Tamson Pietsch

Lecturer in Imperial and Colonial History (on research leave until September 2016)
Politics and History

Room: Marie Jahoda Room 225
Brunel University
Uxbridge, UB8 3PH
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)1895 267981
Email: tamson.pietsch@brunel.ac.uk



  • DPhil History (Oxford)
  • MSt Modern History (Oxford)
  • BA (Hons) (Adelaide)

Personal Biography

A graduate of the University of Adelaide, I received my DPhil in 2009 from the University of Oxford where I studied as a Rhodes Scholar. Previously I was the Sir Christopher Cox Junior Fellow at New College, Lecturer at Corpus Christi College and convener of the Transnational and Global History Seminar at the University of Oxford. I have also worked in academic publishing and as an Aide and speech-writer for the Governor of Victoria. I joined Brunel University in 2011 as Lecturer in Imperial and Colonial History. From July 2013 until September 2016 I will be on research leave, as ARC DECRA Fellow at the University of Sydney.



Research Overview

My research interests centre on the cultural and intellectual history of Britain and its empire in the 19th and 20th centuries. Specifically my work examines the social and institutional structures that underpinned the creation of knowledge in this period. To date I have focused on universities, but my current projects explore travel at sea, and the idea of 'global education'. In 2013, I will be beginning an ARC-funded project on the relationship between universities, the state, philanthropy and knowledge in the twentieth century.

Member, Brunel Heritage Research Network

Member, Isambard Centre for Historical Research


Current Projects

The Floating University
June 2012 – Aug 2013
Tamson Pietsch (PI)

Global Republics: Universities and the origins of the knowledge economy
$375,000 (AUD)
July 2012 - Aug 2015
Tamson Pietsch (PI)


Recently Completed Projects

New College Ludwig Fund
Transcendence, Idealism & Modernity
June - July 2011
Tamson Pietsch (CI)



Undergraduate Programmes

Module convenor

  • Making of the Modern World (Yr1)
  • History, Travel and the Sea (Yr3)

Module contributor

  • Dissertation (Yr3)

Postgraduate Programmes

Module convenor

  • The Emergence of Transnational History

Module contributor

  • Approaches to World History
  • Dissertation

External Activity

  • ARC Reviewer
  • Visiting Fellow, University of Sydney
  • Visiting Fellow, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
  • Member, 1920s/30s Research Network
  • BLOG



Journal Papers

(2013) Pietsch, T., Rethinking the British World, Journal of British Studies 52 (2) : 441- 463 Download publication

(2011) Pietsch, T., Many Rhodes: Travelling scholarships and imperial citizenship in the British academic world, 1880-1940, History of Education 40 (6) : 723- 739

(2010) Pietsch, T., A British sea: making sense of global space in the late nineteenth century, Journal of Global History 5 (3) : 423- 446

(2010) Pietsch, T., Wandering scholars? Academic mobility and the British World, 1850-1940, Journal of Historical Geography 36 (4) : 377- 387

Book Chapters

(2013) Pietsch, T., Out of Empire: The Universities’ Bureau and the Congresses of the Universities of the British Empire, 1913-1939. In: Schreuder, D. ed. Universities for a ‘New World’: A Commonwealth of Knowledge and Skills, 1913-2013. Sage

(2012) Pietsch, T., Mending a broken world: universities and the nation, 1917-1936. In: Beers, L. and Thomas, G. eds. Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-building in Britain between the Wars. London : Institute of Historical Research

(2011) Pietsch, T., Between the Nation and the World: J.T. Wilson and scientific networks in the early twentieth century British World’. In: Bennett, B. and Hodge, J. eds. Science and Empire: Knowledge and Networks of Science in the British Empire 1850-1970. Palgrave Macmillan


(2013) Pietsch, T., Empire of scholars: universities, networks and the British academic world, 1850-1939. Manchester University Press

Page last updated: Friday 27 June 2014