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Department of History

Staff Profile

Dr Julian Wright

Associate Professor (Modern European History) in the Department of History
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41075

(email at

Julian Wright is an intellectual historian, especially interested in French political culture and political ideas since 1789. His current research is concerned with the problem of time, focusing on ideas about the present as a way of understanding debates within politics, culture and society, particularly in the period between 1870 and 1945. His recent research on time and post-revolutionary culture has resulted in a book on the French socialist movement, Time Present, Time Future: Socialism and Modernity in France, under review with Oxford University Press, which casts new light on the way modern political culture was challenged by intellectuals and politicians within the French left. With a particular focus on biography and the intimate history of left-wing intellectuals, the book emphasizes the 'human scale' of time as it shaped debates about revolution and change in modern society. 

Julian is working with historians and scholars in other disciplines to explore further the 'human scale of time' as a way of recalibrating our understanding of modern politics, ideas and art from 1870 to the Second World War. Alongside this intellectual and interdisciplinary work, a new research project will examine the social experience of time in groups of people who lived 'outside time' in the Second World War: prisoners-of-war, resistance fighters living in clandestinity, the bereaved, and other groups who were obliged to reconstruct a sense of temporal scale to their lives in extreme and difficult circumstances.

Julian is senior co-editor of the journal French History. He is musical director of The Durham Singers, a chamber choir drawn from across the region:

Research Groups

Research Interests

  • Political and intellectual history of France, 1870-1940
  • Political thought and historiography
  • Reformist socialism in France


Authored book

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Teaching Areas

  • Modern European history
  • Political history of France, 1780-1870
  • Politics and culture in France, 1880-1914