Dr James E. Connolly


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I am a historian of modern Europe, especially France, with a particular focus on military conflict, occupation, and the First World War.  My interest in these subjects began when I studied for my BA (Hons.) History and my AHRC-funded MA Modern History at Royal Holloway, University of London. I was especially influenced by the classes of Professor Pamela Pilbeam, who supervised my BA and MA dissertations.  I then moved to King's College London for my AHRC-funded PhD, carried out under the supervision of Professor Richard Vinen and awarded in February 2013.  My thesis was entitled 'Encountering Germans: the Experience of Occupation in the Nord, 1914-1918.'  I am currently working on a monograph based on this, contracted with Manchester University Press.

I have held a number of different roles.  During my PhD, I was a Graduate Teaching Assistant at King's College London (2010-11), a Scouloudi Junior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research (2011-12), a visiting staff member at Royal Holloway, University of London (2012), and a Laureat of the Historial de la Grande Guerre (2012).  Since completing my PhD, I have been a visiting staff member at Royal Holloway (2012-13), a Temporary Lecturer in Modern European History (part-time) at King's College London (2012-13), and a Postdoctoral Researcher and Research Co-ordinator (April 2013-August 2014) for the research axis 'War and Traces of War in Europe' at the Sorbonne (SIRICE, Paris I and IV Universities), part of the project LabEx 'Writing a New History of Europe' (Écrire une histoire nouvelle de l'Europe).  I have lived in both Lille and Paris for work purposes.

I was delighted to start working at Manchester in September 2014 as Lecturer in Modern European History.  I am currently a Simon Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2015-18) working on the Allied occupation of the Rhineland in the inter-war period.  I am also a Fellow of the International Society for First World War Studies, a member of the French History Network, and an associate researcher of LabEx EHNE.

I have co-organised conferences and workshops on the military occupations of the First and Second World Wars, and recently co-organised a conference in association with the Institut Français commemorating the First World War.  I am currently co-editing an edited volume of conference procedings entitled Les occupations de la Grande Guerre et leurs héritières: en territoire ennemi, 1914-1954, due to be published by Presses Universitaires du Septentrion in 2017.

Social responsibility

Public Engagement and Impact

I co-organised a public conference in association with the Institut Français in London and British and French universities regarding the centenary of the First World War.  This took place on 3rd November 2015 and was entitled 'Observing the First World War: Franco-British Perspectives - On the History and Memory of the Centenary.'  The programme can be viewed here.

I have written three articles for the magazine Les journaux de guerre, 1914-1918, published in 2014-15. This series is supported by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Mission Centenaire.

I spoke on Radio France Internationale in July 2014 as a special guest for the series 'Comme en 14,' validated by the Mission Centenaire, which can be accessed here.

In January 2014, I gave a talk on my research at a French high school (Lycée Colbert, 10e arrondissement) upon the request of the teaching staff.  This was filmed and it is now part of the Académie de Paris's online teaching material.  It can be found here.

I have published a number of book reviews for the Times Literary Supplement:

  • Chris Kempshall, The First World War in Computer Games (20th November 2015, p.27).
  • Odette Hardy-Hemery, Fusillé vivant (16th November 2012, p.35).
  • Piers Paul Read, The Dreyfus Affair: The Story of the Most Infamous Miscarriage of Justice in French History (6th July 2012, p.36).
  • Heather Jones, Violence Against Prisoners of War in the First World War - Britain, France and Germany, 1914-1920 (13th April 2012, p.31).
  • Antoine Prost and Jay Winter, René Cassin et les Droits de l'Homme: Le projet d'une génération (2nd December 2011, p.32).
  • Annette Becker, Les Cicatrices rouges: France et Belgique occupées (22nd April 2011, p.28).

I have also published reviews of many other books elsewhere, which can be found on my Academia.edu profile.


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Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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