Founded in 2009, Rethinking Modern Europe has built a reputation as one of the preeminent venues for cutting edge research on modern and contemporary European history. ‘Brexit’ and more generally the rise of populist, right-wing and anti-immigration political options in Europe, and globally, mean that there is a need for historically grounded, intellectually innovative and socially engaged discussions on Europe, perhaps more than ever in recent history. The seminar provides home to such discussions, attracting large, diverse audiences to a range of events, held principally at the Institute of Historical Research, but also at other research centres in the UK and internationally.
More generally, we aim to discuss and stimulate new research on how to integrate regional, national, comparative and transnational approaches to history. Understanding European history to include Britain as well as Europe’s former imperial possessions, we seek to ask questions about the importance of regionalism in Europe, about the meanings of Europe and European. By questioning the limitations of national historiography, we aim to rethink how we teach modern European history and how we can encourage future research which attempts to reconnect different parts of Europe.