Dr Mike Sewell

Senior Tutor, Selwyn College
Fellow, Tutor and Director of Studies in History & Politics, History & Modern Languages
Member of the University Council
Dr Mike Sewell

Mike Sewell read History at Cambridge (Christ's College) and researched a doctoral thesis on Anglo-American relations, 1870-1898 under the supervision of John Thompson. He was successively Mellon Research Fellow in US History in the Faculty of History and Keasbey Research Fellow in American Studies at Selwyn College before he was appointed to a Lecturer post in 1990 at what was then called the Board of Extra-Mural Studies, now ICE. Whilst there he was the founding Course Director of the highly successful MSt degree in International Relations.

Since January 2016 he has been Senior Tutor of Selwyn College and he relinquished his remaining connection to ICE in 2017. His main areas of academic interest are the history of  US foreign relations and the international history of the Cold War. He is currently focused mainly on his Senior Tutor duties and is therefore somewhat cautious about taking on large numbers of supervisions at Part II dissertation or Master's level. He is not taking on new doctoral students. 

  • The rhetoric of American wartime presidents and their efforts to mobilise support.
  • British perspectives on US race relations in international context.
  • The role of history and memory in US foreign relations.
  • US policy-making and presidential politics.

Mike has supervised many PhD, MPhil and MSt dissertations on topics in the History of International Relations, American History, and contemporary America foreign policy.

Mike teaches on a wide variety of ICE courses as well as for POLIS and History. His main areas of activity for ICE are on the non-accredited programme, offering courses on American history and international relations. He has also taught extensively on the short course programme of strategic studies courses for the UK armed forces, on the pre-sessional PREP course on study skills for returners to learning. His core teaching is also central to the delivery of the Master of Studies in International Relations, of which he has been co-Course Director since the course's inception in 2001. He teaches International History elements of the taught section of this degree as well as supervising dissertations on topics close to his areas of academic expertise and on contemporary American foreign relations.

Within the Faculty he teaches on Paper 24 in Part I (U.S.  History since 1865) and numerous Part II dissertations.

  • ICE Strategic Committee, MSt Liaison Committee (Chair), MSt Committee, MSt Administrators' Committee (as MSTLC Chair), Academic Policy Committee.
  • Faculty of History Degree Committee Sub-Committee on the MSt in Local History; Directors of Studies Committee; Pool Convenor.
  • POLIS Graduate Education Committee, Graduate Admissions Committee.


Tags & Themes


Selwyn College,
Grange Road,
Cambridge CB3 9DQ

Office Phone: 01223-335842


Key Publications

  • M Sewell: 'Humanitarian Intervention, Democracy and Imperialism: The American War with Spain, 1898, and after' in Simms, B and Trim, D (eds): Humanitarian Intervention: A History, CUP, 2011.
  • M Sewell: 'Review of The Cambridge History of the Cold War', H-Diplo Roundtable Review of Volume I, March 2011, eds. Maddux and Labrosse
  • M Sewell: The Cold War, CUP, 2002.

Other Publications

Mike has also published extensively on late-19th century Anglo-American relations and on the Civil Rights Movement as viewed from the UK.