for New Statesman

Dr Kristina Spohr and Professor David Reynolds (University of Cambridge), co-editors of Transcending the Cold War (2016), contributed an essay to the latest edition of New Statesman (13-19 January 2017). Featured on the cover of the weekly magazine, their essay, “Putin’s revenge: why the Russian leader is obsessed with America”, traces the end of the Soviet Union, Yeltsin’s failed attempt to create a new Russia and the rise of Vladimir Putin’s strong state amid a new world disorder. “Today’s Russian-American stand-off revolves around differing approaches to international relations", they argue. "Although we may not be back in the era of bipolarity some of the new ways are also old ways. Under Putin, Russia seems to have resumed its historic quest for position against the West and its insatiable desire for recognition as America’s equal.” Read the full article here (free access).
 
Dr Tanya Harmer
New Publication by Dr Tanya Harmer

Dr Tanya Harmer, a specialist in the Cold War in Latin America with a particular interest in the international, transnational and global dynamics of the struggle, contributed a chapter to the edited volume Foreign Policy at the Periphery released in early January. The book, edited by Dr Bevan Sewell and Dr Maria Ryan from University of Nottingham, features original essays by leading scholars and examines relationships among new nations and the United States from the end of the Second World War through the global war on terror. Dr Harmer’s chapter, titled "Dialogue or Détente: Henry Kissinger, Latin America, and the Prospects for a New Inter-American Understanding, 1973-1977”, covers Henry Kissinger’s policies toward Latin America during the 1970s.
 
MotadelFinalsmall
Crumbling Continent: New Article by Dr David Motadel

Dr David Motadel, our expert on the history of modern Europe and Europe’s relations with the wider world, contributed an article to the Times Literary Supplement (no. 5936, 6 January 2017). The article, entitled "Anarchy Loosed upon the World", delves on the long end of the First World War and violence in interwar Europe. Read it here (with subscription).
 

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