Modern European History

Research theme

Cambridge has a long and vibrant tradition of researching European History. Our research spans the breadth and depth of Europe from the 18th century to the 21st, from the Caucasus to the Atlantic and beyond. Our interests are diverse, but all of us share a commitment to looking at the history of Europe beyond national boundaries. In recent years, our research has continued to address essential longstanding issues in the lives of Europeans while also expanding to understanding Europe's contested position within the wider world.  

Our work in this area

Our research covers a variety of geographical areas, with particular strengths in the history of Germany, France, Russia, central Europe and the Mediterranean. We are brought together by common thematic interests, which include revolutionary moments from 1848 to 1968, ideas and intellectual history, work and inequality, media and temporality, gender and activism, migration and internationalism, popular culture, contemporary history since the 1970s, and the impact of colonialism on European societies. 

Research Culture

This combination of deep local specialism with transversal interests is reflected in our research culture. The Modern European History research seminar, and the graduate-run Workshop, provide a central platform to provide conversations across specialisms, hear ongoing research by faculty and research students, and bring in outside speakers to hear of the latest new approaches. Cambridge is also host to a rich variety of specialised seminars, like the DAAD-funded reading group in German history, the seminar in 19th century French studies, the 18th century seminar, or the interdisciplinary Italian Research Network, sometimes run by colleagues in the Modern Languages faculty with whom we have strong contacts. 

We have strong partnerships with other universities across Europe. In particular, we have a collaborative PhD Seminar on the Contemporary History of Global Europe, run with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, and we have regular exchanges of doctoral students with Sciences-Po Paris.  

We are at the forefront of academic research through a number of award-winning monographs, our involvement in several leading journals and our regular hosting of international conferences in Cambridge. Our research also engages with the wider public both in Britain and in several other European countries through widely-read books, media and public culture projects, and our involvement in public policy.

Research Area Contacts

Convenor: Professor Chris Clark

Graduate Comms Officer: Otis Illert