News Archive


Catch up with old news from the Department. For the most current news, visit our main news page.



Ronald C. Po

Dr Po on New Books Network podcast

Dr Ronald C. Po's gave an interview to the New Books Network on 24 December. He discussed his book The Blue Frontier (Cambridge, 2018), which offers a broader picture of the Qing Empire as an Asian giant responding flexibly to challenges and extensive interaction on all frontiers – both land and sea – in the long eighteenth century within the Indian Ocean World. Listen to the episode.


Golub's opinion article on Biden’s defense secretary nominee

PhD student Grant Golub has penned an opinion article in the Washington Post. The article exposes the criticisms of President-elect Joe Biden’s choice of retired Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III to be secretary of defense. Analysed from a historical perspective, Grant argues Austin’s selection might erode civil-military relations. Read the article.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po on the Camphor War of 1868

Dr Po's latest article, “The Camphor War of 1868: Anglo-Chinese Relations and Imperial Realignments within East Asia”, was released in English Historical Review in December. Dr Po argues that the long-forgotten Camphor War was more than a minor military skirmish but an encounter that indicated the eagerness of the Qing empire to reposition itself in the global arena, both politically and economically, in the nineteenth century. By tracing the social and material history of camphor, Dr Ron also examines how demand for this global commodity set the gears of the Qing, the British, and the American empires into motion in the post-Opium age. Read the article


LSE Generate Funding Competition

Congratulations to our MSc alumni Fabian de Geer, Victoria Jones, Melania Parzonka, Scott Wagner and Martha Papapostolou who got a fast track pass to the Lent Term final of the LSE Generate Funding Competition. Their funding proposal, centred around INTERZINE - a digital magazine that lies at the intersection of history and global politics – passed the Big Moment round on 11 December, and will also receive a professional mentorship package which includes guidance from investors attached to the LSE. LSE Generate supports students and alumni to build a socially responsible business, in the UK and beyond. Find out more about the LSE Generate Funding Competition.


Empire of Sentiment released in paperback

Dr Joanna Lewis’s latest book Empire of Sentiment: The Death of Livingstone and the Myth of Victorian Imperialism has just been released in paperback by Cambridge University Press. Catch up with past reviews by Times Higher Education - book of the week review and Times Literary Supplement.

Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Imaobong Umoren joins editorial team of Cambridge University Press-LSE International Studies book series

The series comprises transdisciplinary books that contain an overtly international or transnational dimension and that address pressing contemporary concerns. Read more


Teaching Fellow Dr Tom Ellis on space exhibitions during the Cold War

Dr Ellis has just released a new article, “Curating the Space Race, Celebrating Cooperation: Exhibiting Space Technology during 1970s Détente”, in the European Journal of American Culture (39:3). The piece is a product of his research at the Smithsonian Institution and NASA History Office archives. He argues that while US-Soviet space cooperation led to increased collaboration between American and Soviet space curators, the space exhibitions that resulted continued to reflect the previous decade’s nationalistic competition. Read the article

Professor Marc David Baer

New article by Professor Baer

Professor Marc David Baer has a new article out in the Münchner Beiträge zur Judischen Geschichte und Kultur (Munich Contributions to Jewish History and Culture). “’Sinning zwischen beiden Welten’. Der Intellektuelle Hugo Marcus und die Agmadiyya-Bewegung zur Verbreitung des Islam’ (14:2, 2020) is part of the journal’s series on Jews and Muslims in Germany in the interwar period. Read it here


Dr Phillips on New Diplomatic History podcast

The latest episode of New Diplomatic History features our Visiting Fellow Dr Victoria Phillips. She addresses her path in the field of Cold War history, her picks for books on diplomacy, and she discusses dance and diplomacy. Listen to the podcast here.



New book by Dr Antony Best

British Engagement with Japan, 1854-1922: The Origins and Course of an Unlikely Alliance (Routledge) goes beyond existing accounts which concentrate on high politics, strategy and simple assertions about the two countries’ similarities as island empires. It reconsiders the circumstances which led to the unlikely alliance of 1902 to 1922 between Britain, the leading world power of the day and Japan, an Asian, non-European nation which had only recently emerged from self-imposed isolation. Read more


Dr Alvandi contributes to Audible podcast

Are our parents really who we think they are? Check out Dr Roham Alvandi’s contribution to an Audible podcast "My Dad the Spy". It discusses Stewart Copeland, drummer with The Police whose father, Miles Copeland Jr, was a CIA officer involved with the 1953 coup in Iran. Read more and listen to the podcast.

Dr Imaobong Umoren

Writer's award for Dr Umoren

Congratulations to Dr Imaobong Umoren, who has won a major prize for her new book project entitled “Empire Without End: A New History of Britain and the Caribbean”! The 2021 Eccles Centre and Hay Festival Writers Award comes with a year’s ‘residence’ at the British Library to develop the project further and an opportunity to showcase her work at the Hay Festival. Read more


Professor Anita Prazmowska quoted in a Vice article

The article discusses a campaign promoted by a Polish embassy official to glorify a notorious anti-Semite, Władysław Studnicki, who is buried in Kensal Green. Studnicki argued for the removal of Jews from Poland and sought to collaborate with Nazi Germany. Read more


Dr Phillips on New Books Network podcast

Visiting Fellow Dr Victoria Phillips recently participated in the New Books Network podcast where she discussed her latest book Martha Graham’s War: The Dance of American Diplomacy (OUP, 2019). The book looks at the years that Martha Graham's company toured the world and her particular brand of dance modernism as pro-Western Cold War propaganda used by the United States government to promote American democracy. Listen to the podcast.


Professor Stevenson on Times Radio

Professor David Stevenson was interviewed on 11 November by Times Radio about the anniversary of the 1918 Armistice. Catch up with his interview for the Times Radio Breakfast programme after 54m.


Professor Anita Prazmowska on Turkish TV TRT World Roundtable programme

Professor Prazmowska participated in a discussion about the recent court ruling in Poland banning all abortions and how the scale of the protests that followed has set the scene for a confrontation between hardliners and those on the streets. Watch the programme


Book talks by Professor Kristina Spohr

She gave two talks on 9 November about her latest book, Post Wall, Post Square which offers a new interpretation of the revolutions of 1989, showing how a new world order was forged without major conflict. She spoke with Robert Zoellick at European Parliament on the 31st anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall; and again, with Hope Harrison, Christian Ostermann and Eric Arnesen at the Wilson Center and Washington History Seminar. Watch both events by clicking on the links.



Book deal for Dr Webber

Congratulations to LSE Fellow Dr Oscar Webber who has recently signed a book contract with Manchester University Press to publish his first book. Negotiating Relief and Freedom: Responses to disaster in the British Caribbean, 1812-1907 will be published in 2022 as part of the "Studies in Imperialism" series. Read more about Dr Webber's upcoming book.


New opinion piece by Professor Spohr

Read the latest by Professor Kristina Spohr in the German magazine The European (21 October). In "Was ist von Deutschlands 'Nie wieder'-Politik in der Corona-Welt geblieben?", she argues that the previous European policy towards China was anything but European. In order to give a European answer, European governments must assume joint responsibility and define common positions and goals.

Anna Cant

New article by Dr Anna Cant

“’Vivir Mejor’: Radio Education in Rural Colombia (1960-80)”, published in The Americas journal, discusses how the Acción Cultural Popular’s articulation of what it meant to “live better” changed over time, reflecting the struggles of a religious organization to remain relevant in a rapidly changing world. While ACPO saw itself as the bearer of modernity, it was often confronted by independent processes of change already occurring in rural communities. Read more


LSE Fellow Dr Raghav Kishore's new book

Released by Orient BlackSwan this moonth, The (Un)governable City: Productive Failure in the Making of Colonial Delhi, 1858–1911 is dedicated entirely to Delhi’s provincial history under colonial rule. The book explores the radical transformation of urban governance in Delhi between 1858 and 1911 as bureaucracy expanded and new modes of governance reshaped the city—spatially, politically and culturally.


New article by Dr Jake Subryan Richards

Dr Richards' latest article has been released online by the Comparative Studies in Society and History journal. “The Adjudication of Slave Ship Captures, Coercive Intervention, and Value Exchange in Comparative Atlantic Perspective, ca. 1839-1870” argues that abolition as a legal field emerged from interactions between liberated Africans, British diplomatic and naval agents, and local political elites in Brazil and on the Upper Guinea Coast.


Professor Kristina Spohr's media appearances

Catch up with Professor Spohr's latest media appearances! On 3 October, she was on German radio station Deutschlandandfunk and on the German wire service Katholische Nachrichten Agentur (in German) and MariaBode (in Dutch), to  talk about her book Wendezeit, the German edition of Post Wall, Post Square, and the 30th anniversary of German reunification. The day before she appeared on German television channel 3SAT, in the Kulturzeit programme, to discuss Wendezeit, COVID-19, and changes in the world order. Earlier in September she gave an interview about her book to 12:22 on RBB Radio Berlin Brandenburg. Listen here.



New article by LSE Fellow Dr Anton Harder

"Compradors, Neo-colonialism, and Transnational Class Struggle: PRC relations with Algeria and India, 1953–1965" studies China’s relations with Algeria and India showing that the Mao-era emphasis on the transnational function of class made it fundamentally skeptical of the privileged status of the nation-state, transforming Beijing’s posture towards the Third World in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Read the article.


Dr Alvandi participates in Manoto TV documentary

To mark the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the Iran-Iraq War, the Persian-language Manoto TV have launched a landmark multi-part documentary on the history of Iran-Iraq relations. Dr Roham Alvandi appears in the first and second episodes to discuss Iran’s relations with the United States during the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations and Iran’s covert role in the war in Iraqi Kurdistan. Check it out here.


Atlantic Talks

On 24 September, Professor Kristina Spohr participated in a lecture and discussion at the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg to open a new event series called the “Atlantic Talks” hosted by the Joachim Herz Foundation. The purpose of the new series is to stay in conversation with the United States to discuss different viewpoints and help to understand the positions of the US and Germany in their mutual cooperation. Read it here (in German).


Dr Tanya Harmer interviewed about the subject of her latest book 

Dr Harmer was recently interviewed for Jacobin Magazine on “The Revolutionary Life of Salvador Allende’s Daughter Beatriz Allende” (11 September). Women revolutionaries are routinely obscured by history, but a new biography of Beatriz Allende – daughter and close confidante of Salvador Allende, an internationalist militant – helps shine a light on what it meant to be a woman revolutionary in the age of Che Guevara. Read the interview


New articles by Dr Dina Gusejnova

Dr Gusejova has two new articles out. One in the History of European Ideas, which focuses on the intellectual output of the internees held captive as "enemy aliens" on the Isle of Man during the Second World War.  Read the article here. The second, released in the Global Intellectual History journal, analyses the conceptual use of terms describing dynastic rule in modern German thought. Read the article here.


Professor Kristina Spohr on Europe-China relations

On 8 September, Professor Spohr took part as a discussant on a three-hour radio show, “Dienstags Direkt” of MDR-Sachsen in Dresden, focusing on the state of Europe’s and Germany’s cultural, economic and political ties with China. Catch up with the discussion here (in German).


LSE History rises up in the rankings

In the Guardian's Best UK Universities 2021 league table, LSE has been ranked the 6th best university overall for the study of History, an improvement of 34 places on the 2020 rankings. The rise in this year’s Guardian rankings comes after the School’s significant increase in student satisfaction, as measured by the 2020 National Student Survey, and from employers increasingly looking to find highly skilled LSE graduates. In the category "Career after 15 months", LSE History reached 2nd place nationally for percentage of graduates who find graduate-level jobs, or are in further study at professional or HE level, within fifteen months of graduation.


Dr Paul Stock on Britain's place in Europe

Controversy about Britain’s place in Europe has dominated British politics for the last several decades. But the concerns and passions of the present day are not new; in fact, these debates have been present in British popular culture for a very long time. Read Dr Paul Stock's piece for the LSE British Politics and Policy blog, based on the findings of his latest book. He discusses how debates about Europe in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century hinge on topics which are still recognizable. Read more


Professor Piers Ludlow

New article by Professor Piers Ludlow in The International History Review

“Solidarity, Sanctions and Misunderstanding: The European Dimension of the Falklands Crisis” discusses the success of foreign policy coordination amongst EC member states during the Falklands crisis. However, despite this success, the support received by Britain did not translate into any increase in British public or elite enthusiasm for European integration. Read more


New volume co-edited by Dr Kirsten E. Schulze

With Dr Tom Smith (Portsmouth), “Exporting Global Jihad: Critical Perspectives from Asia and North America” (IB Tauris) is the second of a two-volume collection that looks at the extent and nature of global jihad from the hinterlands of jihad beyond the traditionally viewed Middle Eastern "centre". The book contains a chapter by Dr Schulze co-authored with Dr Julie Chernov Hwang (Goucher College), “From Afghanistan to Syria: How the global remains local for Indonesian militant Islamists”. Read more


Dr Joanna Lewis wins British Academy Research Award

Dr Lewis won a British Academy 2020 Special Research Award Grant: Covid-19 Scheme to set up a small team to explore high death rates among Somali communities in some of the poorest parts of London. The project entitled, “A Study of Caabuga-Corona in the Somali Diaspora: Histories of COVID-19, Male Elders and Community Responses in Tower Hamlets and the East End of London”, was selected out of 842 eligible applications with a success rate of 6.6%. Dr Lewis was awarded close to the maximum on offer (£10,000). Read more about the scheme.


German edition of Dr Kristina Spohr’s newest book wins best book prize

The German edition of Dr Kristina Spohr’s book Post Wall, Post Square: Rebuilding the World after 1989 has won the prize for best book in political science 2020 in Germany.The prize is awarded every two years by the German Political Science Association and the Foundation for Science and Democracy. They said that Dr Spohr's book combines and advances the fields of contemporary history and political science in several areas, and offers explanations on the major global historical turning point of 1989 in an accessible fashion to the wider public. Read more. The announcement of Dr Spohr’ book prize was soon released in the Politics section of Germany’s Rheinische Post on 8 July. Reviewer Martin Kessler praised the book’s gripping description of the rapid restructuring of the political world order after the end of the east-west division, noting Spohr’s close observation of the human side of these relationships. Read the full review.



PhD Alumnus Dr Tommaso Milani's first book now published by Palgrave

Based on his PhD research supervised by Professor Piers Ludlow and Professor Heather Jones (now based at UCL), Hendrik de Man and Social Democracy examines the impact de Man’s works and activism had on Western European social democracy between the two world wars. Dr Milani is currently a teaching fellow in European and International History at Sciences Po Paris, France. Read more


Dr Kristina Spohr participates in “Baltic States 1939-40” webinar at the Cambridge Centre for Geopolitics

Marking the eightieth anniversary of the occupation of the Baltic States by the Soviet Union in June 1940, the panelists discussed the UK’s decision to acquiesce to Stalin’s coup, what the occupation means today, and where the UK sits within the Baltic, past and present. Other panel participants included Charles Clarke, Former Home Secretary (chair), Kaja Tael, Former Estonian Ambassador to the European Union, now Estonian Ambassador at Large for Climate and Energy Policy, and Patrick Salmon, Chief historian at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Read more and watch the recording of the event.

Professor Piers Ludlow

New piece by Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Ludlow has written a new piece for the “Europe and the Rhetoric of Crisis” Forum on H/Soz/Kult. He discusses the basic pattern of the EU’s recurrent flirtation with the numerous disasters which have afflicted it since 2009 and suggests that only by invoking imminent doom can a system as cumbersome and risk-averse as the EU be spurred into action. Read the piece here.


New article by Dr Gagan Sood

Read the latest article from Dr Gagan Sood in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society: “Knowledge and the Art of Governance” advances our understanding of governance in the Mughal and Ottoman empires, but also contributes to a more recent interest in a region spanning much of South Asia and the Middle East that was formative for the global genesis of the modern world. Open access.


Guest Teacher Dr Sajjan Gohel leads pioneering project recently published by NATO

The landmark project, Counter-Terrorism Reference Curriculum (CTRC), supports interested Allies and partner countries in enhancing their capacities to develop national skills and improve counter-terrorism strategies. Over 100 experts from nations across five continents contributed to the writing, drafting, and editing of the final product, including 25 LSE Alumni and former students of Dr Gohel. The CTRC provided them with the opportunity to transfer knowledge from academia to the policy and practitioner world. Read more



William Loux (MSc History of International Relations, 2018) publishes article in Agricultural History Review

The article argues that Harold Wilson’s Labour government failed to achieve any of its initial goals on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy, because at the moment that negotiators looked to remake the programme, global food prices temporarily spiked well above European prices. They decided, rather, to maintain the status quo rather than structurally reform the programme. 
The article is a revised version of William's Master's dissertation, supervised by Professor Piers Ludlow. Read it here (free for LSE users).


PhD student Hamish McDougall publishes new article in the International History Review

“Buttering Up: Britain, New Zealand and negotiations for European Communities enlargement, 1970–71” discusses the extent to which Britain’s entry to the European Community in 1973 was a "shock" for Commonwealth Nations, with some of its former colonies and long-time allies feeling a sense of abandonment or betrayal. Hamish focuses on the case of New Zealand, who exerted disproportionate influence on the terms of British entry and Britain’s extraordinary lengths in securing a satisfactory arrangement for New Zealand in accession negotiations. Read the article here. Free for LSE users here.


Book contract

Our warmest congratulations to LSE Fellow Dr Pete Millwood, who recently signed a contract with Cambridge University Press for his first book. The book, to be published in the Cambridge Studies in US Foreign Relations series, analyses how physicists, acrobats, seismologists and many other Americans and Chinese beyond government remade the US-China relationship from 1969-1978. Stay tuned for the release in print.


Professor Marc David Baer’s second book this year out now

Released by Columbia University Press, German, Jew, Muslim, Gay: The Life and Times of Hugo Marcus uses the unconventional story of Hugo Marcus to reveal new aspects of the interconnected histories of Jewish and Muslim individuals and communities, including Muslim responses to Nazism and Muslim experiences of the Holocaust. Read more



New book by Dr Tanya Harmer

Beatriz Allende: A Revolutionary Life in Cold War Latin America by Dr Tanya Harmer, released by The University of North Carolina Press, is out now. Inspired by the Cuban Revolution, Beatriz Allende (1942–1977) and her generation drove political campaigns, university reform, public health programs, internationalist guerrilla insurgencies, and government strategies. Centering Beatriz’s life within the global contours of the Cold War era, Dr Harmer exposes the promises and paradoxes of the revolutionary wave that swept through Latin America in the long 1960s.

Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Umoren awarded fellowship

We are delighted to announce that Dr Imaobong Umoren has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship in 2020/21 for her project on Eugenia Charles, the first female Prime Minister in the Anglophone Caribbean and LSE Alumna. The project is entitled "'Iron Lady of the Caribbean': the life and politics of Dame Eugenia Charles".


New book by Professor Baer

Professor Marc David Baer’s latest book Sultanic Saviors and Tolerant Turks was released by Indiana University Press in March. Professor Baer sheds light into what compels Jews in the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and abroad to promote a positive image of Ottomans and Turks while they deny the Armenian genocide and the existence of antisemitism in Turkey. Read more about the book in the publisher's website.

Professor Marc David Baer

Opinion piece in Haaretz

Professor Marc David Baer contributed an opinion piece to Haaretz (23 April) on how prominent Jews, from Turkish chief rabbis to Israel’s presidents to US lay leaders, have propped up Turkey’s Armenian genocide denial. That’s only just begun to change. Read it here.


Dr Kristina Spohr in “The American Interest” podcast  discussing Post Wall Post Square

Dr Spohr argues that the world’s exit from the Cold War is a two-fold story: one set in Berlin, where the fall of the Berlin Wall put an end to communism and inspired electoral revolutions across Europe, and one in Beijing, where Deng Xiaoping’s crackdown at Tiananmen Square put a brutal end to a burgeoning protest movement. Listen to the podcast and learn why we cannot understand one event without the other and why we cannot understand the world that emerged without careful attention to the diplomatic decisions made in the dizzying aftermath of both events. Read more about the book.

Ronald C. Po

Dr Ronald C. Po  awarded a STICERD research grant

Dr Po was awarded a STICERD grant for his book project entitled “The North China Sea: A History”. The project will be the first comprehensive study to weave together the long-forgotten North China Sea into a more productive and enduring dialogue with Chinese, Asian, and global history. Dr Po aims to reconnect this sea space to the broader historical spectrum, and to bring it out of almost a century of solitude.
Read more about STICERD Research grants for LSE Staff.


The latest in the New Statesman: “China’s new Silk Road” by Dr Kristina Spohr

Now that coronavirus infections appear to have dropped in China and its economy shows signs of recovering, Xi Jinping is turning a propaganda disaster into a political opportunity by offering humanitarian aid to Italy and other European states. His vigorous pandemic diplomacy seeks to reframe his country’s role in the corona affair at a time of Euro-Atlantic disunion. But it should also be understood in the larger context of Chinese foreign policy, as nothing less than the new “Health Silk Road”. Read Dr Spohr's full article (1 April) here.



New editions of Dr Kristina Spohr’s latest book Post Wall Post Square being released

The book was released on 24 March in the US by Yale University Press and a Spanish edition will be published with Editorial Taurus on 14 May. Post Wall Post Square (HarperCollins, 2019)offers a bold new interpretation of the revolutions of 1989, showing how a new world order was forged – without major conflict. Check out the new editions: Yale University Press and Editorial Taurus.


Dr Kristina Spohr in the Yale University Press Blog

Dr Spohr has contributed a new post to the Yale University Press Blog (16 March). Although the American international order seems to be waning, it is equally apparent that China, for all its ambitions, has no intention of assuming heavy international burdens and responsibilities. The result might therefore be a highly problematic power vacuum, which would make it much harder to manage future crises. Read more


Staff news

Jake Richards will join us from August as Assistant Professor in African History. He is a historian of slavery and emancipation, working primarily on the African diaspora in the nineteenth-century South Atlantic world. His research on "liberated Africans" has been funded by the AHRC and US-UK Fulbright Commission. Jake's article in Past and Present won the Royal Historical Society's 2019 Alexander Prize. Having previously studied at the University of Cambridge, he is joining LSE from Durham, where he is currently Assistant Professor of Modern British History.

Following the most recent round of the School's review and promotion process, Dr Ronald C. Po has passed major review and been promoted to Associate Professor and Dr Kristina Spohr has been promoted to full Professor. Both positions will become effective on 1 August.



Dr David Motadel has a new piece in The New York Review of Books

“What Do the Hohenzollerns Deserve?” (26 March issue) explores the controversy over the financial and material compensation demanded by the Hohenzollern family. This controversy is not only about the long shadows cast by the Nazi period, argues Dr Motadel, but also about the place of the monarchical heritage in today’s democratic Germany. Read it online for free here.


2019 MSc History of International Relations student nominated for dissertation prize

Joshua Chee received a “Highly Commended” award from LSE Southeast Asia (SEAC) for his dissertation, “The Growth of Colonial Intelligence Networks in Singapore during the Great War, 1914-1918” (supervised by Dr Kirsten E. Schulze). The UK Postgraduate Dissertation Prize is a new annual nationwide award to showcase outstanding postgraduate student research on Southeast Asia in the UK. One of SEAC's reviewers found it "full of extraordinary data and insights". Read more


Documentary film: Rosenöl und Deutscher Geist

Created by our own Dr Dina Gusejnova and Professor Richard Bourke (King’s College, Cambridge), “Rosenöl und Deutscher Geist: The Fortunes of German Intellectual History” presents the fortunes of a distinctly German phenomenon. The documentary explores how the history of ideas declined in Germany after a period of innovation and prosperity that lasted through the long nineteenth century.

Professor Piers Ludlow

New piece in the LSE Brexit Blog by Professor Piers Ludlow

“Britain needs friends in the post-Brexit era. Alienating EU allies would be counter-productive” argues that the discussion underway should heed not only to how we go on doing business with our neighbours and foreign partners, but also to the type of strong and structured political relationship which will maximize the chance of our preserving some say in the way in which Europe develops. Read it here.

German Symposium

Third-year student co-organises German Symposium

Third-year BSc Government and History student Jakob Franke co-organised this year's German Symposium (3-7 February), a high-profile, student-led event that’s run every year since 2002. One of this year’s panels included our own Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor Ulrich Herbert, who debated the 30th anniversary of German reunification with Professor Ferdinand Kirchhof (Former Vice-President, German Constitutional Court) and Norbert F. Pötzl (Journalist and Author). Read more about the event.



Book review

Another book review by Dr Joanna Lewis was published in the 16 January issue of the Times Higher Education. She offered her comments on Licentious Worlds: Sex and Exploitation in Global Empires by Julie Peakman, a panoramic study of sexual behaviour and attempts to control it across five centuries of globalising empires. Find out what Dr Lewis had to say about this new release.


“The Myth of Middle-Class Liberalism” 

New opinion piece by Dr David Motadel out in The New York Times on 22 January. The bourgeois are supposed to ensure open, democratic societies. In fact, they rarely have. Read it here.


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".




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.



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).



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.



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.




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.




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.



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.



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.


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.



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.



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.



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.





“We were at a moment of cooperative spirit”

Dr Kristina Spohr participated in a panel discussion hosted by Henry A. Kissinger Center and the Foreign Policy Institute on 6 December. Other participants in the event, “Mikhail Gorbachev’s 1988 Address to the UN: 30 Years Later”, included Andrey Kozyrev, former Foreign Minister of Russia, Pavel Palazhchenko, former Principal English Interpreter for Mikhail Gorbachev, and Thomas W. Simons Jr., former U.S. Ambassador to Poland and Pakistan and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for relations with the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and Yugoslavia. Watch the event here.


New book by LSE Fellow Dr Andrea Mason

Released by Palgrave, British Policy Towards Poland, 1944–1956 is based on Dr Mason's doctoral research carried out in the Department under the supervision of Professor Anita Prazmowska. The book examines the outcome of the British commitment to reconstitute a sovereign Polish state and establish a democratic Polish government after the Second World War.




THE book review

Dr Joanna Lewis reviewed Jeffrey A. Auerbach's Imperial Boredom: Monotony and the British Empire for the Times Higher Education on 29 November. She argues that his fascinating study takes boredom to a new level. Auerbach maintains that a unifying feature of the British Empire was the prolonged experience of being bored. So bored had the British become, he insists, it even laid “the emotional foundations for the British to leave their empire in the twentieth [century]”. Read the review.


Dr Paul Stock reviews Horace Walpole exhibition

Dr Paul Stock reviewed the "Lost Treasures of Strawberry Hill: Masterpieces from Horace Walpole’s Collection" in Criticks: The Reviews Website of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies (25 November). Although Dr Stock finds that significant presentational problems make the displays and their contexts less than fully comprehensible to visitors, the exhibition offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for enthusiasts of eighteenth-century culture. Find out why.


New book edited by Dr Roham Alvandi

The Age of Aryamehr: Late Pahlavi Iran and the its Global Entanglements (Gingko Library), edited by Dr Roham Alvandi, writes Iran into the global history of the 1960s and 1970s, so as to understand the transnational connections that in many ways formed modern Iran. The book is the product of a workshop hosted at the LSE Middle East Centre in May 2016, sponsored by the LSE Kuwait Programme and the British Institute of Persian Studies.

Professor Janet Hartley

Professor Janet Hartley on Irish radio "Newstalk"

Professor Hartley, historian of 18th- and 19th-Century Russia, was part of a panel of experts on "Talking History" who discussed the history and transformation of St. Petersburg from Peter the Great's custom-built capital in 1703 to the artistic capital it remains today. Listen to "An Artistic Capital Built on Bones", first aired on 25 November.


Dr Imaobong Umoren delivers Katrina Honeyman Memorial Lecture at Leeds

Dr Imaobong Umoren delivered the Katrina Honeyman Memorial Lecture at the University of Leeds on 19 November. Her lecture, “In Search of Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles” explored how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century travelled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism and racism. Full details.


LSE Research Showcase

The first LSE Research Showcase organised by Knowledge Exchange for the School community was held on 13 November and featured exhibits with film and photography, hands-on activities and games. One of 14 stands, Dr Joanna Lewis's research was featured in the exhibition. She presented her research with Dr Shane Marotta and Mohammed Ismail, on a contemporary case study in human resilience during and after the Somali civil war in 1991, “Rebuilding Somaliland After Conflict: The role of a London diaspora”. 


Professor Stevenson’s interviews on the centenary of the 1918 Armistice

Professor Stevenson was featured on a variety of radio and news programs in both Britain and Asia. On 10 November, he did a live telephone interview for BBC Radio Four’s PM Programme (listen here from 20m54s) and on 11 November he gave an interview on LBC Andrew Castle’s "The Whole Show" (listen here from 17m28s). In the same week, he also gave interviews to Kyodo News (Japanese news agency) and Jiemian News (Shanghai-based newspaper group).

Dr Megan Black

New piece in Modern American History blog by Dr Megan Black

Dr Megan Black, author of the recently released The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power (Harvard University Press), has contributed a post to the Cambridge Core “Modern American History” blog entitled "Appetite for Destruction? Making Sense of the Interior Department’s Request to Destroy Files". The article discusses the US Department of Interior’s recent request to destroy an unspecified number of files, including those related to the management of natural resources – energy and minerals, fishing and wildlife, and national parks – and Native American affairs. The news of this plan was flagged by transparency agencies, and has prompted a debate among academics, archivists, and others concerned about the nature and potential impact of this request.


Episode of Historias podcast featuring Dr Tanya Harmer

In the inaugural state of the field episode, Dr Tanya Harmer was featured alongside Dr Renata Keller (University of Nevada) to discuss Latin America’s Cold War. In episode 28, released on 5 November, they consider the meaning of the Cold War in Latin America, questions of chronology and areas of scholarly emphasis, and their own work highlighting voices long overlooked in the historiography. The Historias podcast is hosted by the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies based in the Department of History at the University of North Carolina.


Dr Imabong Umoren contributes to BBC Radio 3 Programme Essays

The latest run of the programme, "Minds at War", explores the impact of the First World War on individual artists through the prism of a single great work. On 5 November, Dr Umoren told the story of W.E.B. Dubois’ ground-breaking editorial, “Returning Soldiers” (1919). Today, Dubois is heralded as the father of African American intellectualism and continues to inspire a generation of new activists who, like him, demand that black lives matter. Catch up with the episode on BBC iPlayer (UK only).


LSE's War: 1914-18

To mark the centenary of the armistice of the First World War, Professor David Stevenson has curated a new LSE Library and Google Arts and Culture online exhibition about the history of the London School of Economics during the conflict. Using the Library's collections, the exhibition tells the history of the role played by those who were part of LSE during the war effort. Check out “LSE’s War: 1914 – 1918”. Watch a teaser video about the exhibition.


Centenary of the end o the Great War: Public lectures and talks by Professor David Stevenson

This month, Professor Stevenson gave several talks to commemorate the centenary of the end of the Great War. On 7 November, he spoke at Gresham College, Museum of London, on "The Ending of World War I: The Road to 11 November". His lecture re-examined how the First World War ended. Watch a recording of the event on YouTube. The following day, he gave a talk about "The Road to the Eleventh of November: How the First World War Ended" at the Loughton and District Historical Society, of which he now presides. Later in the month, on 13 November, he spoke on “The Armistice - Marking the 100 Years” in an event hosted by the Buckhurst Hill Residents' Society.


New co-authored chapter by PhD student Artemis Photiadou

Artemis Photiadou has just published a co-authored chapter with Professor Patrick Dunleavy (LSE Government) in the edited volume The UK's Changing Democracy: The 2018 Democratic Audit. The book is the first open access publication released by LSE Press. Read the chapter, "The House of Commons: Control of Government and Citizen Representation", for free here. Artemis Photiadou is a PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant at LSE supervised by Dr Joanna Lewis. Her research focuses on the development of British interrogation policy.


Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Piers Ludlow contributes to new BBC Radio 4 documentary

Professor Piers Ludlow has contributed to a new BBC Radio 4 documentary named “Death of the Postwar Settlement”. The three-episode documentary started airing on 29 October and includes commentary from former Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair, former Foreign Minister of Poland Radek Sikorski and former US Deputy Secretary for Defense Paul Wolfowitz. The documentary discusses why the international order built after 1945 is now in deep trouble. Listen to the full documentary on the BBC iPlayer (UK only).


Dr Megan Black's new book: out now!

Dr Megan Black newest book, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power, was released by Harvard University Press this month. The Global Interior provides a detailed analysis of how, throughout the twentieth century and into the twenty-first, the US Department of the Interior cultivated and exploited its image as an innocuous scientific-research and environmental-management organisation in order to drive and satisfy America's insatiable demand for raw materials. Interior continues to operate in indigenous lands by coal mining and oil leasing, it pushes the boundaries of territoriality through offshore drilling, and in the guise of sharing expertise with the underdeveloped world, it has led lithium surveys in Afghanistan, among other activities abroad. Indeed, Interior is more than global: the department now manages a satellite that prospects natural resources in outer space!


Dr Joanna Lewis outreach lecture at Somali Cultural Festival

As part of the Somali Cultural Festival, Dr Joanna Lewis gave a public lecture on 22 October at the Anglo-Somali Society. The lecture, entitled “Somali Women, the Diaspora and Resilience”, was based on Dr Lewis’s current research project at LSE funded by the Institute of Global Affairs. She talked about how Somali refugees, forced to flee conflict after 1990, survived the trauma of dislocation, rebuilt or remade new lives in London and then turned their attention to helping the homeland.

Dr Megan Black

Dr Megan Black quoted in BBC article

Dr Megan Black contributed to a BBC News article on "US economy under Trump: Is it the best in history?" on 19 October. The Reality Check team at the BBC decided to test the oft repeated claim by President Trump that the US economy is the best it’s ever been. The verdict? Yes, the economy has been doing well – but there have been periods when it was even stronger.


Interview in student-led sixth-form magazine with Professor David Stevenson

A student-led publication by Bishop Stopford School, Reflections Magazine, interviewed Professor David Stevenson for the October issue in a feature entitled “Philosophy and War: How could we let this happen?”. Professor Stevenson discusses important themes such as the significance of the year 1917 (drawing from his latest monograph), the greatest impact of the First World War, and how the First World War should be commemorated and taught in the future. He is also prompted about what his advice would be to aspiring historians: “Read. Find out more about it. Use as many different means as possible to access the past. The internet is the key now to get a flavour of all types of history. Get an overview and find out about as many time periods, places and topics as possible. Read as much as you can about as many different things as you can”. Reflections Magazine is supported by a dedicated number of sixth formers, each with specific curriculum subject editorial responsibilities. Read the full interview.


Dr Padraic X. Scanlan's Freedom's Debtors wins second book prize

Congratulations to Dr Padraic X. Scanlan for winning the American Historical Association’s James A. Rawley Book Prize 2018 for his debut monograph Freedom’s Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2017). The James A. Rawley Prize in Atlantic History was created in 1998. It is offered annually to recognize outstanding historical writing that explores aspects of integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century. Earlier in the year, the Canadian Historical Association had also awarded Dr Padraic X. Scanlan's book its Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, which recognises outstanding scholarly books in a field of history other than Canadian history. Freedom’s Debtors offers insight into how the success of British anti-slavery policies were used to justify colonialism in Africa. British anti-slavery, widely seen as a great sacrifice of economic and political capital on the altar of humanitarianism, was in fact profitable, militarily useful, and crucial to the expansion of British power in West Africa.


Dr Joanna Lewis and Dr Jack Hogan present at British Academy-funded workshop in South Africa

Associate Professor Dr Joanna Lewis and LSE Fellow Dr Jack Hogan, historians of Colonial Africa, presented at a British Academy-funded international workshop in South Africa on 11 October. The workshop, “Connecting the Local and the Global in Nineteenth Century Southern Africa” took place between 9 and 11 October and was jointly hosted by the International Studies Group, University of the Free State, and the University of Dundee in Scotland. Dr Lewis delivered one of the keynote lectures, entitled “The Pathetic Death of Bwana Ingeleshi: Late 19th Century British Imperialisms in South-Central Africa and the Graveyard of Ambition”. The lecture was based on two chapters in her recently released monograph Empire of Sentiment on the death and myth of David Livingstone. Dr Jack Hogan participated in a panel on “Sinews of Globalisation: Digital Humanities and Precolonial African History”, pitching his potential upcoming project with the Institute of Historical Research.

Ronald C. Po

New chapter by Dr Ronald C. Po in edited volume about China's global historical role

Dr Ronald C. Po has released a chapter in an edited volume entitled Voyages, Migration, and the Maritime World: On China’s Global Historical Role (De Gruyter, 2018) edited by Clara Ho, Ricardo Mak, and YH Tam. In his chapter, “The Pearl by the Bohai Sea: Qinhuangdao in the Early Modern Period”, Dr Po argues that it is a necessary and salutary corrective to existing literature that the northeastern coastline could hardly be discounted when comprehending the oceanic history of late imperial China.


Professor Paul Preston historical advisor in French documentary

Professor Paul Preston appeared extensively in a new French documentary, called “Les Derniers Jours de Franco” [“The Last Days of Franco”], which aired on 21 October at 22:30 on France 5. The documentary tells the story of how Franco divided, and continues to divide, Spain well past his death on 20 November 1975, after over 40 years of dictatorship. The ghost of Franco continues to haunt Spain, with the recent Catalan crisis awakening old antagonisms, and Barcelona accusing Madrid of Francoist sympathies. Carles Puigdemont, former president of Catalonia (2016-17), provides a testimony in the film. The film also includes other testimonies of those who rubbed shoulders with the Caudillo and those who fought against him. Ultimately, this documentary attempts to break the Spanish divide over Franco.


Dr Kristina Spohr welcomed as Inaugural Helmut Schmidt Professor at John Hopkins University

Dr Kristina Spohr was welcomed as inaugural Helmut Schmidt Professor at Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs in an event organised by the Foreign Policy Institute at John Hopkins SAIS. In a press release from 3 October opening the new joint program of the Helmut Schmidt Professorship in Washington DC, the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) declared the new professorship commemorates the long and deep friendship between Dr Kissinger and Chancellor Schmidt and, together with five new post-doctoral fellowships, is part of a multi-year program to enhance research on transatlantic relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS funded by the DAAD with generous support by the German Federal Foreign Office. The event, called “The United States, Europe, and World Order” took place on 3 October at Johns Hopkins University SAIS. It was held to celebrate a brand new, multi-year program featuring the new Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professorship, this year held by Dr Kristina Spohr, and a new Post-Doctoral program in the field of international relations and history. The inaugural event began with an introduction to the program by the President of DAAD and an address on current issues by Germany’s Deputy Foreign Minister. This was followed by a discussion on the current state of world order and contemporary issues facing the United States and Europe, involving among others, Dr Kristina Spohr. Watch the full event on YouTube.


New publication "The Unprecedented President" by Professor Steven Casey

A new article written by Professor Steven Casey was published by the H-Diplo/ISSF Policy Series America and the World – 2017 and Beyond on 2 October, edited by Robert Jervis, Joshua Rovner, and Diane Labrosse. The article, entitled “The Unprecedented President: Donald Trump and the Media in Historical Perspective” chronicles the relationship between the White House and the media in the twentieth century. Professor Casey observes that, since the start of the twentieth century, when the White House first became “a full-time propaganda machine,” the president’s relationship with the media has been in a state of constant flux. Past presidents, whether Republican or Democrat, whether dealing with print, radio, television, or the Internet, have all recognized the costs, as well as the benefits, associated with interacting with the media. Despite that, Professor Casey argues that Trump’s use of the media has been too continent, too undisciplined, too unprepared, too untruthful to fit into any pattern of previous behaviour. In this area, he is proving himself to be an unprecedented president.

Dr Megan Black

Dr Megan Black on the New Books Network podcast

In anticipation of the release of her first book later this month, The Global Interior: Mineral Frontiers and American Power, Dr Megan Black has been featured on the New Books Network podcast (2 October) to discuss her research on the US Department of the Interior. The book explores the role of the US Department of the Interior, a government organ best known for managing domestic natural resources and operating national parks, in supporting and projecting American power. Listen to the podcast.


Professor Steven Casey wins AJHA 2018 Book of the Year Award

Professor Steven Casey won the American Journalism Historians Association Book of the Year Award for 2018 for his latest book, The War Beat, Europe: The American Media at War against Nazi Germany published by Oxford University Press in 2017. The award, which recognises the best book in journalism history or mass media history published during the previous calendar year was presented at AJHA’s Annual Convention 4-6 October in Salt Lake City, Utah. Based on a wealth of previously untapped primary sources, Professor Casey’s book chronicles a group of highly courageous and extremely talented American journalists as they reported the war against Nazi Germany for a grateful audience back at home. War Beat, Europe, provides the first comprehensive account of what these reporters 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. “Our panel of judges agreed that Steven Casey’s work once again established that good history at its best should be good reading,” said Aimee Edmondson from Ohio University, chair of the book award committee. “They also agreed his book provides a landmark work for scholars, an engaging and compelling account of journalists dedicated to reporting the Allied campaigns to dislodge the German forces from Europe.” Read more about the AJHA 2018 Book of the Year Award.


Professor David Stevenson's events on the First World War

In the context of the centenary commemoration of the ending of the First World War, Professor David Stevenson spoke at a couple of public events to share his vast knowledge on the subject. On 5 October 2018 he was at the Malvern Festival of Military History for a lecture on “How It Started, How It Ended – the Continuing Debate about the Origins and Outcome of the First World War”. The following day, Professor Stevenson  delivered the Presidential Lecture of the Central London Branch of the Historical Association. He spoke on "The Road to 1918: How the First World War Ended”.



Professor Nigel Ashton on his Freedom of Information case again the Cabinet Office

Professor Ashton has written a piece for the LSE British Politics and Policy Blog (13 September) detailing his Freedom of Information case against the Cabinet Office over the release of files relating to UK policymaking and the Qaddafi regime between 1988 and 2011. The blog post follows the final, written confirmation from the Cabinet Office earlier this month that they will not be appealing any further. The case started when Professor Ashton submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request in 2014 for the Qaddafi-UK files. Although the request was for history not journalistic purposes, Professor Ashton’s request was rejected by the Cabinet Office on the grounds of section 14 of the FOI act concerning ‘“vexatious” requests. Professor Ashton fought the rejection (and eventual appeal) in the courts. Earlier this month, the Cabinet Office was finally forced to concede defeat as a result of a ruling issued by the Upper Tribunal in favour of Professor Ashton.


Dr Imaobong Umoren on BBC One's "Fake or Fortune"

Dr Imaobong Umoren appeared in an episode of BBC One’s "Fake or Fortune", entitled “A Double Whodunnit”, which aired on 2 September. Enjoy the whole episode or skip ahead to 0h 43m to watch Dr Umoren’s contribution to the historical mystery.
In the episode, Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate two rare portraits of black British subjects from the 18th and 19th centuries. Painted with extraordinary skill and sophistication, both pictures are highly unusual in their positive depiction of black sitters at a time when Britain was still heavily engaged in slavery. But this is also an intriguing double whodunnit. Watch the episode free on BBC iPlayer (UK residents only).


Staff news, 2018-19

It gives us great pleasure to announce that Professor Steven Casey, Dr Tanya Harmer, Dr Padraic X. Scanlan and Dr Paul Stock are back this month from their sabbatical/research leave. They will be teaching in the department in 2018-19. Dr Antony Best and Professor Janet Hartley will be on sabbatical leave and Professor Marc David Baer, Dr Joanna Lewis, Dr David Motadel and Professor Anita Prazmowska will be on research leave. Professor Baer was awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for 2018-19. He plans to utilise his twelve-month Fellowship to write the first biography of German-Jewish Gay Muslim Writer Hugo Marcus. Dr Lewis, who has recently returned from the Horn of Africa on a field trip, will be continuing her research on the reconstruction of post conflict states for her LSE Institute for Global Affairs-Rockefeller Grant project. Dr Motadel was awarded a Philip Leverhulme Prize and Professor Prazmowska will be concluding a two-year Major Research Fellowship from the Leverhulme Trust on the topic of “The Cold War Jigsaw: Poland's role in the Angolan Civil War, 1976-1986”. Dr Roham Alvandi and Dr Kristina Spohr will be lecturing in US universities in 2018-19. Dr Alvandi will be teaching at Columbia University, as part of the LSE-Columbia University staff exchange programme, and Dr Spohr will be the Inaugural Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Chair at Johns Hopkins SAIS. We are also thrilled to announce that six new LSE Teaching Fellows will be officially joining us this month: Dr Laura Almagor, Dr Una Bergmane, Dr Anna Cant, Dr Raghav Kishore, Dr Noémi Lévy-Aksu and Dr Pete Millwood. The 2018-19 Gerda Henkel Visiting Professor will be Professor Johanna Gehmacher (University of Vienna). Dr Victoria Phillips is our 2018-19 LSE-Columbia University Visiting Professor and Dr (des) Bastian Matteo Scianna is the 2018-19 LSE-Konrad Adenauer Stiftung Fellow in Modern History. Finally, we are sad to report that Dr Heather Jones (pictured) has left the Department and the School after ten years of service to take up a chair in Modern and Contemporary European History at UCL. During her time in the Department, she has greatly contributed to the study of WWI history with many scholarly achievements and accolades, while numerous students have benefited from her dedicated teaching and wise guidance. We will miss her presence and all-round contribution enormously and we offer her our warmest congratulations on her new appointment.



New book by Dr Ronald C. Po

Dr Po’s new book with Cambridge University Press has just been released. The Blue Frontier: Maritime Vision and Power in the Qing Empire provides a revisionist history of the eighteenth-century Qing Empire from a maritime perspective. It explores how the Qing Empire deliberately engaged with the ocean politically, militarily and even conceptually in the long eighteenth century. Contrary to orthodox perception, Dr Po offers a much broader picture of the Qing as an Asian giant responding flexibly to challenges and extensive interaction on all frontiers, both land and sea.


Dr Taylor C. Sherman publishes new article in Postocolonial Studies

Dr Sherman has released a new article in Postcolonial Studies, entitled “’A New Type of Revolution’: Socialist Thought in India, 1940s-1960s”. Although it is often said that early postcolonial India was socialist, scholars have tended to take this term for granted. This article investigates how Indians defined socialism in the two decades after independence. Understanding how Indians defined their version of socialism, Dr Sherman argues, will help scholars re-evaluate the role of the first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in defining the goals India pursued after independence. It will also re-orient our understanding of the expectations and limitations of the Indian state in this crucial period in Indian history. LSE users can access the article for free.


History and Philosophy degrees at LSE highest paid five years after graduations

Once again, History and Philosophy degrees at LSE show top of the national table with earnings of above subject average five years after graduation. The latest Longitudinal Education Outcomes (LEO) dataset, released by the UK’s Department for Education on 21 June 2018, lists the “historical and philosophical studies” graduates at LSE the highest earners after 5 years. Out of all UK universities, for a cohort of male and female individuals, who graduated from LSE in 2009-10 in the field of historical and philosophical studies, their median salary was the highest at £38,000 after 5 years. The LEO pinpoints which universities produce the highest-earning graduates by subject area after they have been in the labour market for five years. The Daily Telegraphy also published the data on 15 August in an article entitled "The UK's highest paying degrees, according to graduate salary". Citing the DfE data, the article shows that LSE is the UK university with the highest graduate salaries for history and philosophy, economics, maths, business, law and social studies degrees.


Dr Joanna Lewis writes for the Africa at LSE Blog

As a new exhibition commemorating the Somali effort during the First World War opened in London, Dr Joanna Lewis contributed a new article to the Africa at LSE Blog, analysing how scholarship of the Great War is increasingly encompassing the global contribution of the conflict. Read the article, "Somalis in the First World War".


Upper Tribunal dismissed Cabinet Office appeal in favour of Professor Ashton

An appeal by Cabinet Office lawyers to deny release of copies of Downing Street files to Professor Nigel Ashton has been rejected by the Upper Tribunal. Professor Ashton has been in a long-running Freedom of Information battle with the Cabinet Office. In 2014, he requested for copies of Downing Street files that covered the period from the Lockerbie bombing of December 1988 to the revolution of 2011 that resulted in Qaddafi being deposed and murdered. He subsequently narrowed his request to files from the years 1990 to 2002. At a hearing last year, the tribunal ruled that the documents should be handed to Professor Ashton. However, government lawyers appealed against the ruling in May 2018 on the basis of being “vexatious”. The judge at the Upper Tribunal has now rejected the Cabinet Office’s appeal and upheld the decision of the First Tier Tribunal in Professor Ashton’s favour. “There is a vital public interest in understanding the course of Britain’s policy towards Libya during the Qaddafi regime”, Professor Ashton told us. “From the Lockerbie bombing to Blair’s rapprochement with Qaddafi to Cameron’s role in toppling Qaddafi’s regime, Britain was at the heart of events in Libya. I am glad that the Upper Tribunal has upheld the ruling of the First Tier Tribunal that my request for the opening of Prime Minister’s Office files which chart these vital decisions was a perfectly reasonable use of the Freedom of Information Act .”
Read the full decision of the Upper Tribunal: Cabinet Office v Information Commissioner and Ashton.


Dr Roham Alvandi at Aspen Institute event

Dr Roham Alvandi, historian of Iran during the Cold War, moderated a 3-day symposium (30 July - 2 August) hosted by The Aspen Institute on Iran: Past, Present, and Future with Dr Suzanne Maloney (Brookings Institution). The expert-moderated seminar examined the emergence of modern Iran against the backdrop of Iran’s political, social and diplomatic history. From the discovery and politics of oil, to the transition from secular society to the Islamic Republic, to the rise and fall of Iranian-American nuclear diplomacy. Dr Alvandi was also joined by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the last day of the symposium.



Dr Joanna Lewis fieldwork in Somaliland

Dr Joanna Lewis left the UK on Friday, 20 July, to conduct research in Somaliland for her project on the reconstruction of post conflict states. In 2017, she 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, based at the Firoz Lalji LSE Centre for Africa, investigates the role of the Somali diaspora in building frameworks of social, political and financial resilience in a post-conflict urban environment. It case-studies the diasporic relationship between London and Hargeisa, capital of the unrecognised state of Somaliland, since civil war ended in 1991. As part of her research, Dr Lewis will interview Somaliland's Foreign Minister Dr Edna Adan in the Horn of Africa. Incidentally, Dr Adan and the issue of Somaliland’s status are discussed in an article in the Guardian on 20 July.

Ronald C. Po

New article by Dr Ronald C. Po on China and the Global South

Dr Po published a new article, “China and the Global South: A Geostrategic Perspective” in the latest issue of Radical History Review (issue 131). Reluctant to side with those analysts who regard the China Dream as being equivalent to its aspiration of rising as a Pacific power, Dr Po argues that in facilitating the China Dream, over the next few decades, the Chinese government is and will be more interested in engaging with the Global South than with any other regions of the world, particularly in its military engagement in Africa and the Indian Ocean. Even though the Pacific Ocean is no less geopolitically salient, he suggests that the Pacific has not been prioritized as the foremost strategic theatre by the Chinese Communist Party since last century.


New article by Dr Kirsten E. Schulze in Terrorism and Political Violence

Dr Kirsten E. Schulze has co-authored a new article with Dr Julie Chernov Hwand (Goucher College) in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence, entitled "Why They Join: Pathways into Indonesian Jihadist Organizations", available online now. This article explores four pathways to entry into Indonesian Islamist extremist groups: study sessions, local conflict, kinship, and schools. It argues that within all four of these pathways, social bonds and relationships are the common thread in encouraging entry as well as in fostering commitment. Drawing on original fieldwork including 49 interviews with current and former members of Jemaah Islamiyah, Mujahidin KOMPAK, Darul Islam, Mujahidin Tanah Runtuh, Indonesia’s pro-ISIS network, and other jihadist groups as well as 57 depositions and court documents, this article explores the development and evolution of these pathways and how relational ties play a role in each.

Professor Piers Ludlow

New LSE Brexit blog post by Professor Piers Ludlow

Professor Piers Ludlow has co-authored a blog post based on an event hosted by the Department in June 2018 entitled “British Influence in Brussels: Looking Back and Looking Forward”.
Britain had far greater influence in Brussels since 1973 than has been recognised. For decades the UK was a driving and liberalising force when it came to the Single Market, enlargement, competition and trade, as well as foreign policy. Professor Ludlow, Sir Jonathan Faull (Kings College London), and Professor Laurent Warlouzet (Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale) outline the story of this significant and widespread British sway over the EU.


 New opinion article by Dr Kristina Spohr in the New Statesman

On the eve of the Trump and Putin Helsinki meeting, Dr Kristina Spohr and Professor David Reynolds (Cambridge) co-wrote an article for the New Statesmen entitled “The Age of Trumputin” (13 July). They review the history of Cold War summitry, and explore Trump’s newfound stride, his unpredictable policies and rumours that he is in the Kremlin’s pocket. Dr Spohr and Professor Reynolds are co-editors of Transcending the Cold War: Summits, Statecraft, and the Dissolution of Bipolarity in Europe, 1970-1990 (Oxford University Press, 2016).


New article in the CTC Sentinel by Dr Kirsten Schulze

Dr Kirsten Schulze has released a new article in the CTC Sentinel entitled “The Surabaya Bombings and the Evolution of the Jihadi Threat in Indonesia” (June/July 2018, Vol. 11, Issue 6). On May 13, 2018, three churches in Surabaya, Indonesia, were targeted by suicide bombers comprising one single family of six. Dr Schulze argues these are the first suicide bombings involving women and young children in Indonesia, thus marking a new modus operandi. They also show an increased capability among Indonesian Islamic State supporters when compared to previous attacks. But this increase is not necessarily indicative of a greater capacity across Indonesia’s pro-Islamic State network and the involvement of whole families reflects a broadening participation in Indonesian jihadism rather than a complete departure. The recent upsurge in violence is locally rooted, even if it is framed within the broader Islamic State ideology. The attacks also bring to the fore the role of family networks and the increased embrace of women and children in combat roles.



New co-edited book by Dr Antony Best

Dr Antony Best, historian of Modern Japan and Anglo-Japanese Relation, released a new co-edited volume this month with Renaissance Books, called British Foreign Secretaries and Japan, 1850-1990: Aspects of the Evolution of British Foreign Policy. The book reviews the role of British Foreign Secretaries in the formulation of British policy towards Japan from the re-opening of Japan in the middle of the nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century. It also takes a critical look at the history of British relations with Japan over these years. British Foreign Secretaries and Japan, 1850-1990 is part of a 10-volume Japan Society's series, which includes Britain & Japan: Biographical Portraits as well as British Envoys in Japan. The book is co-edited with Hugh Cortazzi, British Ambassador to Japan (1980-1984) and editor or contributor to all the volumes in the Japan Society's series.


Dr Kristina Spohr on the Trump-Kim Summit for History Extra

Dr Spohr was interviewed by History Extra, the official website for BBC History Magazine and BBC World Histories Magazine, on “The Trump-Kim Summit: What Did It Really Achieve?” (18 June). Dr Spohr shares her views on the historically significance of the Trump-Kim summit, the personal chemistry between the two leaders and the nature of the future relationship between the two countries, US and North Korea.


New article by Dr Taylor C. Sherman on education in early postocolonial India

Dr Taylor C. Sherman published a new article in the journal History of Education, entitled “Education in Early Postcolonial India: Expansion, Experimentation and Planned Self-Help” (47:4). The article provides an overview of education policy in the first two decades after 1947 and finds that, contrary to what the constituion promised, Indian planning did not monopolise control over education. Rather, India’s socialism was a socialism of scarcity, which relied on self-help efforts by the people to build the institutions of the welfare state, entrenching existing inequalities.


History students at LSE highest earners in new IFS report

On 15 June 2018, the BBC News website highlighted a new Institute of Fiscal Studies Report which calculated the difference in earnings by subject and university choice throughout Britain five years after graduation. With this interactive content, the report illustrates the average impact the different universities and subjects would have on the future income of an individual. In the subject of History, LSE ranked #1, with average lifetime earnings boost of £14,000 for men and £15,000 for women. This is higher than from studying history at any other university. LSE was ranked higher than Oxford, St Andrews, Cambridge, KCL and UCL.


Dr Roham Alvandi featured in Independent article

Dr Alvandi was quoted in a new article published by the Independent on 12 June on the Trump-Kim summit from the view of Iran. In the article, “Iran warns North Korea not to trust the US over historic summit: ‘Trump might cancel deal before returning home'”, Dr Alvandi claims Iranians will see the summit as little more than a publicity stunt that legitimises both Mr Trump and Mr Kim. Why is the United States willing to negotiate with North Korea, a nation with a nuclear arsenal, while refusing to pursue detente with Iran, a country that has no nuclear weapons and has agreed to strict international safeguards on its civilian nuclear programme, Iranians will be asking.


Professor Paul Preston awarded knighthood in Queen's Birthday Honours

Professor Paul Preston, world-renowned historian of Spain, Príncipe de Asturias Professor of Contemporary Spanish Studies and Director of the LSE Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies, was awarded a knighthood in the 2018 Queen's Birthday Honours Diplomatic Service and Overseas List in recognition of his work furthering UK-Spanish relations. The Queen’s Birthday Honours List recognises the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.
Many congratulations to Professor Paul for this marvellous accolade!


Dr Kristina Spohr announced Inagural Helmut Schmidt Professor at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies

Dr Kristina Spohr will be joining the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC for the 2018-19 academic year as the inaugural Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professor in the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs. This new professorship commemorates the long and deep friendship between Dr Kissinger and Chancellor Schmidt and is part of a multi-year initiative to enhance research on transatlantic relations at SAIS funded by the German Academic Exchange Service with generous support by the German Federal Foreign Office. “The German Federal Foreign Office is thrilled to support the establishment of the Helmut Schmidt Distinguished Professor in the Henry A. Kissinger Center for Global Affairs,” said the Minister of State for international cultural policy at the German Federal Foreign Office, Michelle Müntefering. “The professorship adds an important German-U.S. transatlantic scientific perspective on how to tackle the world’s most pressing challenges. (…) the Helmut-Schmidt professorship is part of a larger effort by the German Federal Foreign Office, together with its partners, to stay actively engaged in a broad transatlantic dialogue.” Giovanni Agnelli, Distinguished Professor and Director of the Kissinger Center Francis J. Gavin said, “We are delighted to welcome Professor Kristina Spohr as the inaugural Helmut Schmidt Professor. She is an acclaimed scholar of transatlantic relations and historically informed strategy and statecraft.” Read the full press release by Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and German Academic Exchange Service. Read a piece by the German regional daily newspaper Rheinische Post on Dr Spohr's new position (21 June, in German).


Dr Padraic X. Scanlan awarded Wallace K. Ferguson Prize

The Canadian Historical Association was awarded Dr Padraic X. Scanlan its Wallace K. Ferguson Prize, which recognises the year’s outstanding scholarly book in a field of history other than Canadian history, to his recently published Freedom’s Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2017). The Canadian Historical Association is a Canadian organisation founded in 1922 for the purposes of promoting historical research and scholarship. Dr Scanlan’s Freedom’s Debtors explores British abolitionism within the context of Sierra Leone but more than that he argues that abolitionism was connected to the imperial project of expansion and colonialism. 



New book by Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Imaobong Umoren’s newest book Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles was published at the end May by University of California Press. Based on newspaper articles, speeches, and creative fiction and adopting a comparative perspective, Race Women Internationalists 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. Dr Umoren is Assistant Professor of International History. Her research interests include the intersecting history of race, gender, migration, and religion in the nineteenth and twentieth century Caribbean, US and global African diaspora.


The Paulsen Programme: new €1 million fund for historians in Russia

We are very excited to announce that the department is hosting a new €1 million fund programme offering fellowships and conference grants to historians based in Russia. Funded by Dr. Frederik Paulsen Foundation, and chaired by former head of department, Professor Dominic Lieven, The Paulsen Programme at LSE has been set up to support historians in Russia whose work focuses on the imperial period from the mid-17th century to 1918. In addition to supporting scholars, The Programme will also organise two international research seminars in Saint Petersburg in collaboration with the Higher School of Economics, and an international conference in Latvia in 2022 devoted to the history of imperial Russia (c1650-1917), bringing together leading historians of imperial Russia from across the world. Major publications are planned which will bring the best current thinking and research on imperial Russia to the attention of both English and Russian-speaking historians. Applications are invited for Paulsen fellowships and conference grants for the academic year starting on 1 October 2018 and ending on 30 September 2019. The deadline for applications is 31 July 2018.

Katherine Arnold

Four International History students receive Partnership PhD Mobility Bursaries

Four of the PhD students in the Department of International History have received Partnership PhD Mobility Bursaries. This scheme enables LSE PhD students to undertake research for two to three months at one of LSE’s institutional partners: University of California (Berkeley), the University of Cape Town, Columbia University (New York), Fudan University (Shanghai), National University of Singapore, Peking University and Sciences Po (Paris). The scheme offers a wonderful opportunity to visit another institution, to benefit from additional research resources (archival and advisory) and to experience the academic culture and professional networks of another country. Our International History PhD recipients for 2018-19 are: Katherine Arnold (pictured) who will be spending next term at the University of Cape Town. She is conducting research on ‘Between Europe and the World: German Naturalists, the Cape Colony, and the British Empire, 1781-1851’; Molly Avery, University of California, Berkeley, ‘Transnational Anticommunist Networks in Central America in the Late 1970s and Early 1980s’; Fadi Esber, Sciences Po, Paris, ‘The Politics of Partition in French Mandate Syria, 1920-1936’; and Tom Wilkinson, Columbia University (New York), ‘Youth in Colonial and Post-Colonial Northern India, 1885-1957’. They will each receive £2,500 towards travel expenses, accommodation, maintenance, educational materials and/or other education-related costs.


Professor Nigel Ashton in the Guardian: battle with Cabinet Office continues in new tribunal hearing

Professor Nigel Ashton, historian of Anglo-American relations and modern Middle East, was mentioned in an article in the Guardian on 15 May, reporting on a long-running Freedom of Information battle he has been fighting with the Cabinet Office. In 2014, Professor Ashton requested for copies of Downing Street files that covered the period from the Lockerbie bombing of December 1988 to the revolution of 2011 that resulted in Gaddafi being deposed and murdered. He subsequently narrowed his request to files from the years 1990 to 2002, but has said he may request more. At a hearing last year, the tribunal ruled that the documents should be handed to Professor Ashton. However, government lawyers are appealing against the ruling on the basis of being “vexatious” in a new hearing that took place on 16 May in London. Professor Ashton hopes ultimately to achieve a greater understanding of the role the British government played in creating Libya as it is today. “The public interest in understanding Britain’s policy towards Libya is overwhelming,” Professor Ashton told the Guardian. “It seems extraordinary that the Cabinet Office has resisted my freedom of information request at every turn.” Read the full article.


Dr Marina Perez de Arcos winner of Martin Abel Gonzalez Prize

Many congratulations to Guest Teacher Dr Marina Perez de Arcos for winning LSE Class Teacher Award, the Department’s Martin Abel Gonzalez Prize. PhD students Isaac Scarborough (pictured) and William King were also highly commended for the prize. The prize is awarded yearly to the Department's Graduate Teaching Assistants and Guest Teachers with the best TQARO teaching scores. The prize was set up in 2011-12 and is named in memory of  Martín Abel González, a Graduate Teaching Assistant who served for many years at the Department and who tragically passed away in the summer of 2011. It is a prize that recognises excellence in teaching and professionalism as these were qualities that distinguished Martín Abel González.


Dr Roham Alvandi in The Spectator Podcast, in the Independent and on Australia's ABC Radio National

Dr Roham Alvandi commented on the latest events in the Middle East in the British media. Joined by Christopher de Bellaigue he participated in an episode of the The Spectator Podcast on 10 May. They talked about the recent US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear agreement. "I think it’s unambiguous that the policy of the Trump administration", Dr Alvandi said, "very much driven by John Bolton but also by Pompeo and others is one of regime change." Listen to the podcast. On 11 May, he was quoted by the Independent newspaper on the Israeli-Iranian confrontation in Syria, which came just days after US President Donald Trump announced his country would withdraw from the landmark 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and six world powers. Read the full article, "Did Iran attack Israel from Syria and why would they?" in the Independent website. On 14 May, Dr Alvandi appeared in Australia’s ABC Radio National. He joined presenter Phillip Adams in his show “Late Night Live” to discuss the US exit from the 2015 nuclear agreement, Iran and regime change. Listen to the podcast.


D Jeppe Mulich on the change of international systems for the Review of International Studies

Dr Jeppe Mulich, one of our LSE Fellows, has a new article out in the journal Review of International Studies. "Transformation at the Margins: Imperial Expansion and Systemic Change in World Politics” seeks to provide a framework for addressing the question of how and why international systems change over time. Empire provides a particularly illuminating window into the topic of systemic change, in part because a major driver of historical transformations has been the expansion of empires and their encounters with other heterogeneous polities across the globe, and in part because a focus on imperial interactions highlights the limitations of existing unit-centric perspectives. LSE users can read the article for free.

Ronald C. Po

New publication by Dr Ronald C. Po

Dr Po published a chapter on the topic of Chinese exports to the West in the early modern period in David Ludden’s edited volume, Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Asian History (OUP, 2018). Tracing the social lives of tea, porcelain, and silk in 18th and 19th centuries, Dr Ron argues, it is discernible that the world had been living with commodities made in and exported from China for a fairly long period of time. Conceivably, China has played a crucial role in the global history of the dissemination and consumption of commodities since the early modern period. Read the chapter for free.


International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War

The Department of International History was pleased to co-sponsor the International Graduate Student Conference on the Cold War, hosted this year at LSE from 3-5 May. The annual conference is jointly organised by the IDEAS Cold War Studies Project at LSE, the Centre for Cold War Studies and International History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the Cold War Group at George Washington University. The conference was convened this year by Dr Roham Alvandi, Associate Professor of International History and Director of the IDEAS Cold War Studies Project. A number of students and faculty from the Department participated in the conference, including Professor Vladislav Zubok, whose keynote lecture was entitled, "The Bear That Never Barked. Soviet Estimates of the Iranian Crisis, 1953." Next year’s conference will take place in Washington DC.



International History student wins LSE Volunteer 2018 Award

We are incredibly proud of Alex Selway, BSc in International Relations and History, who won the Outstanding Contribution to the LSE Community Award for his work with LSESU Raising and Giving (RAG) Society. On 26 April, the LSE Volunteer Centre and the LSESU RAG Society hosted their annual event to celebrate volunteering and fundraising at LSE. Over 60 people attended representing the student body, including LSE Students’ Union and various parts of the School. In attendance were also charities that have recruited students over the past year as volunteers and fundraisers, as well as LSE staff from LSE Careers and other professional services and academic departments. “It’s been wonderful to volunteer in so many different ways”, Alex said upon winning his Outstanding Contribution to LSE award. “I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter with RAG next year as President, which I’m sure will be very fun.” We also congratulate Saskia Roberts (BA History), who was  nominated for a LSE Volunteer of the Year award for her work Action Tutoring.


LSE History ranked 7th in the Complete University Guide for 2019

History at LSE retained its 7th place in the UK in the independent 2019 Complete University Guide for the history subject. LSE ranked behind Cambridge, Durham, Oxford, St. Andrews, Exter and UCL, but ahead of Birmingham, Warwick and KCL, making it a top two university for the study of History in London. The rankings of the Complete University Guide are based on student satisfaction, entry requirements, research excellence and employment prospects after graduation. History at LSE  ranked 5th in the UK for graduate prospects. Over the years, History at LSE has twice topped the Complete university Guide Tables and never finished lower than seventh.


Dr Kristina Spohr on the strategic importance of the Baltic

Dr Kristina Spohr participated in the Baltic Symposium 2018, organised by the UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies, the Baltic Council in Great Britain, and the Embassies of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on 20 April. She presented a paper on “Baltic Strategies: The Big Picture” and analysed how the two periods of independence in the Baltic region (1917-18 and 1990-91) have affected the future of this strategically important region at a time when Putin has characterized the Bolsheviks' nationalities policy of self- determination as a disaster. Watch her participation on YouTube.


LSESU Student-Led Teaching Excellence Awards winners announced

We are delighted to announce that the LSE Student Union's final student panel has now chosen the winners. They have recognised Associate Professor Dr Kirsten Schulze (pictured) as a runner-up in the Inspiration Teaching category, LSE Fellow Dr Daniel Strieff as a runner-up in the Research Guidance and Support category, and Guest Teacher Dr Giovanni Graglia as a a runner-up in the Mentoring and Personal Development category and also highly commended him on the Welfare and Pastoral Support category. Overall, the awards this year led to over 900 individual nominations, with over 400 members of staff across LSE being nominated in 7 categories of awards. After careful consideration the panel  recognised 1 winner, 2-5 runners-up and 4-10 highly commended staff members in each category.


Dr Roham Alvandi gives lecture at Stanford University

On 17 April, Dr Roham Alvandi gave a lecture for the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University on “Amnesty International and the Origins of the Iranian Revolution”. Dr Alvandi explored the role of the "human rights revolution" of the 1970s and the origins of the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Watch the lecture on YouTube.

Professor Marc David Baer

Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship awarded to Professor Baer

Professor Marc David Baer has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship for 2018-19. This award will allow Professor Baer, a scholar of the connected histories of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in Europe and Middle East, from the early modern era to the modern, to complete his work on the project “Guided by Goethe: German-Jewish Gay Muslim Writer Hugo Marcus, 1880-1966”. German Jew Hugo Marcus (1880-1966) is the only man to have played an important role in the world’s first gay rights movement and in establishing Islam in Europe. His life and work shed new light on the history of Islam in Europe, Muslim-Jewish relations, and the gay rights struggle. Despite his significance, Marcus is relatively unknown. What is published about him does not incorporate his being German, Jewish, Muslim, and gay. Professor Baer plans to utilise his twelve-month Leverhulme Research Fellowship to write the first biography of Marcus, based on his German-language publications, speeches, private correspondence, and personal documents.


Professor David Stevenson on BBC Radio 4

Professor David Stevenson and Professor Anne Applebaum (LSE Institute of Global Affairs) were interviewed by Mishal Hussein at the close of Radio 4's Today programme on Saturday, 14 April, about the historical precedents for the current international crisis over Syria. Listen to their interview on the BBC Radio 4 website, starting at 1h55m.


Professor Matthew Jones in the US for talks on research for his latest books

On 9 April, Professor Matthew Jones gave a talk to the Non-proliferation forum at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC on his work for the official history of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent; he also lectured on the same theme at an in-house colloquium held on 11 April at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.



Professor Stevenson at Sandhurt for Operation Reflect commemoration

On 22 March, Professor David Stevenson gave a presentation at a conference at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, on “The Strategic Context of 1918: the British Empire”. This event formed part of Operation Reflect, the British Army’s commemoration of the final year of the First World War, and was attended by the Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nicholas Carter.


Dr Joanna Lewis's Empire of Sentiment Book of the Week

Dr Joanna Lewis’s new book, Empire of Sentiment: The Death of Livingstone and the Myth of Victorian Imperialism, released by Cambridge University Press in January, is book of the week in the Times Higher Education (22 March). Joanna Bourke reviews the manuscript while giving an account of Dr Lewis’s analysis of Livingstone’s mythologised death, as well as Livingstone’s legacy in post-imperial contexts. “Her new book on the ‘myth of imperialism’", Bourke argues, “is an enthralling analysis of the cult of Livingstone”. Read the full review in the THE website


New virtual special issue on the Cold War in Latin America edited by Dr Tanya Harmer

Dr Harmer has organised a virtual special issue for the Journal of Latin American Studies (JLAS), entitled “The Cold War in Latin America" (open access). “This virtual special issue highlights some of the exciting directions that scholarship on the Cold War in Latin America has taken over the last decade”, Dr Harmer tells us in the Introduction. New interest in Latin America’s Cold War “have provided new insights into the way that the conflict affected – and was shaped by – Latin Americans’ international, transnational and global interactions as well as their domestic politics”. As a result, our understanding of the conflict has moved well beyond simplistic ideas of a distant bipolar superpower battle over the region. “The Cold War in Latin America” showcases some of the best new scholarship on the Cold War published by JLAS in previous years with articles on women, gender and morality; the “politicization and internationalization of everyday life”; and on interactions of Latin America’s revolutionary left.


Professor Matthew Jones invited for discussion at Royal United Services Institute

On 15 March 2018, Professor Matthew Jones spoke at the Royal United Services Institute on the subject of his recently published two volumes dealing with the history of the UK strategic nuclear deterrent, 1945-70. His talk focused on the strategic, political and diplomatic considerations that compelled British governments, in the face of ever-increasing pressures on the defence budget, to persist in their efforts to develop nuclear weapons and to deploy a credible nuclear force, as the age of the manned bomber gave way to the ballistic missile. Read more about the event in the RUSI's website.


Dr Kristina Spohr's on the scramble for the arctic

The new Cold War: The race to conquer the arctic, the world’s final frontier” is Dr Kristina Spohr’s newest analysis, published on 9 March as a cover article in the New Statesman (9-15 March). Dr Spohr, a historian of the global ending of the Cold War and author of The Global Chancellor (OUP, 2016) and Transcending the Cold War (OUP, 2016), argues that in the least regulated place on earth - t