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Dr Rhys Jones

Dr Rhys Jones

Research Fellow, Sidney Sussex College

Rhys Jones is available for consultancy.


Rhys Jones is a conceptual historian of Europe and North America in the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. His research explores the interactions of time and power during the Age of Revolutions, in particular the ways in which perceptions of time conditioned ideologies of political authority. He received his BA (2009-2012), MPhil (2012-2013), and PhD (2013-2016) in History at the University of Cambridge. He has held a number of visiting fellowships, most recently at the Library Company in Philadelphia. 

Departments and Institutes

Sidney Sussex College:

Research Interests

Dr. Jones's PhD thesis explored the conceptualisations of time during the Age of Revolutions, arguing that political authority and legitimacy came to rest upon a perceived capacity to control time. He is presently working on a book project that examines these ideas in a wider, Atlantic context, incorporating the experiences of the American, French and Haitian Revolutions. He has previously studied the sonic resonances of political revolution in the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, in particular the relationship between musical receptivity and radical political participation in Vienna during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars.

Research Supervision

Dr. Jones is happy to supervise Part II undergraduate dissertations and graduate (MPhil) theses on topics relating to temporality, political revolution, eighteenth and nineteenth century conceptual history.


Part I Papers 16, 17, HAP (time, memory, revolution, power, nations and states).

Other Professional Activities

Dr. Jones is also an advocate of public engagement with history. His recent documentary, Superfast Politics, examined the prevalent experience of acceleration generated by the Brexit referendum and election of Donald Trump in 2016, delving into past examples of high-speed politics - from the Reformation through the French Revolution. It is available on iPlayer: Superfast Politics.

He tweets @rhyshistorian.

Key Publications

Peer-reviewed articles 

'1816 and the resumption of "ordinary history,"' The Journal of Modern European History (January, 2016).

'Beethoven and the sound of revolution in Vienna, 1792-1814' The Historical Journal (December, 2014).

Book chapters

'"L'insouciance sur l'avenir": Urgency, Decadence, Decay under the French ancien régime, 1775-1789,' in William O'Reilly, ed., Decline, Decay, Decadence (Budapest, CEU, 2018).

'Turning back the clock? The politics of time in Restoration Europe, 1815-1830,' in Michael Broers, Ambrogio Caiani, eds., Restoration Europe (2 vols., New York, IB Tauris, 2018).


Superfast Politics, BBC Radio 4 (8 December, 2017; 26 February, 2018): available on iPlayer.

'Le Pen's impatience,' London Review of Books (March, 2017).

'Welcome to the era of superfast politics,' The Spectator (January, 2017).

'Donald Trump and the election of 1800,' History Today (October, 2016).