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Modern History

Centre for Modern History

Welcome to the Centre for Modern History at City, University of London


Welcome to the Centre for Modern History at City, University of London

Founded in 2017, the Centre for Modern history is a hub for innovative historical research that brings together historians, scholars of politics, and experts from across the university and the public sphere.

Our research explore modern and contemporary history, highlighting the importance of international trends and transnational interactions. Our members have a wide range of thematic and geographic specialisations, including economic, social, cultural, political and intellectual history, Caribbean, Russian, American, East Asian, European and British history. Our common objective is to advance research and teaching of History at City.

The Centre for Modern History promotes interdisciplinary dialogue and serves as a focal point for stimulating intellectual exchange. Our members come from different parts of the university, and share a strong commitment to historical research in a pluralistic and open-minded perspective.

The Centre runs workshops, seminars and conferences feature leading international scholars and our own experts. We collaborate with national and international research centres in organising thematic events, which are open to the public.

The Centre for Modern History encourages applications for honorary visiting staff appointments from historians pursuing research projects in relevant fields (Visiting Professors, Honorary Lecturers, Senior Lecturers, Fellows or Senior Fellows).

To apply for an honorary appointment, please request the relevant form and guidelines from history@city.ac.uk.

Our Staff

Staff in the Centre for Modern History

Or RosenbaumDr Or Rosenboim is the Director of the Centre for Modern History and a Senior Lecturer at the Department of International Politics. Her research focuses on the history of political thought in the twentieth century. She is interested in the intersection of intellectual history and international relations in Europe and the US. Her recent book, The Emergence of Globalism: Visions of World Order in Britain and The United States, 1939-1950 (Princeton University Press, 2017), was awarded the Francesco Guicciardini Prize for the Best Book in Historical International Relations, and shortlisted for the Gladstone Prize and TSA-CUP Prize. Her doctoral thesis, completed at the University of Cambridge, was awarded the Prix Aron 2014 and Lisa Smirl Prize 2014. Before joining City at 2017, Or was a Research Fellow at Queens’ College, Cambridge. She is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Dayna BarnesDr Dayna Barnes is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the Department of International Politics. She is a specialist in 20th century international history, American foreign policy, and East Asia, and is particularly interested in the impact of racial and cultural bias in policy making and transpacific relations. She completed her PhD in International History at the London School of Economics and has held research and teaching positions at the LSE, University of Winchester, Tokyo University, University of San Francisco, and Stanford University. Her most recent publication is Architects of Occupation: American Experts and Planning for Postwar Japan, (Cornell University Press).

Lise ButlerDr Lise Butler is a Lecturer in Modern History. Her work is mainly focused on twentieth century British political and intellectual history, with a particular focus on the history of the British left and the history of the social sciences. She is currently completing a monograph on the policy maker, sociologist and social innovator Michael Young and the relationship between the social sciences and left-wing politics in post-war Britain. Her current research examines responses to automation and ideas about the future of work in Britain in the 1960s and 70s. Before coming to City Lise completed her doctorate at University College, Oxford, and taught at Pembroke College, Oxford. Lise is a commissioning editor for Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, former Vice Chair and founding member of the Oxford Fabian Society, and is currently leading programme development for a new City joint BA in History and Politics.

Thomas DaviesDr Thomas Davies is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of International Politics at City, University of London. He has played a significant role in the development of transnational historical research, and is especially known for his work on the history of international non-governmental organizations. He is the author of NGOs: A New History of Transnational Civil Society (OUP, 2014), History of Transnational Voluntary Associations: A Critical Multidisciplinary Review (Brill, 2016), and The Possibilities of Transnational Activism: The Campaign for Disarmament between the Two World Wars (Martinus Nijhoff, 2007). He has also published extensively on the history of internationalist thought, peace movements, and disarmament. He is currently working on a manuscript on social movements and world order. He was educated at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, where he wrote a doctoral thesis on transnational activism that was awarded the British International History Group Thesis Prize. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

Justin Davis Smith
Dr Justin Davis Smith
is Senior Research Fellow at Cass Business School where he teaches on the Charity Masters' Programme. His previous roles include speech writer to James Callaghan MP and chief executive of Volunteering England. An historian by training and inclination his research interests include the British Labour movement, and volunteering, charity and philanthropy in nineteenth and twentieth century Britain. His books include The Attlee and Churchill Administrations and Industrial Unrest, 1945-55 and An Introduction to the Voluntary Sector. He is currently writing the centenary history of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, to be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2019. He is co-founder and former chair of the Voluntary Action History Society, set up to promote the often neglected study of charity and philanthropy, and trustee of numerous voluntary organisations including Global's 'Make Some Noise' Foundation and the Watford FC Community, Sports and Education Trust

Dina FainbergDr Dina Fainberg is the Director of History BA Programme and Lecturer in Modern History at the Department of International Politics. Dina is an historian of the Soviet Union and modern Russia with a particular interest in the Cold War, late socialism, mass media, propaganda, and Russia's relationship with the West. Dina published articles in Cold War History and Journalism History and together with Artemy M. Kalinovsky is the co-editor of Reconsidering Stagnation: Ideology and Exchange in the Brezhnev Era (Lexington Books, 2016). Dina’s book, Cold War Correspondents: Soviet and American Reporters on the ideological Frontlines, 1945-1991 is forthcoming with Johns Hopkins University Press. She is also preparing for publication the American diaries of Stanislav Kondrashov, one of Soviet Union’s most prolific international commentators. Dina was educated at Rutgers University and holds a PhD in Modern Russian and Modern U.S. History.

Thomas FurseThomas Furse is a PhD candidate in International Politics and a member of the Centre for Modern History. He is researching American strategic thought in the latter half of the twentieth century. His work focuses on a collection of military intellectuals who designed the AirLand Battle Doctrine to resolve the post-Vietnam crisis in the US military and recalibrate the US-led world order. It intersects between international politics and military history. He completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at University of Bristol in Archaeology and Anthropology, and International Security. He specialised in Iranian foreign policy and African civil wars.

Peter GrantDr Peter Grant is Senior Fellow in Grantmaking, Philanthropy and Social Investment at Cass Business School, City University of London. His historical research and publications have concentrated especially on the cultural and social history of the First World War. His books include Philanthropy and Voluntary Action in the First World War (Routledge, 2014) and National Myth and the First World War in Modern Popular Music (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Peter is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a trustee of the Amy Winehouse Foundation and former Chair of the Voluntary Action History Society.

Claudia JefferiesDr Claudia Jefferies (née de Lozanne) is a Senior Lecturer in the department of Economics at City, University of London. Her main fields of research are monetary and financial history. She received her doctoral degree from the WWZ, University Basel, Switzerland in 1997, and has since then published monographies and articles on fiscal and monetary theory and policy in early modern societies, with a special focus on Spain and the Americas. More recently, she has studied the relationship between mining and markets in early modern Spanish America and has co-edited a collective volume: Mining, Money and Markets in the Early Modern Atlantic. In the last ten years, she has organised four international conferences at City University. She is currently Treasurer and Trustee of the History of Economic Thought Society THETS.

Dr. Laust Schouenborg Dr. Laust Schouenborg is Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of International Politics. His research interests revolve around different historical dimensions of international relations, drawing mainly on the English School approach to IR. In recent years, he has focused in particular on security and disarmament issues, and is the current convener of the ISA Working Group on Security and International Society. In a major new research project, he aims to explore the role of armed forces in international society. Laust has written three books, published by Routledge and Cambridge University Press. The latest together with Barry Buzan. Before joining City in 2019, he was Associate Professor of Global Studies at Roskilde University, Denmark. He has also held various visiting fellowships at Stanford University, La Trobe University, SOAS and the New School. He completed his PhD in International Relations at LSE.

Anna WhitelockProf. Anna Whitelock is a historian, author and broadcaster and Professor of the History of Modern Monarchy. She is an international media commentator on global monarchies, public history and heritage and the Tudors and Stuarts. Anna is the principal investigator on a major AHRC project: The Visible Crown: Queen Elizabeth II in the Caribbean: 1952 to the present .


Upcoming events

Federalism in a Global Perspective Seminars

Organized by Dr Federico Brusadelli and Dr Or Rosenboim

Sponsored by Centre for Modern History, City, the University of London and The University of Naples “Orientale”

The aim of the seminars is to interrogate the history of the federal idea in a global perspective, putting together interventions from leading scholars whose work focuses on different parts of the world to reveal the varying interpretations of federalism in the twentieth century and the idea’s relevance to contemporary political debates.

Seminar 1: Ideologies of Federalism
11 October, 4 pm (London)

Watch the event recording:

Seminar 2: Federalism and Empire
12 November, 4 pm (London)

See our archive of past event recordings

History workshops

The CMH invites you to workshop work-in-progress papers with the Centre’s members. Papers are pre-circulated for a profitable discussion. Please email the speaker for a copy in advance.

Dr Peter Grant: ‘Confrontation vs Subversion: Fourth Wave Feminism and the work of Amanda Palmer and Annie Clark’

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

The session is co-hosted with the Gender and Sexuality Research Centre, City.

For a copy of the paper email p.grant@city.ac.uk

Dr Dayna Barnes: ‘Transpacific anarchism in California’

College Building room A229M

For a copy of the paper email dayna.barnes@city.ac.uk


Recent publications by our members

Or Rosenboim

Rosenboim, O., 2017.The emergence of globalism: Visions of world order in Britain and the United States, 1939–1950. Princeton University Press.

Rosenboim, O., 2021. The Spatiality of Politics: Cesare Battisti's Regional and International Thought, 1900–1916.Modern Intellectual History, pp.1-24.

Justin Davis-Smith

Smith, J.D., 2019.100 years of NCVO and voluntary action: idealists and realists. Springer

Davis-Smith, J., 2020. What can history contribute to non-profit education?.Journal of Nonprofit Education and Leadership,10(4), pp.345-354.

Dina Fainberg

Lise Butler

Butler, L., 2020. Michael Young, Social Science, and the British Left, 1945-1970. Oxford University Press.

Butler, L. 2020. ‘Corbynism in Historical Persective’, in Andrew Roe-Crines ed. Corbynism in Perspective. Columbia University Press.

Laust Schouenborg

Dayna Barnes

Barnes, D., 2020. A Separate Peace? Reconsidering Post-conflict Military Occupations. British Journal for Military History6(3), pp.168-177.

Barnes, D.L., 2017. Architects of Occupation: American Experts and Planning for Postwar Japan. Cornell University Press.

Claudia Jefferies

Pieper, R., de Lozanne Jefferies, C. and Denzel, M., 2019. Mining, Money and Markets in the Early Modern Atlantic: Digital Approaches and New Perspectives. In Mining, Money and Markets in the Early Modern Atlantic (pp. 3-15). Palgrave Macmillan

Chapter 9: Some Determinants of Local Exchange Rates and in Early Modern Mexican Mining Sites, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,  Pages 211-230.

Jeppe Mulich