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. & 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), 1950-53. Film History
  2. The politics of the unknown: Uncertainty and the nuclear threat in Britain, 1979-1985. History Compass, e12510
  3. & Resist and survive: Welsh protests and the British nuclear state in the 1980s. Contemporary British History 33(2), 226-245.
  4. 'Treatment Not Trident': Medical Activism, Health Inequality and Anti-Militarism in 1980s Britain. Social History of Medicine
  5. Transnational Professional Activism and the Prevention of Nuclear War in Britain. Journal of Social History

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.

  • 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.

  • HIH3326 Britain since 1945

    While Britain emerged from the Second World War as one of the victor powers, the conflict left a deep mark on the country. By the end of the war, the British government was virtually bankrupt, and in foreign affairs Whitehall faced Britain¿s relegation into the second division of world powers within the emerging bi-polar world order of the Cold War. Despite the difficult economic situation, consecutive British governments pushed an ambitious programme for social reform at home and attempted to regain power in international relations through the acquisition of nuclear weapons. This third year option examines society, culture and politics in Britain since 1945. Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will be studying key events and developments in postwar Britain, in particular changes in the role of the state and the success or failure of social and economic policies, the Cold War and the wider international relationships ¿ either European or transatlantic ¿ within which Britain has pursued its interests, aspects of social change in the 1950s and 1960s (e.g. gender roles, postwar affluence and student protests), the impact of decolonization and immigration on postwar British society, the Irish question and devolution as well as Thatcherism.

  • 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)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Christoph Laucht
    Other supervisor: Dr Eugene Miakinkov
  • The development of the Science Faculty at Swansea University College (to be amended) (current)

    Student name:
    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)

    Student name:
    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