The group is chaired by Annika Mombauer, and encompasses the research interests of a number of members of the History Department whose work focuses on war and conflict, their causes, nature and effects.
Her research interests are in nineteenth and twentieth-century German history, in particular Imperial Germany and the origins of the First World War. She has published widely on German military planning in the years before the First World War, and has contributed to the recent historiographical debate on the nature of the Schlieffen Plan. She is currently completing a document collection on the origins of the First World War (to be published by Manchester University Press in 2012), and working on a comparative history of the Battle of the Marne of 1914 to be published by Cambridge University Press.
Christian Bailey joined the Open University as Lecturer in History in 2011. He received his PhD from Yale University in 2008 and has since been a postdoctoral research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin and a Lecturer at Balliol College, University of Oxford. He is a major contributer to the A327 module, Europe 1914-1989: War, Peace and Modernity.
He has written a number of articles concerned with ideas of Europe and processes of Europeanization. His dissertation focused on conceptions of Europe in interwar and post-Second World War Germany and will soon be published as a monograph by Berghahn Books. As a post-doc at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, he worked on the history of emotions, writing articles on the bestowing of honour and on the conceptual history of social emotions from the eighteenth century to the present day. At present, he is planning a second book project on the history of love, focusing on German-Jewish relationships.
Karl Hack joined the Open University in 2006 after more than a decade at the Nanyang Technological University Singapore. He is Senior Lecturer in Imperial and Asian History. He has been a major contributor to the History Department’s course on Empires: A326, which he has chaired since its first presentation in 2009. He has also set up, and now coordinates, the Empire and Postcolonial Studies Research Group, and has been Director of the Ferguson Centre for Asian and African Studies since October 2010.
His research interests include empire from below, decolonisation, insurgency, and empire port cities. Special geographical interests include Empire east of India, and Southeast Asia historical to contemporary. His particular focus is on the interaction between Asian subjects and British policies, which will lead to further research on 'Enemies of Empire'.
Mark Pittaway was Senior Lecturer in Modern European History. He died unexpectedly in November 2010.
His research interests were in the history of mid-twentieth century Central Europe, especially in the histories of Hungary and Austria. He published widely on the relationship between industrial workers and the Communist state in postwar Hungary, the social history of Communist regimes across Central and Eastern Europe, and was interested in legitimacy and state formation in postwar Europe. He was working on a major research project which examines the social history of the Austrian-Hungarian border region between 1938 and 1960, which received support from the ESRC and British Academy.
Richard Duckett is conducting part-time research on ‘Special Operations Executive in Burma’. He started his research in 2009. He is supervised by Karl Hack and Annika Mombauer.
Vincent Trott is completing a full-time PhD, jointly funded by The Open University and The British Library, on literary representations of the First World War in Britain. He is supervised by Annika Mombauer and Sara Haslam.
Mary Sparks recently completed a PhD thesis on the urban history of Sarajevo under Austrian rule (1878-1914). She was supervised by Annika Mombauer and Tim Benton.
In June 2010, Eszter Bartha of Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, gave a seminar paper as a guest of the group entitled “Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Fire. The Working Class and the Change of Regimes in East Germany and Hungary”.
In July 2011, the Group ran a Seminar Day on Twentieth Century European History, with a focus on War, Peace, Modernity: details of the programme are available online. You can also download the programme and abstracts as a PDF file [47 KB].
Annika Mombauer co-organised an international conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication of Fritz Fischer’s book Griff nach der Weltmacht, which sparked the so-called Fischer controversy, one of the most heated historiographical debates of the 20th century. The conference, jointly organised with Professor John Röhl (Sussex) and supported by the German Historical Institute, London, The Journal of Contemporary History, and the German History Society, took place at the GHI, London, on 13-15 October 2011. See the conference website for further details, the programme and conference report.
Annika Mombauer: A.Mombauer@open.ac.uk