Dr Christoph Laucht
Senior Lecturer
History
Telephone: (01792) 606290
Room: Office - 110
First Floor
James Callaghan
Singleton Campus

After studying at the Universities of Kiel (Germany) and Arizona (USA) for my undergraduate degree, I received my MA from the University of New Mexico (USA) in 2005 and my PhD from the University of Liverpool in 2009.  Before joining Swansea University in 2013, I worked at Liverpool and Leeds Universities.

I am a historian of post-1945 Western Europe (especially Britain and West Germany) and the United States. My interests lie in historical peace and conflict research; film, television and history; the cultural and social history of the Cold War; as well as in British-German relations. In my research, I commonly use transnational and comparative approaches that go beyond national boundaries.

My first book, Elemental Germans: Klaus Fuchs, Rudolf Peierls and the Making of British Nuclear Culture, 1939-59 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) explored the reciprocal influence of science on society, culture and politics in Britain in the Second World War and the early Cold War. I recently completed a project on transnational medical professional activism, funded by the Wellcome Trust, and am presently finishing my second book (Playing with Uncertainty: Britain and the Nuclear Threat in the Second Cold War; under contract with Oxford University Press). This explores the ways in which different actors – the state, political and social activists, scientific experts and popular media – dealt with the uncertainty over the anticipated effects of nuclear war at a time of heightened superpower tensions.

I am currently also working on two further projects:

  • The first deals with town twinning and European reconstruction and reconciliation after 1945. This is a collaborative effort with Dr Tom Allbeson (Cardiff University).

I am also beginning a new long-term research project on the militarization of European societies post 1945 that forms part of an international research network.

Areas of Expertise

  • Modern Britain, Germany and the United States
  • Cultural and Social History
  • Transnational History
  • Historical Peace and Conflict Research
  • Film, TV and History
  • The Cold War
  • The Nuclear Age
  • British-German Relations

Publications

  1. Hochscherf, ., Laucht, C. Censorship, Scripts, Suppression, and Selection: Twentieth Century-Fox and the Story of the Berlin Airlift in The Big Lift and Es begann mit einem Kuß (It Started with a Kiss), 1950–1953 Film History 31 3 83 111
  2. Laucht, C. The Politics of the Unknown: Uncertainty and the Nuclear Threat in Britain, 1979-85 History Compass e12510
  3. Laucht, C., Johnes, M. Resist and Survive: Welsh Protests and the British Nuclear State in the 1980s Contemporary British History 33 2 226 245
  4. Laucht, C. 'Treatment Not Trident': Medical Activism, Health Inequality and Anti-Militarism in 1980s Britain Social History of Medicine 32 4 843 866
  5. Laucht, C. Transnational Professional Activism and the Prevention of Nuclear War in Britain Journal of Social History 52 2 439 467

See more...

Teaching

  • HI-M22 Dissertation

    Students produce a dissertation of up to 20,000 words on a historical topic, chosen in conjunction with their supervisor. This represents the culmination of the History MAs, and constitutes Part Two of the programme.

  • HI-M39 Research Folder

    This module is designed to help students to identify a dissertation topic appropriate to their interests and expertise, and to tackle the problems of methodology, develop the research techniques, and undertake the project planning which are the necessary preliminaries to researching and writing a 20,000 word dissertation.

  • HI-M80 Directed Reading in History

    Under the guidance of an expert supervisor, students analyse developments in research and historiography relating to a topic in History which they choose from a wide range of options.

  • HIH124 Modern British History

    This module explores the broad sweep of the history of the United Kingdom since its modern creation in 1801. It brings together different approaches from political, economic, social and cultural history to consider the different ways the history of a nation can be studied. At the module's heart are questions of what constitutes a nation and the extent to which British society can be considered to be unified.

  • HIH272 The Cold War

    The Cold War dominated much of the second half of the twentieth century. While tensions between the two superpowers over the status of Berlin or during the Cuban missile crisis bore the potential of escalating into a nuclear war, the Cold War did not turn hot with the exception of proxy wars in Korea, Vietnam or Afghanistan. Instead, it remained by and large an `imaginary war¿ (Mary Kaldor). This second year option examines this crucial period in twentieth-century history within a global perspective, shedding light on different arenas in which the Cold War was fought, including its origins, its impact on the `Third World¿, science and technology, sports, popular culture, gender, consumerism and lifestyle as well as its manifold legacies that can be felt to the present day (e.g. political and environmental). The course introduces students to chief debates and key secondary literature as well as a wide range of primary sources, including government documents, newspapers and magazines as well as popular culture and visual arts.

  • HIH282 Rebuilding Western Europe: Cultures and Societies, 1945-1975

    The Second World War left Europe devastated and divided. As a result, the subsequent three decades witnessed an unprecedented effort across the continent to rebuild societies and cultures. In this process, `Western Europe¿, for most part, became an epitome of socio-economic and political stability ¿ not least against the background of the overwhelming majority of Western European nations either maintaining or adopting liberal democratic systems of parliamentary democracy. This module critically examines this period of seeming stability and uniformity in relation to key developments that took place within and across national societies and cultures. Based on approaches from social and cultural history, chief historical changes pertaining to such categories as gender, sexuality, religion and secularization, popular culture, migration and consumerism will be analysed in the period from the end of the Second World to the mid-1970s.

  • HIH3300 History Dissertation

    The History dissertation is a free-standing, 40-credit module that runs across both semesters of Level Three. Candidates conduct research upon a subject of their choice, devised in consultation with a member of staff teaching for the degrees in History, and concerning a topic that falls within staff research and teaching interests.

  • HIH3376 Histories of Empire

    Throughout most of history up until the middle of the twentieth century, the majority of the world¿s population were subjects of an empire. From the empires of the Ancient World through to the European colonial networks of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, these empires have straddled continents and brought people from different ethnicities and cultures under the rule of Caesars, kings and emperors. Despite the clear distinctions between empires in different time-periods and continents, these organisations share a range of similarities in their operation and guiding principles. Some phenomena such as the `civilising mission¿ and `imperial over-reach¿ can be seen in a variety of circumstances down the centuries. Many empires can be said to have followed the same trajectory, rising from the ashes of previous empires, conquering territories and defending them jealously from rivals, and ending in a hubris-driven collapse. This module will look at the growth, management and decline of a range of empires, with a particular focus upon the modern period. It will compare the operation of empires, both across time and synchronically. A range of themes will be covered, including the machinery of rulership over different parts of an empire; the treatment of subjected peoples; issues of race and racial hierarchies; the role of technology; profit and empire; the philosophical underpinnings of empire; popular ideas about imperialism and the aftermath of empire.

  • HIH3377 A History of Sex and Gender

    This module explores the history of sex and gender across a multitude of sites since the Medieval period, examining how and why understandings and ideologies changed. This module looks at the history of sex and gender from a social and cultural perspective, drawing out connections with class and race. It explores how ideas of masculinity and femininity have changed over time, how gender has impacted on social, economic and political life, and how dominant ideologies of gender relate to the experience of men¿s and women¿s daily lives. The module will also analyse changing attitudes towards sexuality and demonstrate how modern sexual identities are the product of historical processes rather than fixed and unchanging. Students will be introduced to the key historiographical debates around the history of gender and to the core challenges that drive historians while researching these vital themes.

  • HIHD01 Heritage Dissertation (Written)

    Students produce a dissertation on a heritage topic, chosen and developed in conjunction with their supervisor in line with the standard College MA requirements.

Supervision

  • Militarisation of British Society During The Thatcher Years, 1979-1990. (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Laucht
    Other supervisor: Dr Eugene Miakinkov
  • 'Community of Interests:' The creation, development and challenges of the science faculty at the University College of Swansea, circa 1920-1970 (current)

    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Tomas Irish
    Other supervisor: Dr Tomas Irish
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Laucht
  • Battles for Breath: A comparative historical analysis of responses to coal workers' pneumoconiosis in South Wales and Central Appalachia, 1968-1985 (awarded 2018)

    MA
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Laucht
    Other supervisor: Prof David Turner

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Undergraduate Programme Director of History - Department of History

    2018 - Present

  • Director of MA in History - College of Arts and Humanities

    2015 - 2017

  • Unfair Practice Officer - Department of History and Classics

    2013 - 2015

Career History

Start Date End Date Position Held Location
2015 Present Senior Lecturer in Modern History Swansea University
2013 2015 Lecturer in Modern History Swansea University
2011 2013 Lecturer in 20th Century History British History University of Leeds
2010 2011 Lecturer in History University of Liverpool

External Responsibilities

  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society

    2014 - Present

  • Book Review Editor, H-Soz-und-Kult

    2013 - Present

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy

    2016 - Present

Key Grants and Projects

Research Groups