Research Themes

Crossing Borders: transnational history, migration and cultural exchange

[Academic leads: Dr Kate Taylor-Jones and Dr Andrew Tompkins]

The Crossing Borders theme of CoMo seeks to bring together scholars engaged in discussing and theorizing the construction, imagination, and renegotiation of borders. We seek to explore ideas of citizenship, diaspora, transnationalism, migration, and mobility in both geo-political and socio-cultural terms.

We take the concept of Crossing Borders to include debates on how gender, racial, national and other socially constructed categories function inside the historical, as well as contemporary, moment. Our approach is informed by ideas of interconnectivity, fluidity, and intersectionality and we are keen to include scholars that are interested in debating and dismantling commonly held academic boundaries. We wish to foster both traditionally defined and new forms of creative research that are interdisciplinary and which open up pathways for academic discussions and public engagement. In the current political world, we feel that these discussions and approaches are vital to understanding, acting in, and interacting with the world in an informed and positive manner.

Our aims are:

  • to connect scholars and research students working within the scope of Crossing Borders, broadly understood;
  • to promote communication across faculties and across disciplinary boundaries within them;
  • to serve as a developmental location for cross-faculty impact projects related to the ideas of Crossing Borders;
  • to serve as a supportive hub for grants and application mentoring;
  • to develop international research partnerships and collaborations.

We welcome scholars from all areas of the globe without exception.


Political engagement: activism, gender and participation in democratic and non-democratic regimes

[Academic lead: Dr Julie Gottlieb]

One of the vital and pressing questions in modern and contemporary history is popular engagement in politics, and fluctuating levels of participation and apathy in both democratic and non-democratic states. This strand of CoMo is concerned with examining modes and expressions of political engagement across ideological, class, generational, regional, and ethnic lines, as well as, intersectionally, along gender lines. As discrete case studies, through comparison, or transnationally, we will continue to explore the impact of political modernisation on the shaping of political engagement and activism, disengagement and apathy.

We are interested in gender orders, and the influence of gender and women’s emancipation on politics, particularly after enfranchisement. We want to look more closely at the mobilization of women and their engagement and leadership in non-feminist and even in explicitly anti-feminist and anti-progressive movements. This mirrors CoMo’s concern with politics in all its forms, from democratic activism and protest to anti-democratic ‘anaesthetisation’ and the spectacular politics of the public square.


Cultures of the Cold War

[Academic leads: Dr Eirini Karamouzi and Dr Sarah Miller-Davenport]


Memory and Cultural Production

[Academic lead: tbc]