Dr Christian Mueller, FRHistS

Associate Professor in Modern European & International History, Director Global Institute for Silk Roads Studies

1998 …2202

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Personal profile

Personal profile

I am a social, political and cultural historian who focuses on the intersections of British and European Imperialism and Internationalism and their local manifestations in the 19th and 20th century. My particular interest lies in the transnational and transcultural aspects of the crossings between Global and National/Local History, the connections of imperial and transnational spaces, and the history of ideas and concepts in political practice. After my PhD in History, I was elected Mellon Prize Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Centre for History and Economics and at King’s College, Cambridge (2007-8).

Before coming to UNNC in August 2015, I have taught and researched as Lecturer and Research Fellow at the Universities of Muenster (2008-12), Ghent (2011-13) and Goettingen-Hildesheim (2013-15). I was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in November 2018. I have held Visiting Fellowships at The Rothermere American Institute and St Antony’s College, Oxford, the University of Ghent and the Camera dei Deputati in Rome. I remain a Visiting Fellow of the University of Oxford and have a life-long affiliation to University College Oxford. 

My passion is the history of social and political ideas, parties and movements and their transformations in transnational and global crossings. I have also published widely on the political usage of ideas and concepts in historical and current debates on constitutional politics, the field of religion and politics, and the framing of heritage in a post-industrial age.

I am the School Director of Research, the Director of the Global Institute for Silk Roads Studies, and the Co-Director of the Centre for Advanced International Studies. I also lead the Research Cluster in the School on Global, Imperial and Transnational Histories. In these roles, I am deeply involved with promoting the unique and thriving interdisciplinary research culture of the school and the Centre and fostering in my specific research roles the benefits of historical perspectives in non-historical fields for understanding global connections, heritage, and historical dimensions of sustainability. For my contributions to the University, I was awarded the Vice-Chancellor's Medal of the University of Nottingham in 2018.

Born in a middle-size town, Witten/Ruhr, in post-industrial Ruhr-area Germany (Westphalia), I have lived in many countries and travelled extensively. I love learning languages, sailing and listening to classical music, and I enjoy long bike rides in the Oxford countryside or along the Baltic Sea coast.

Research Interests

Expertise Summary

Imperialism, Internationalism, and Transnational Agency, 1840-1940     

I am interested in the transformation of internationalism as a political, social and cultural phenomenon through different global and transnational connection, circulations and relations in the 19th and 20th centuries. My research focuses on identifying key actors and personal networks that help transform structures and mechanisms of international, transnational and global interactions in and between nation-states and Empires, mainly between North America, Europe and Asia.

I am engaged with two larger projects that lead to research monographs and collective volumes as well as a series of articles. The first project focuses on the exploration of human agency in crossing borders between Europe and Asia. I work on European Imperialism in South, Central and East Asia through the German expeditions to the East and the role of inter-imperial connectors in forging "Dreams of Empire in the East" in Europe before 1890. This project will lead to a research monograph with SUNY Press. The related projects on Travel Writings on Asia and The Silk Roads - Cultural Interactions and Perceptions focus on the role of individual and collective agency and curiosity for the reconsideration of knowledge about Asia in a long time perspective from Prehistory to the Present (see also the Global Institute for Silk Roads Studies and my affiliation to the Nottingham UK Silk Road Project).

My second larger project engages with an empirically rich narrative of the rise of internationalism and humanitarianism in conjunction with liberal imperialism between the 1830s and the interwar period. In my projects on Gustave Moynier and on The Politics of Expertise, I follow actors and their networks in establishing new circulatory regimes of legal, political and social norms under the influence of internationalism, nationalism and imperialism until 1914. My work on Humanitarianism and Empire and on Inter-Imperial Knowledge Exchange, Slavery and Labour under the League of Nations focus on the use of civilisation and development as normative tools for global alignment and their contestations.

A third focus of my studies combines the conceptualisations and usages of cultural and industrial heritage as a transnational and translocal phenomenon with the utilization of the past for political and economic development.

Fields of Expertise

  • Britain, Europe and the Wider World since 1500
  • Global, Transnational, Imperial and International History since 1500
  • Connections and Circulations between Europe and Asia and Silk Roads Studies
  • Comparative Political and Social History of Europe, Asia, and the Americas
  • The Rise of Modern Internationalism
  • Transnational Personal Networks, International NGOs and Organisations
  • Transnational History of Political and Social Reform
  • Global Civil Society and the Transnational Sphere
  • History of Political and Social Thought
  • History of International Law, Imperial and (Post-)Colonial Thought
  • Approaches to History - Comparisons, Transfers, Histoire Croisée
  • History, Heritage and Development

Teaching

I have won many awards for my teaching in the School and at University level and I enjoy interacting with my students very much. In late 2020, the University of Nottingham recognised my engagement in driving teaching and learning excellence forward with a prestigious individual Lord Dearing Award.

I currently teach a third year Special Subject: Transnational History and Politics, and a fourth year Optional Subject: The Rise and Fall of the British Empire. I also convene and teach on the third year special subject: Silk Roads – Cultural Interactions and Perceptions. Additionally, I teach at MA level an optional subject on the Global History of Empire. I regularly contribute to year two modules (UTW, R2M, HPT). I also contribute to Dissertation I at undergraduate and to Core Concepts and Methods at MA level. I supervise BA and MA dissertations as well as PhD projects in fields related to my expertise.

Undergraduate

  • INTS 1008 Roads to Modernity: Europe 1789-1945 (spring 2023, team-taught)
  • INTS 1020 History of Political Thought (spring 2023, team-taught)
  • INTS 2037 The Silk Roads – Cultural Interactions and Perceptions (autumn 2022, team-taught, convenor)
  • INTS 2029 Transnational History and Politics (spring 2023)
  • INTS 3006 The Rise and Fall of the British Empire (spring, suspended for 2023)
  • INTS 3002 Dissertation I Preliminary Analysis (autumn, team-taught)
  • BA Dissertation Supervisions

Postgraduate

  • INTS 4001 Core Concepts (autumn 2022, team-taught)
  • INTS 4020 The British Empire – A Global History of Empire (autumn 2023)
  • MA Dissertation Supervisions

 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

University of Cambridge

1 Oct 200730 Sep 2008

Award Date: 1 Oct 2007

External positions

Fellow of the Peer Review College, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

1 Mar 202231 Dec 2025

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, Royal Historical Society

9 Dec 2018 → …

Visiting Fellow, University of Oxford

1 Sep 2018 → …

Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Higher Education Academy

11 Jul 2016 → …

Disciplines

  • World History
  • Politics
  • Journalism and Communication
  • Philosophy
  • Foreign Language and Literature
  • Archeology

Person Types

  • Staff

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