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Durham University

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Dr Laura Forster

Lecturer (Nineteenth-century British History) in the Department of History

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I am a historian of ideas and political cultures. Particularly I am interested in the social, emotional and spatial contexts in which political ideas are developed and exchanged. I completed my PhD at King's College, London and was a postdoctoral fellow at Birkbeck before taking up my post at Durham.

I work primarily on the influence of European radical politics on British radical and socialist ideas in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. My book-in-progress is concerned with the political exiles of the Paris Commune of 1871 and the longer intellectual and cultural afterlives of the Commune in Britain. More broadly I am interested in histories of transnational radicalism, informal cultures of political and intellectual exchange, the social history of ideas, political exile, and queer spaces past and present. I am a fellow of the Raphael Samuel History Centre and an editorial fellow at History Workshop Online.

Research Interests

  • Modern Britain and Europe
  • Social history of ideas
  • Spatial and transnational histories
  • Histories of friendship
  • Political exile
  • Queer spaces past and present