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.