Members of the Centre

Over 30 members of academic staff at the University of Birmingham are associated with the Centre for Modern and Contemporary History. They include scholars from the Department of History and several other departments. The Centre's members also include doctoral students researching related topics, and students on the MA Contemporary History course


  • Simon Jackson
    Director of Centre
    Colonial empire, the Middle East and the Mediterranean in the twentieth century

Department of History

  • Carl Chinn
    Socio-economic history of the working class in 19th- and 20th-century Birmingham
  • Nicholas Crowson
    History of party politics, foreign policy and NGOs in contemporary Britain
  • Malcolm Dick
    Social History of the West Midlands, 1750 to the present
  • David Gange
    History of religion and Near Eastern archaeology in 19th-century Britain
  • Julian Greaves
    History of the state and economic in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Armin Gruenbacher
    German post-war social, economic, and political history
  • Steve Hewitt
    Spying, security and intelligence in America; anti-Americanism; and Canadian history and politics from the 1960s to the present
  • Matthew Hilton
    Social and political history of consumerism, activism, and NGOs in 20th-century Britain
  • Helen Laville
    Women’s history, the Cold War, civil rights and gender in post-war America
  • Sabine Lee
    20th-century European international history, history of the aftermath of conflict, and history of physics
  • Sadiah Qureshi
    Modern cultural and social history of race, science, and empire 
  • Arfon Rees 
    Political History and political thought of the Soviet Union; Stalinism and de-Stalinisation 
  • Corey Ross
    Global environmental history and modern European social and cultural history
  • Lucie Ryzova
    Middle Eastern History
  • Gavin Schaffer
    Social and cultural history of race, racial science and immigration in 20th-century Britain
  • Jelle van Lottum
    Economic history of labour migrations worldwide from 1600 to the present
  • Shirley Ye
    Globalization, environmental history, history of science and technology, postcolonial and development studies, Chinese historiography, cultural studies

Centre of West African Studies

  • Benedetta Rossi
    Historical anthropology of 20th-century West Africa (Hausa and Tuareg societies - Republic of Niger)
  • Keith Shear
    Contemporary African history and politics including Nigeria, Sierra Leone, the Gambia, Malawi; state formation in South Africa
  • Kate Skinner
    Historical ethnography, social and political histories of modern and contemporary Ghana and Togo

School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music

  • Martyn Cornick 
    20th-century French cultural history; Franco-British inter-cultural studies
  • Nicholas Martin 
    German intellectual and cultural history from the Enlightenment to the present day
  • Joanne Sayner
    Memory studies, literary history and the politics of remembering in post-war German society
  • Berny Sèbe
    History of 19th- and 20th-century European imperialisms, decolonisation and post-colonialism

Centre for Russian and East European Studies

  • Timothy Haughton 
    20th-century politics of Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic; party politics in Central and Eastern Europe

Political Science and International Studies

  • Peter Burnham
    British political history, radical international political economy (IPE), and state history since 1945

Centre for the History of Medicine

  • Jonathan Reinarz
    History of hospitals, medical education, medical specialisation, alcohol, and the senses in England, 1750-1950  


In addition to the Directors, the Centre has many affiliated staff and postgraduate students who are interested in and work on issues in contemporary history.