Former PhD students

The Visual Image of the Sturmabteilung in Nazi Propaganda, 1923-1945.

Jacob Berg

Jacob is a co-tutelle PhD candidate at the University of St Andrews and the University of New England, Australia.  His research is focused on the investigation of radical paramilitary organisations and political parties in Germany from 1919-1945. In this context, his PhD thesis focuses particularly on the Sturmabteilung (SA) and their image in Nazi propaganda, which attempts to understand how the Nazis used propaganda to bolster their ideology, mythos and culture.

Until recently, the historical narrative of the SA has always been concluded in 1934 after the Röhm Putsch, where many ‘revolutionary’ SA leaders were murdered by the SS to appease the German army and more conservative segments of the German population. It had previously been thought that the SA simply faded into oblivion and lost all political influence and meaning. However, scholars like Daniel Siemens and Yves Müller have challenged this commonly held position and shown that the organisation not only continued but played an important role politically not only within the Reich, but also transnationally as the borders of the Reich expanded. But, what about the image of the SA? Did their revolutionary tropes and images continue? If so, how were they used?

Jacob’s thesis has a particular focus on the territorialization of different spaces, including the sporting field, classroom and public street. It is commonly understood that the SA, from as early as 1923, began marching on the streets as a form of occupation- laying claim over public space and actively seeking to territorialize this space. Once this territory was officially ‘conquered’ by the Nazis when the party came to power in 1933, the SA and its visual image was heavily used to Nazify Germany, redefining national spaces to fit into the National Socialist ideological view of a German homeland.  In addition, with the expansion of national territory during the Second World War and its subsequent contraction from 1943, the image of the SA was used as a catalyst for motivating civilians to defend the territory of the Reich. What has become evident over the course of this thesis is that SA images and symbolism not only remained after the Röhm Putsch, but rather acted as an important part of the propaganda arsenal of the Nazi party up until the final days in 1945.

The multiple dimensions of twenty-first century italianità: examining affects in (post-)colonial Italian culture

Eleanor Crabtree

Eleanor is in the first year of her PhD under the supervision of Emma Bond. Her research examines cultural representations of post-colonial Italian identities through the lens of affect theory. She is particularly interested in the way in which the temporal and spatial implications of affect shed light on issues of trans-national memory.

Die Wandlung and the Intellectual Rebuilding of Post-War Germany

Calum Daly

This project seeks to explore the relationship between physical and intellectual space in Germany following the immediate end of the Second World War. First published in November 1945, Die Wandlung (‘The Transformation’) was the first major socio-political journal to be circulated in Germany (either East or West) following the end of the Second World War. Spearheaded by the political theorist Dolf Sternberger and a three-man editorial board (consisting of Karl Jaspers, Alfred Weber and Werner Krauss), the journal (headquartered in Heidelberg) engaged with a myriad of subjects ranging from avant-garde literature to contemporary economics. Using its expansive scope and the transnational intent of its chief editor who hoped to use international contributions as a vehicle for German international reintegration, I explore the role of space in relation to the physical and mental landscapes of post-1945 Germany. To this end I capitalise on Sternberger’s Tagebuch [Diary] entries that ran throughout the first year of the journal’s life. In these contributions Sternberger recounts his personal experience of traveling through Western Germany in the months immediately following the war’s cessation. I examine the extent to which this personal experience of everyday physical hardships colour his political and social theories.

Running throughout the many contributions to the journal is the importance played by national identity and Heimat. I examine this importance from several different angles: the physical and symbolic role of the University (primarily in the work of Jaspers and Weber); the relationship between émigré contributors and their former homeland (in particular Hannah Arendt’s concept of human rights, national ‘belonging’ and the role of space in the rise and propagation of totalitarianism); and the role of ‘linguistic de-nationalisation’ (Sternberger’s ‘Dictionary of Inhumanity’ and Leo Spitzer’s Semiotics featuring prominently). The 1945-1949 lifespan of the journal provides for an excellent historical bracket within which to work, also capturing the emerging Cold War and ensuing geopolitical debates.

In the late 1990s, the German author W.G. Sebald published a series of essays under the title On the Natural History of Destruction, in which he noted the apparent silence with which this destruction had been met by the nation’s intellectual community: ‘The destruction, on a scale without historical precedent, entered the annals of the nation, as it set about rebuilding itself, only in the form of vague generalizations. It seems to have left scarcely a trace of pain behind in the collective consciousness, it has been largely obliterated from the retrospective understanding of those affected, and it never played any appreciable part in the discussion of the internal constitution of our country.’ The intellectual environment surrounding this field has expanded since Sebald’s foray, with notable works including Wolfgang Schivelbusch’s In a Cold Crater, Rudy Koshar’s From Monuments to Traces and Jörg Arnold’s The Allied Air War and Urban Memories. This project further contributes to this field and sheds light on the multifarious relationship between intellectual, spatial and urban history in post-1945 Germany.

The Return of the Nation-State? German Political Culture in Transition, 1985-1998
Andrew Dodd

Recent historiography has convincingly argued that in the 1980s the Federal Republic of Germany had undergone a process of “self-recognition”, moving past its old self-conception as a partial, provisional state with increasing confidence and fashioning a post-national identity. Then, in 1989/90, the Federal Republic opted for a quick and complete national reunification. The conflict between these two developments lays at the centre of the study: just how far beneath the surface did ‘the nation’ lurk?

The study aims to shed further light on this complex and critical era in German history by moving beyond a recounting of political developments and intellectual debates and examining the media reception of these very same problems and debates. To what degree was this “post-national consensus” a reality outside of elite intellectual circles in the wider public consciousness? When the potential and eventual reality of reunification emerged, what were the anticipations and expectations? What was the reception of alternative views to the process of national reunification as it occurred? How were the realities of the reunified German nation-state received in the years following and what changes in self-conception did the “return of the nation-state” bring? Overarching themes include the role played by generation in changing identities, the idea of a “return to normality”, the position of media as both mirror and shaper of public opinion, and the perception of 1989/90 as a a decisive caesura between a “Bonn Republic” and a “Berlin Republic”.

The female connection. Mapping social networks in European travel, c.1770-1830

Sophie Drescher

What do we really know about travelling women, their roles, and the social spaces they occupied around 1800? This study traces European women travellers’ social networks on their journeys through Europe and beyond during the decades around 1800. The project will examine how women’s travel was planned and how itineraries developed along social and geographical lines, thereby creating transnational European networks. The project, however, is not designed exclusively as a gender-studies project that focuses on solely female authors. It aims to highlight connectivity of women travellers in relation to their male counterparts, as well as in connection to other female travellers and their networks.

Most studies on European travelling around 1800 assume rather standardised, stereotypical tours with few, recurrent destinations. Travel, and especially women’s travel, is therefore often studied as one-dimensional transfer from one place to another, or with a focus on cultural encounters, landscapes, and language. Historical research has neglected to trace travellers, especially women, systematically in order to map their journeys not only geographically but also socially. When female networking is addressed the focus is on stasis rather than motion. The numerous case studies on specific European regions provide a considerable basis of textual analysis for aspects of gender and genre but little has been done to research the spatial element. Studies focusing exclusively on women often miss the point of actually offering a meaningful perspective on gendered experiences. The spatial aspect deserves particular consideration in the analysis of women’s travel writing as travel is commonly considered in assumed opposition to the equally assumed female sphere of domesticity. Hence it is necessary to take an innovative approach to travel writing by using a transnational perspective on the spatial dynamics that will lead to more nuanced insights of travel, space, and gender.

This study is underpinned by the hypothesis that political and cultural developments in Europe around 1800 altered established travel routes and opened up new spaces across Europe, especially to the north and east, for travellers to explore. It is key to link the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries as this time frame, with its political upheavals and cultural turmoil, meant travellers were caught in a rapidly changing social world. Research has neglected the impact of this crucial time period on travellers’ experiences of social and geographical space, especially with reference to women’s negotiations of ‘space’ and ‘sphere’ in changing European societies.

The project will provide an enhanced understanding of how women travelled, how travelling changed between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It will lead to a more nuanced understanding of planning processes, the use of letters of recommendation, the significance of family members and acquaintances, and the influence of the individual’s social network on the individual’s itinerary. By including travel narratives from more than one European region and covering more than one travel destination the study’s findings will offer a broad panorama of European women’s travel activities and be of interest to a broader, European, audience beyond strictly national historiography.

From words to numbers and maps. Transfers, networks and the transformations of statistical thinking in Britain, France and the German lands, c. 1780s-1840s

Adam Dunn

The aim of this project is to map the changes in the perception, methodology and use of statistics from the late eighteenth to the early-nineteenth century. The project seeks to establish how the concept of statistics shifted from a more descriptive series of statistical accounts, often related to travel, compiled by mainly amateur statisticians, to the more mathematically-driven, state-operated and professionalised, model of statistics prevalent in the nineteenth century, finally, leading to the introduction of statistical maps in the mid nineteenth century. While a good deal of research has gone into the development of statistics it has either been based nationally, or on the individual, with a heavy focus on the role of the state or nation-building or has missed this period of transition between c.1780s-1840s out altogether. No real work has been done beyond this point and not in any real detail. For instance, hardly any attention has been paid to the influences beyond the state mechanisms on statistics or how the individual or amateur played a role in the shift. Therefore, this project approaches the subject in a new light: a transnational perspective that seeks to follow individuals in an attempt to reconstruct connections and networks across borders (mainly Great Britain, the German lands and France), linking the later Enlightenment to the first decades of the nineteenth century.

This project intends to fill an important and neglected gap in research and in our understanding of the ‘statistical revolution’ around 1800, in two important ways: chronologically and spatially. First, the connection between the later Enlightenment (roughly starting around 1780s) to the mid nineteenth century has largely been neglected or has been studied under separate chronological categories (e.g. Enlightenment, Napoleonic France, post 1815). This is true for many topics, but equally for the history of statistics. Little to nothing is known about the transformation from a more amateur-based concept of statistics to the first one or two generations of a state-sponsored approach to statistics. Second, spatially speaking little is known for this period on the multiple cross-border activities of individuals, the transfer of knowledge and concepts such as statistics, and the underlying networks before we see a more organised and institutionalised approach from the 1830s and 1840s onward.

It is the underlying hypothesis of this project that Enlightenment networks fed into the emergence of statistical science and statistics as a governmental tool from the early nineteenth century onward.

Architectural Diplomacy, Cultural Heritage, and Popular Reception of the Fascist Involvement at the International Expositions of 1933-1942.

James Fortuna

James Fortuna’s research interests lie in the cultural, diplomatic, and spatial history of twentieth-century Europe and the United States, with a particular focus on interwar design and its relationship to the construction of national identity. He is especially interested in instances of creative or ideological transfer between states and the spaces or places in which this might have occurred. He also explores the extent to which various interpretations of cultural heritage came to influence the reimagined built environments of Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and the New Deal USA.

His dissertation builds off these interests to consider the ways architectural form and urban design were deployed as tools of diplomacy at the five major international exhibitions held between 1933-42. Using a variety of source material ranging from diplomatic correspondence, minutes of planning meetings, architectural plans, popular press articles and ego documents, the project investigates potential links between the ambassadorial, domestic, and even imperial elements of state-sponsored design throughout the interwar period. To date, this project has been supported by the St Leonard’s College International Scholarship, the Banco Santander Research Mobility Award, the Association for the Study of Modern Italy (ASMI), and the Society for Historians of Foreign Relations (SHAFR).

The Alps from Natural Border to Transnational Space: National constructions and cross-border interactions in the Alpine region (1750-1830)
Jordan Girardin

This doctoral project aims at analysing the emergence of the Alps as a transnational space from 1750 to 1830. It highlights that this period witnessed a major shift in the perception of the mountains, firstly seen as a rigid natural border but then becoming an open, consistent space at the heart of Europe. It will address the dramatic increase of cross-border interactions within the alpine region, and will argue the emergence of a mental

Jordan Girardin - presenting on The Alps and Alpine travel, Sep 2016
Jordan Girardin – presenting on The Alps and Alpine travel, Sep 2016

perception of the Alps in a non-nation-centred way. This Sattelzeit period introduced by Reinhart Koselleck, where representations and language shifted into the modern mind-set that we are nowadays familiar with, is often seen as the rise of the nation-state, and in the case of certain Western European countries such as France, that of the concept of natural borders too.

To work on the Alps as a transnational space is a way to open new historical discussions around the Enlightenment and on the creation of networks in Europe and, equally, to criticise certain nation-centred assumptions. It would indeed offer a further development of spatial language through the case study of the Alps. Through the study of national cartography, travel accounts and political discourse, this project will carefully highlight the articulation between the transnational opportunities offered by the Alps and their appropriation by national identities and political discourse (for instance, in the Swiss identity or Napoleonic myths).

Cultural criticism and catholic conservatism: an intellectual biography of Dietrich von Hildebrand
Denis Kitzinger

The PhD thesis is an intellectual biography of the conservative Catholic philosopher Dietrich von Hildebrand. Specifically, I examine Hildebrand’s response to the historical and intellectual challenges of the twentieth century, for example National Socialism, the Second Vatican Council, relativism and historism. I intentionally focus on Hildebrand’s non-academic writings and lectures in the popular and explicitly Catholic press as I also seek to establish Hildebrand’s popular influence, in other words the popularity of his ideas, and ask the question to what degree Hildebrand’s position was representative of the ‘polymorphic’ (Heinz Huerten) Catholic milieu. Because I analyze Hildebrand as anintellectual, i.e. someone who addresses a public other than that at which his scholarly activity is aimed and on issues dissimilar to this scholarly activity but of public concern and for this purpose he makes use of available media channels that reach these non-specialist publics, my thesis is set apart from existing scholarship. With my project, which is situated at the intersection of intellectual and social history, I contribute to the study of Catholic history in the twentieth century.

Symphonic Beneficence: The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra during the First World War

Percy Leung

I began my PhD in Modern History at St Andrews in January 2017, under the supervision of Professor Frank Lorenz Müller, having received my BA in Combined Honours in Arts (History, Music, Politics & International Relations) from Durham University and my M.Phil in Music Studies from the University of Cambridge. I am deeply passionate about the relationship between music and politics. My undergraduate dissertation explores the contradictions and paradoxes of the Nazis’ cultural policies, whereas my masters’ dissertation is essentially a comparative analysis on the Soviet Union’s and the United States’ cultural policies on music in post-war occupied Germany between 1945 and 1947. It focuses on these two Cold War superpowers’ efforts in reconstructing the German musical life after the collapse of the Third Reich, as well as on their Denazification policies on German musicians.

There is a substantial body of research on various musical aspects of the First World War, including the social impact of war songs, popular music, military bands and musical theatre, as well as the ways that the War brought about stylistic changes to modernist compositions. However, the role of classical music and symphony orchestras has remained under-explored (Sven Oliver Müller being the notable exception). I hope that my research can complement and further develop this body of literature on the War’s cultural history, and contribute to wider scholarly debates about the use of cultural icons as propaganda and as national rally points in the home-fronts of the First World War.

My doctoral research focuses on the social and political contributions to the German and British war efforts made, respectively, by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra during the First World War. I will investigate the value of classical music and its public performance in fostering national identity in war-time societies and how national leaderships developed specific ideas of how these two orchestras could relate to the war efforts. Furthermore, my study explores the ways that these two orchestras transformed classical music from a serious, elitist art-form to an offering located within popular mass culture, how these two orchestras’ activities and concerts during the First World War earned them prominence and recognition in society and contributed to their becoming two of the most prestigious cultural institutions in Germany and Britain respectively since 1919, as well as how the changing circumstances of the First World War affected the musical life and administration of both orchestras. It would also be fascinating to understand how the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra’s experience of and contribution to the First World War revealed about contrasts such as elite/popular, urban/rural, centre/periphery, male/female etc. within the German and British society under the conditions of near-total war.

The Italian Occupation of South-Eastern France, 1940-1943 

Niall MacGalloway

The common perception of the Second World War in France is that the country was divided between the German occupiers in the north, while the collaborationist Vichy government ruled the south. Relatively little scholarly interest has focused on the much smaller Italian occupation zone in the south-east.

My research examines on this zone; how it was administrated, how the economy was run, to what extent collaboration and resistance movements featured in the zone, and how Franco-Italian relations developed during the three years of occupation, both at a governmental level and occupier-occupied relations. The project also focuses upon the differences between zones administrated by the Italians, specifically the larger portion of the country occupied by the Italians after Allied landings in North Africa, and that occupied initially, which was administered as annexed territories. To what extent were these areas “Italianised” and how successful was this process? Did sizeable Italian minorities in the region help or hinder these processes?

I also hope to be able to place the Italian occupation of France within a wider framework. How did this occupation compare with other Fascist occupations in the Balkans and Greece? How did the annexation of French territory compare to Alsace, occupied by Germany? To what degree did the Italian and German occupations differ more broadly and, inversely, what similarities can be drawn between the two?

The Exile of the Tudeh Party of Iran in Divided Germany, 1953-1979

Leonard Michael

Leonard Michael is a historian of South-West Asia focusing on transnational and intellectual history. His PhD project, commenced in 2019, is centred on the exile of the communist Tudeh Party of Iran in divided Germany between 1953 and 1979. He is especially interested in how the leadership of the Tudeh party, which was based in the East German city of Leipzig, interacted with members and sympathisers within the Iranian community in West Germany, and how this interaction shaped the transnational networks and activities of the party in Europe and beyond. His inquiry pays specific attention to the impact of the division of Germany on the exiles’ Trans-German relations and how the different socio-political conditions under which Iranians were living in both parts of the country affected their political activism.

Leonard has prepared for the doctoral stage during his masters at the University of St Andrews, which he finished with a dissertation on the historiographical agenda of Bizhan Jazani, a major theoretician of the Iranian New Left and the 1970s guerrilla movement of the country. In his bachelors dissertation, submitted to the University of Bamberg (Germany) in 2017, he analysed the first Persian translation of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf regarding its content, presentation and way of translation. In this context, he did not only draw on the German original and European translations but also on early Arabic versions of the text.

Economic and financial strategies of the British Catholic community during the early Atlantic world

Giada Pizzoni

My interest on Catholicism as a religious minority, I suppose, has started when as an undergraduate I studied the Roman Inquisition. The extreme power of the Church made me wonder what the Catholics’ experience would be in Protestant countries. Therefore, as Master student I focused on Dutch Catholicism and the practice of Dutch tolerance. I researched on the peculiar situation of Dutch Catholics towards whom there was an attitude of public suppression, but private connivance. This research led me then to wonder if British Catholics were undergoing the same experience.

Currently, the aim of my research, conducted at the Arundel Archive in Sussex, is to offer a new insight, which dispels the stereotype of a marginalised social group. Instead, I conclude that the British Catholic community was a body of merchants and businessmen merged with ‘the middling sort’ of people, eventually becoming a part of the aristocracy. They built coherent trading zones, and through a broad range of Atlantic connections, moved beyond the national borders of the European Empires. They disregarded religious affiliation and nationalities; Catholic merchants – as anyone else – acted out of economic interests.

Recent scholarship has extensively researched late seventeenth-century mercantile communities across the Atlantic and British Catholicism, offering two separate narratives. Catholicism, for example, has been associated with political and civic impairment. However, evidence suggests it paradoxically secured safer economic strategies in times of international warfare and political turmoil. My research hopes to shed new light on the Atlantic trade, which argues that one narrative is possible. Catholicism coalesced with enterprise and the spirit of capitalism, contributing to the development of Great Britain and of the British Empire.

A Republic of Plants : Botanic Gardens in the end of the eighteenth century

Elena Romero Passerin-D’Entreves

My research  project will examine several botanic gardens in Europe during the second half of the 18th Century. It will consider the gardens both as spaces and institutions, looking at their internal organisation and the way they interact with the world. By comparing two or three gardens of different countries, the project aims to give a nuanced image of the scientific Enlightenments and the development of botany across Europe.

The Habsburg Empire from the outside perspective. Experiences and encounters of nineteenth century travellers, ca. 1815-1914

Martin Schaller

As one entity the Habsburg Empire does neither belong to the ‘Western’ nor ‘Eastern’, neither to the ‘Central’ nor the ‘South-Eastern’ parts of Europe. The border lines of these constructed spaces run across the Empire. This study tries to engage with the different perceptions of these spaces which divide the Empire by focusing on how travellers depicted and encountered them. The aim is therefore to connect the concept of mental maps with a transnational perspective. In order to do so the study is based on a comparative approach as accounts published in different languages will constitute the main sources.

It is not at all clear where contemporary travellers detected the borders between ‘East’ and ‘West’, ‘Central’ or ‘South-East’. One important part of the study is therefore to examine where these spaces were located but also which features signified them. By additionally employing a long term perspective it is also possible to account for changes over time in these perceptions. Finally, the comparative approach allows for examining differences according to the travellers’ backgrounds.

Since the construction of different spaces has not lost its significance yet as the still existing East-West divide within Europe shows, I hope to contribute to a more thorough understanding of the mechanisms which shape their perceptions.

Victims, Aggressors and Pioneers: Exploring wartime experiences and war memory in the Japanese periphery through Tokushima’s commemorative landscape.

Austin Smith

The way in which Japan’s involvement in the Asia-Pacific War is popularly remembered and publicly commemorated continues to generate controversy in East Asia and beyond. This project takes the city of Tokushima, a prefectural capital on the rural island of Shikoku, as a case-study through which seemingly localised wartime experiences can be understood, analysed and explored. Like many of Japan’s major and minor cities, Tokushima was destroyed by an incendiary raid which has shaped the way in which the city remembers the conflict as a whole. This research presents the city as a complex commemorative landscape featuring museums, shrines and pagoda in which memories of the conflict have been secreted. Through this exploration patterns emerge that can be applied to sites of memory in other towns and cities across the country revealing the complexity of war-related commemorative practices in contemporary Japan.

Part of this thesis utilises QGIS mapping techniques to present data from personal accounts of the Tokushima air raid to visualise the impact of incendiary bombing. In these maps Tokushima is presented as nodal city through which displaced people spread rumour and exchanged knowledge about the wartime situation. It is possible to map samples of displaced people’s movements to and from major urban centres and the furthest reaches of the Japanese empire and these connections demonstrate the significant role prefectural capitals played in the wartime machine.

Like Clockwork: The Development of the Modern Perception of Time in Industrial Britain (1753-1914)
Marie Ventura

The story of time and temporal perception flows through modern history like a subconscious current, always present yet rarely addressed as a topic in and of itself.  Instead, it has been studied piecemeal, across a spectrum of disciplines for a variety of purposes.  As a result, the history of the development of our modern understanding of time piggybacks rather than propels most studies of British society since the start of the Industrial Revolution.

This study aims to integrate the scattered story of Britain’s 19th Century temporal revolution into a cohesive analysis.  The gradual evolution of modern temporal perception is the overarching theme, pinned down at key transitional points by case studies: for example, the influence of the maritime chronometer.  Each case is a lens, revealing catalysts that promoted the internalization of abstract, measured time.

Spurred by scientific study, empire, economic competition, and the propagation of mechanical clocks, industrial time trickled through the classes, riding trains to rural areas until it saturated the perceptions of every British citizen.  By 1914, the world largely ran on standard time, based at Greenwich Observatory, London.  The changing perception of time in industrial Britain is, therefore, a world-embracing subject, making this study a relevant contribution to modern history.

Narrating coming of age in Italian postcolonial women’s writings

Elisa Walker

Elisa Walker’s project examines how coming of age is narrated in Italian postcolonial women’s writings. The corpus encompasses authors who have all emigrated, chosen to write in Italian (the colonial language), and who appropriate established Western genres such as the Bildungsroman. The classical Bildungsroman is inherently conservative; its Eurocentric and androcentric worldview depends on static social values that nomadic women as outsiders inevitably disrupt. The hypothesis is that minority writers use the genre’s framework in order to critique the totalitarianism, racism and sexism that the marginalised heroine encounters. The formal and thematic othering of the genre raises questions about what new values, and new issues, such writers have introduced to the project of Bildung.

Transnational British and Italian Networks in Fascist Florence

Konstantin Wertelecki

This doctoral thesis is the first major project to analyse the British expatriate community in Florence and their relationship with the Italian community during Italy’s Fascist years (1922-1943). This thesis aims to determine the impact that this transnational network had upon the local, regional, and international sphere of British-Italian relations during this time of intense political change. Overall, this thesis hopes to demonstrate the importance of including the British community in Fascist Florentine history in order to fully understand the evolution of Florentine identity, politics, and society during this period.

Traditionally, scholarship on the networks forged between the British and Italian communities in Florence does not temporally extend beyond the First World War, due the great wealth of eighteenth and nineteenth primary literature. Yet, the interwar years serve as a unique historical turning point for study, as this period challenged the slowly forged cultural, political, and social relationship built between the British and Italians in Florence since the fifteenth century; political tension, surges in nationalism, and the construction and re-construction of identity in a city that German consul Gerhard Wolf described as the ‘most Anglophile of all Italian cities,’ forced questions of self-definition and identification in regard to the ‘English’, ‘Tuscans’, ‘Fascists’, and the hybridised, ‘Anglo-Florentines’.

In undertaking this piece of transnational historical research this, the study will demonstrate the crossing of political, cultural, and social borders in a local context via the analysis of networks of interaction and exchange between the English and Italians, as well as address and define the status of ‘Anglo-Florentines’ and their political connotations as transnational actors. Using QGIS mapping software, the study will map the spaces inhabited and frequented by Anglo-Florentines as transnational exchange points of culture, as well as identifying the various meeting points between expatriate British communities and the Fascist state, society, and institutions. Applied beyond the temporal and geographical limits of interwar Florence, this thesis evokes questions regarding the significance of alternative perspectives, namely that of expatriate communities. Often omitted from historical analyses, these communities and the legacies they left behind offer a fresh depiction and understanding of the people, politics, and places that surrounded them.

Landscapes of the Mind: Early Modern Reactions to Mountains and Mountain-Climbing
Dawn Jackson Williams

Within the relatively short span of geological time covered by the historical record, the natural landscape (barring natural disasters and, of course, human interference) could be viewed as an unchanging fact of life. The mountain ranges which criss-cross Europe and, in many instances, provide borders for her countries, were as much in existence in the

Dawn Hollis presenting on Mountains and early modern mountain travel, Sep 2016
Dawn Hollis presenting on Mountains and early modern mountain travel, Sep 2016

sixteenth century as they are in the twenty-first. However, the ways in which people interact with, think about, and describe the landscapes in which they live and travel has changed over the centuries.

My PhD research will focus on a single element of the landscape – mountains – and will seek to discover how they were viewed, and what activities took place on or around them, in early modern Europe. Were the early modern Europeans afraid of mountains, as many twentieth-century scholars have claimed? Or if they appreciated them, how did the terms by which they judged the landscape differ from those of later generations? Into what wider understandings of the world were (and are) reactions to mountains embedded, and how and why have they changed over time? My research will set out to reconstruct these reactions to the physical landscape and, in so doing, begin to map a small corner of the mental landscape of early modern Europeans.

Through Pots and Pans: Culinary and Cultural Bonds Between China and Japan, 1868-1949

Zhentian Xie

From farm to dining table, this dissertation will emphasise the complex interplay of contested visions of food culture between many actors in the story. This dissertation will record this process and explore the driving forces behind it. To understand its development, this dissertation will focus on four stages: The early model of culinary exchanges in the Meiji era (1868-1912) and its earlier roots, the Inter-war exchanges during the Taisho period ‘Chinese fever’, the wartime exchanges in Japan’s utopian state experiment of occupied Manchukuo, and the collapse of culinary connections in the early post-war era. These four stages reveal different aspects of Pan-Asianist ideology on a broader cultural spectrum between China and Japan. That is, by the time of Japan’s defeat in 1945, regional unity in East Asia was not absolutely unrealistic in all aspects. Instead of conquest in war, the interlocking connections instead found their most promising development through gradual cultural exchanges and integration, or as one contemporary commentator put it, “through pots and pans.”

Hunting Whale and Making Knowledge. Dundee’s Globalisation through Trans-Maritime Whaling, 1750-1914

Matt Ylitalo

The project assesses how whaling in Dundee contributed to the history of maritime science, and to the city’s ‘global’ status, during the long nineteenth century. Research will investigate whalers’ networks and processes of knowledge accumulation and transference; the project will then examine the impact that this epistemic migration had on Dundee in comparison to other transatlantic whaling ports.

Many towns throughout coastal Scotland engaged in whaling in the nineteenth century. On a transatlantic scale, ports such a New Bedford, Massachusetts and Sandefjord, Norway far outstripped Dundee in the magnitude of their whaling operations. Yet Dundee distinctly stands apart from other Scottish and transatlantic whaling communities. Most whaling communities followed an ephemeral pattern of existence, which consisted of hunting whales intensively for several decades, falling into decline and then realigning to more locally- or regionally-oriented commercial orbits. Dundee, however, defied this model both in duration and commercial scope.

This study asks how and why Dundee experienced global expansion and continuance rather than a momentary peak and decline between 1750 and 1914. It focuses in particular on the movement of knowledge between different groups: First Peoples, trans-maritime whaling communities, the people of Dundee, and scientists. Such transfers are not well understood, and the project consequently poses three questions: What were the pathways and networks by which Dundee-based whalers accrued knowledge and facilitated epistemic migrations between cultures and institutions? What did Dundee’s whaling industry contribute to the city’s rise and position as a Scottish, British, European and indeed global port town from the late eighteenth century onward? Finally, how did this differentiate Dundee from other leading transatlantic whaling ports such as New Bedford and Sandefjord?