Dr Mathilde Von Bulow
- Lecturer (History)
telephone: 0141 330 6143
Broadly defined, I am a historian of international relations, conflict, intelligence and security. I joined the School of Humanities in October 2014 after several years at the University of Nottingham.
My doctoral research was about the foreign policy of the Federal Republic of Germany during Algeria’s long and brutal war of independence from France (1954-1962). I have since developed this topic into an examination of Germany’s role as an external ‘rebel sanctuary’ for the National Liberation Front (FLN) during Algeria’s independence struggle. This book, which will soon be published by Cambridge University Press, explores the manner in which external sanctuaries facilitated the FLN’s war effort against France whilst simultaneously inhibiting French counterinsurgency operations. It also looks at the manner in which the Algerian presence in Germany impacted on foreign policy, law and order, and on social movements and actors, demonstrating how the country as a whole was much more affected by, and tuned into, the process of decolonisation than previously thought.
I have since started another research project that explores the role of labour internationalism in the decolonisation of French North Africa (c.1945-1965). This project grew out of my previous work on Germany, France, and decolonisation in Algeria, which focused heavily on non-state actors in the international arena. Trade union federations during the postwar era were a particularly powerful set of such actors. Internationalist in outlook and in practice, they took a keen interest in the anti-colonial struggles that were gaining pace in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. My research will focus specifically on the manner in which Tunisian, Algerian and Moroccan trade union federations tapped into the international labour movement in order to advance the cause of national liberation from France. It will explore the impact and significance of these interactions on both the process of decolonisation and labour internationalism.
In addition to this, I am continuing my research on wars of decolonisation, broadening this out into a comparative and thematic study of late colonial conflicts during the postwar era.
- 2015: School of Humanities Research Incentivisation Grant
Given my research interests and expertise, I am happy to supervise research students in the fields of Modern History, War Studies, and Global Security.
I would be happy to supervise students wanting to work on the history of decolonisation and of the global Cold War, especially the late colonial and postcolonial conflicts that marked that era. More broadly, I would also be happy to supervise those seeking to explore the history of modern European imperialism, notably in North Africa. Areas of focus I would particularly welcome here include explorations of colonial violence and coercion, resistance and revolt, intelligence and security, as well as imperial rivalries and defence.
Other subjects I am happy to supervise include the history of non-state (especially transnational) actors in international relations (for example trade unions, churches, charitable organisations or other interest groups), especially in the context of solidarity movements and anti-war protest during the Cold War, and more broadly the history of secret intelligence and security, and the history of postwar Europe, especially France and the two Germanies.
At pre-Honours level, I lecture on and convene seminars on our new pre-honours option:
- History 1C: War, Revolution and Empire: Europe from the Eighteenth to the Twenty-First Centuries.
At Honours level, I will be introducing a new option in the 2015-16 academic year:
- The Age of Empire: Conquest and Colonialism in the 19th Century and Beyond.
At postgraduate level, I convene the following two modules:
- Research Skills and Resources for Historians (RRSH).
This is a team-taught compulsory element for students on the MLitt/MSc/MRes/Diploma programmes in History, Medieval History, Early Modern History, Modern History, History with History of Medicine, Scottish History, and Gender History. The course aims to provide training in a core set of research and presentation skills and familiarity with methodological, ethical and legal issues necessary for all historians. It is designed to assist in formulating research proposals in preparation for the Master’s dissertation or PhD thesis.
- The Wars of Decolonisation and the Making of the Global Cold War.
This option is available to students on all postgraduate programmes run by History, including he MLitt in War Studies, as well as the MSc in Global Security. It explores the nature and impact of some of the defining colonial conflicts of the post-World War II era ranging from the First Indochina War to Portugal’s wars of decolonisation in Angola and Mozambique.
- Comparative Approaches to Warfare and Violent Conflict.
- Winner of the Best Thesis Prize awarded by the British International History Group for my PhD on ‘The Foreign Policy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Franco-German Relations, and the Algerian War, 1954-62’ (University of Cambridge, 2007).
- Winner of the Christopher Andrew-Michael Handel Prize for Best Article published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal, Intelligence & National Security (2013): ‘Franco-German intelligence cooperation and the internationalization of the Algerian war of independence (1954-62)’.
- Visiting Researcher, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 2013.
- Participant in the National History Center’s prestigious Decolonization Seminar at the Library of Congress, Washington DC, 2010.
- Member of the Scottish Centre for War Studies.
- Member of the University of Glasgow’s Global Security Network.
- Member of the British International History Group, the International Studies Association.
- Book Review Editor for the International Journal since 2014.
- External Examiner for PhD dissertations at the Université de Paris I (Sorbonne).
- External Examiner for postgraduate programmes at the LSE, Department of International History (2011-15).
- Invited speaking engagements (selection):
- Université Hassiba ben Bouali, Chlef (Algeria);
- University of Exeter;
- Trade Union Congress London;
- Université Paris Ouest (Nanterre);
- Leiden University;
- University of Birmingham;
- University of Amsterdam;
- Ghent University;
- Centre d’Etudes d’Histoire de la Défense, Paris;
- University of Wales, Aberystwyth;
- University of Cambridge;
- Royal United Services Institute, London.