Speaker Biographies - Moving Under Pressure

Daniel Beer Royal Holloway
University of London

Daniel Beer is Reader in Modern European History at Royal Holloway, University of London. His research has concentrated on the cultural and social history of Imperial Russia. His first book, Renovating Russia: The Human Sciences and the Fate of Liberal Modernity was published by Cornell University Press in 2008; his second, The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars was published by Knopf in 2017. His current research project is a study of the revolutionary movement in the reigns of Alexander II and Alexander III.

Edward Blumenthal
Université III-Sorbonne Nouvelle

Edward Blumenthal has been Assistant Professor (MCF) of Latin American Studies at the Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3 since 2016. He obtained his Ph.D. from the Université Diderot Paris 7 in 2014 and previously taught at Sciences Po and the Université Cergy Pontoise. His publications include Exile and Nation-State Formation in Chile and the Río de la Plata (forthcoming from Palgrave Macmillan), as well as articles in the Hispanic American Historical Review, El Anuario IHES (Tandil), the Boletín del Instituto de Historia Argentina y Americana “Dr. Emilio Ravignani”, Iles i imperis, Hommes & Migrations, and Diasporas. His current research focuses on the connections between exile and the codification of international law in South America after 1870, notably in the fields of asylum law and border negotiations (uti possidetis).

Maurizio Isabella
Queen Mary University of London

Biography coming soon


Jan C. Jansen
Research Fellow in Transnational and Global History | German Historical Institute, Washington, DC

Jan C. Jansen is research fellow in transnational and global history at the German Historical Institute, Washington, DC. Prior to joining the GHI, he was a lecturer and fellow at the University of Konstanz and held research positions in London (SOAS) and Tunis (IRMC). His main research interests concern the comparative history of colonial empires and decolonization with a particular focus on the Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds since the eighteenth century. His books include a long-term study of commemorative politics in colonial Algeria, 1830-1950 (published in German, Oldenbourg, 2013), Decolonization: A Short History (co-authored with Jürgen Osterhammel, Princeton University Press, 2017), and Refugee Crises, 1945-2000: Political and Societal Responses in International Comparison (co-edited with Simone Lässig, Cambridge University Press, 2019). He is currently engaged in a research project on the Saint-Domingue diaspora.

Kirsten McKenzie
Professor of History, University of Sydney

Kirsten McKenzie is Professor of History at the Department of History, University of Sydney, Australia. Her sole-authored books include Scandal in the Colonies: Sydney and Cape Town, 1820 – 1850 (Melbourne University Publishing, 2004), A Swindler’s Progress: Nobles and Convicts in the Age of Liberty (UNSW Press and Harvard, 2009 and 2010) and Imperial Underworld: An Escaped Convict and the transformation of the British Colonial Order (Cambridge, 2016). She recently edited volume five of the Cultural History of Western Empires for Bloomsbury Academic (2019). She was elected a member of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2017. Her current work on imperial commissions of inquiry is funded by the collaborative Australian Research Council project, ‘Inquiring into empire: remaking the British world after 1815.’  


Friedemann Pestel
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg

Friedemann Pestel is a lecturer in Modern European History at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. He was a research fellow at the German Historical Institutes in Paris and London and at the University of Vienna. His research interests and publications cover the French and Haitian Revolutions, political migration in the Age of Revolutions, the history of classical musical life in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and memory studies. In 2015, he published his book Kosmopoliten wider Willen: Die monarchiens als Revolutionsemigranten (Reluctant Cosmopolitans: The Monarchiens as Émigrés of the French Revolution, Oldenbourg-De Gruyter). He is currently working on a global history of orchestral touring in the twentieth century.

Liam Riordan
University of Maine

Liam Riordan received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and has been a faculty member in the Department of History at the University of Maine in Orono since 1997. He is a specialist on the American Revolution, and, due to having his Canadian consciousness raised by moving to Maine, he now studies those who opposed the rebellion that created the United States. Related publications include The Loyal Atlantic: Remaking the British Atlantic in the Revolutionary Era (Univ. of Toronto Press, 2012), co-edited with Jerry Bannister. He also wrote the “Loyalism” entry for Atlantic History in Oxford Bibliographies Online. Most recently, he published, “A Loyalist Who Loved His Country Too Much: Thomas Hutchinson, Historian of Colonial Massachusetts” in The New England Quarterly. His Loyalist work-in-progress includes an essay on “Opposition to the American Revolution as a Good Idea” to appear in The Cambridge History of the Age of Atlantic Revolutions, and a book-length comparative biography of five Loyalists who lived all across the British Atlantic World. Liam has served on the board of the Maine Humanities Council (the state affiliate of the NEH), he was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Glasgow in 2012, and he is the lead organizer of the Maine State Bicentennial Conference to be held at the University of Maine in two weeks.

Padraic X. Scanlan
Assistant Professor, Department of International History, London School of Economics

Padraic X. Scanlan is Assistant Professor in the Department of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science and Research Associate at the Joint Centre for History and Economics at the University of Cambridge and Harvard University. He is the author of Freedom's Debtors: British Antislavery in Sierra Leone in the Age of Revolution (Yale University Press, 2017), which was awarded the American Historical Association's 2018 James A. Rawley Prize and the Canadian Historical Association’s 2018 Wallace K. Ferguson Prize. From July 2019, he will be Assistant Professor in Globalization, Labour and Humanities in the Centre for Diaspora and Transnational Studies and the Centre for Industrial Relations at the University of Toronto.