Dr Helen Roche, BA, MPhil, PhD (Cantab.)
Dr. Helen Roche is Assistant Professor in Modern European Cultural History at the University of Durham. Her first book, Sparta's German Children: The ideal of ancient Sparta in the Royal Prussian Cadet Corps, 1818-1920, and in National Socialist elite schools (the Napolas), 1933-1945, was published in 2013, and has subsequently received critical acclaim from reviewers in several disciplines, including Classics, intellectual history, and the history of education. Her second book, a comprehensive history of the Napolas, the Third Reich's most prominent elite schools, is forthcoming with Oxford University Press, while her article 'Surviving Stunde Null: Narrating the fate of Nazi elite-school pupils during the collapse of the Third Reich', was awarded German History journal's "Best Article of 2015" prize.
Previously, she held Research Fellowships at UCL Institute of Advanced Studies and the University of Cambridge, having completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. Her research has been funded by (among others) the AHRC, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz.
Helen welcomes enquiries from research students with an interest in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European social and cultural history, with a particular focus on German and Austrian history, the history of childhood and education, fascism studies and classical reception studies.
MPhil and PhD theses already supervised include:
- 'The Role of Foreign Diplomats in Vienna during the 1930s' (PhD, currently in progress at the University of Cambridge).
- 'The Impact of the TV Series Holocaust on West German Memory Culture, 1978-83'.
- 'The SS-Kalender and the Dilemmas of Propagandizing the Volksgemeinschaft, 1938-1944'.
- 'The Representation of Female Perpetrators of the Holocaust in British Newspapers, 1945-Present'.
- 'Fascism, National Socialism, and the 1939 New York World's Fair'.
Department of History
- German history from the nineteenth century onwards; National Socialism; Italian Fascism
- Austrian history during the inter-war period; comparative fascism studies
- History of childhood and history of education, especially German elite education and humanistic education
- Youth exchange during the twentieth century; Anglo-German relations
- History and memory in post-war Germany
- Classical reception in general, and German philhellenism in particular
- Greco-German relations from the eighteenth century to the present
- Roche, Helen (2013). Sparta's German Children: The Ideal of Ancient Sparta in the Royal Prussian Cadet-Corps, 1818-1920, and in National-socialist Elite Schools (the Napolas), 1933-1945. Swansea: Classical Press of Wales.
Chapter in book
- Roche, Helen (2018). 'Classics and Education in the Third Reich: "Die Alten Sprachen" and the Nazification of Latin- and Greek-teaching in secondary schools'. In Brill's Companion to the Classics, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. ed., Helen Roche & Kyriakos Demetriou, Leiden: Brill. 238-263.
- Roche, Helen (2018). 'Distant Models? Italian Fascism, National Socialism and the Lure of the Classics'. In Brill's Companion to the Classics, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. ed., Helen Roche & Kyriakos Demetriou, Leiden: Brill. 3-29.
- Roche, Helen (2018). 'Schulische Erziehung und Entbürgerlichung'. In Wie bürgerlich war der Nationalsozialismus?. ed., Norbert Frei, Göttingen: Wallstein. 154-172.
- Roche, Helen (2017). 'Blüte und Zerfall: "Schematic Narrative Templates" of decline and fall in völkisch and National Socialist racial ideology'. In The Persistence of Race: Continuity and Change in Germany from the Wilhelmine Empire to National Socialism. ed., Lara Day & Oliver Haag, Oxford: Berghahn. 65-86.
- Roche, Helen (2016). 'Herrschaft durch Schulung: The Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten im Osten and the Third Reich's Germanising mission'. In Nationalsozialismus und Regionalbewusstsein im östlichen Europa. ed., Ingo Loose & Burkhard Olschowsky, Berlin: De Gruyter. 127-151.
- Roche, Helen (2016). 'Wanderer, kommst du nach Sparta oder nach Stalingrad? Ancient ideals of self-sacrifice and German military propaganda'. In Making Sacrifices: Visions of Sacrifice in Contemporary Culture. ed., Nicholas Brooks & Gregor Thuswaldner, Vienna: New Academic Press. 66-86.
- Roche, Helen (2014). 'Kadettengeschichten: Exploring the Prussian cadet-school story'. In Books for Boys: Literacy, Nation and the First World War. ed., Simon J. James, Durham: IAS. 20-25.
- Roche, Helen (2013). '"In Sparta fühlte ich mich wie in einer deutschen Stadt" (Goebbels): The leaders of the Third Reich and the Spartan nationalist paradigm'. In English and German Nationalist and Anti-Semitic Discourse, 1871-1945. ed., Felicity Rash, Geraldine Horan & Daniel Wildmann, Oxford: Peter Lang. 91-115.
- Roche, Helen (2013). 'Spartan Supremacy: A "Possession for Ever"? Early fourth-century expectations of enduring ascendancy'. In Hindsight in Greek and Roman History. ed., Anton Powell, Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. 91-112.
- Roche, Helen (2012). '"Spartanische Pimpfe": The importance of Sparta in the educational ideology of the Adolf Hitler Schools'. In Sparta in Modern Thought: Politics, History and Culture. ed., Stephen Hodkinson & Ian Macgregor Morris, Swansea: Classical Press of Wales. 314-342.
- Roche, Helen & Demetriou, Kyriakos (2018). Brill's Companion to the Classics, Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. Leiden: Brill.
- (2013). German Philhellenism - Guest-edited special issue of Publications of the English Goethe Society (Vol. 82.3).
- Roche, Helen (2018). 'The Peculiarities of German Philhellenism'. The Historical Journal 61(2): 541-560.
- Roche, Helen (2016). 'Sport, Leibeserziehung und vormilitärische Ausbildung in den Nationalpolitischen Erziehungsanstalten. Eine »radikale« Revolution der körperlichen Bildung im Rahmen der NS-»Gesamterziehung«?'. Beiträge zur Geschichte des Nationalsozialismus 32: 173-96.
- Roche, Helen (2016). 'Xenophon and the Nazis: A case study in the politicisation of ancient Greek thought through educational propaganda'. Classical Receptions Journal 8(1): 71-89.
- Roche, Helen (2015). 'Surviving "Stunde Null": Narrating the Fate of Nazi Elite-School Pupils during the Collapse of the Third Reich'. German History 33(4): 570-87.
- Roche, Helen (2013). '"Anti-Enlightenment": National Socialist educators' troubled relationship with humanism and the philhellenist tradition'. Publications of the English Goethe Society 82(3): 193-207.
- Roche, Helen (2013). '"Wanderer, kommst du nach Pforta…": The tension between Classical tradition and the demands of a Nazi elite-school education at Schulpforta and Ilfeld, 1934–1945',. European Review of History / revue européenne d'histoire 20(4): 581-609.
- Roche, Helen (2013). 'Zwischen Freundschaft und Feindschaft: Exploring relationships between pupils at the Napolas (Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten) and British public schoolboys'. Angermion: Yearbook for Anglo-German Literary Criticism, Intellectual History and Cultural Transfers / Jahrbuch für britisch-deutsche Kulturbeziehungen 6: 101-126.
- Roche, Helen (2012). "Go, tell the Prussians…": The Spartan paradigm in Prussian military thought during the long nineteenth century'. New Voices in Classical Reception Studies 7: 25-39.
Available for media contact about:
- Modern History: Europe:
- Politicial, cultural, social history:
- Roman, Greek & ancient civilisations: