Date of birth: 3 December 1950

Citizenship: Canadian and British

Pronouns: he/him

Web: and


Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta


2006-2016.  Professor of Cultural History, Lancaster University, UK.

2000-2005.  Canada Research Chair in Social Theory and Cultural Studies, University of Alberta.

1988-2000.  Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta.

1986-8.  Associate Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Alberta.

1979-86.  Lecturer in Sociology, University of Glasgow, UK.

1978-9.  Lecturer in Sociology, Glasgow College of Technology, UK.

1975-8.  SSRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Durham, UK.

Visiting positions:  Institute for Historical Studies, University of Texas at Austin (2013-14); Sociological Institute, Czech Academy of Sciences (1991-3); Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (summer 1986); University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania (1981-3, summer semesters).


PhD in Sociology, Durham, 1975.

BA in Sociology, First Class Honours, Essex, 1972.


Postcards from Absurdistan. Association of American Publishers PROSE Awards, European History category, 2023.  Finalist.  These awards honor “the very best in professional and scholarly publishing.”

Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century. 

  • George L. Mosse Prize, 2014.  Winner.  This prize is awarded annually by the American Historical Association for “an outstanding major work of extraordinary scholarly distinction, creativity, and originality in the intellectual and cultural history of Europe since 1500.”
  • F. X. Šalda Prize, 2014.  Special Mention.  This prize is awarded annually by the F. X. Šalda Foundation and the Institute of Czech Literature of the Czech Academy of Sciences for “an exceptional contribution to art history and criticism.”  This is the first time a foreign language work has been thus honored in the 17 years of the prize.
  • Wayne S. Vucinich Book Prize, 2014.  Honorable Mention.  This prize is sponsored by the Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies (ASEEES) and the Center for Russian and East European Studies of Stanford University and is awarded annually for “the most important contribution to Russian, Eurasian, and East European studies in any discipline of the humanities or social sciences.”
  • Listed as one of Financial Times Best History Books of the Year, 2013.

The Coasts of Bohemia.  Listed by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Title of the Year, 1998.

Capitalism and Modernity.  Listed in International Sociological Association’s Books of the Century, 1999.

McCalla Research Professor, University of Alberta, 1994-5.

Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, 1994.

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK), 1990.



Postcards from Absurdistan: Prague at the End of History.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2022.

Prague: Crossroads of Europe. London: Reaktion (Cityscopes series), 2018.  280 pp.

Making Trouble: Surrealism and the Human Sciences. Chicago: Prickly Paradigm Press, 2017.  xi + 94 pp.

Rank Hypocrisies: The Insult of the REF. London: Sage, 2015.  128 pp.

Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.  595 + xxi pp.

  • Japanese translation.  Tokyo: Hakusuisha (trans. Kenichi Abe), 2018).
  • Czech translation.  Prague: Volvox Globator (trans. Jindřich Veselý), 2021.

Going Down for Air: A Memoir in Search of a Subject. Boulder: Paradigm, 2004.  201 pp.  The original version of this text is available on my page at

The Coasts of Bohemia: A Czech History. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998.  442 + xvii pp. 

Capitalism and Modernity: An Excursus on Marx and Weber. London and New York: Routledge, 1990.  172 pp.   Reprinted as e-book, 2002.

  • Japanese translation, Kyoto: Koyo Shobo, 1993.
  • Reprint of Ch. 4, “Without Regard for Persons,” in Jonathan Joseph (ed.), Social Theory: A Reader, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005.
  • Turkish translation of Chapter 4, Toplum ve bilim, 1995.

The Violence of Abstraction: The Analytic Foundations of Historical Materialism. Oxford and New York: Blackwell, 1987.  173 pp.   Reprinted in paperback 1989.

Society. With David Frisby.  London and New York: Routledge, 1986.  129 pp.

  • Japanese translation, Tokyo: Koseisha Koseikaku, 1993.
  • Turkish translation (Toplum, trans. Batuhan Bekmen), Istanbul: Habitus, 2017.
  • Reprint of Ch. 5, “Society as Second Nature” (Sayer), in Murray E. G. Smith (ed.), Early Modern Social Theory, Toronto: Canadian Scholars Press, 1998.

The Great Arch: English State Formation as Cultural Revolution. With Philip Corrigan.  Oxford and New York: Blackwell, 1986.  268 pp.  2d edition, 1991.

Marx’s Method: Ideology, Science and Critique in Capital. Brighton: Harvester Press; Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press, 1979.  208 pp.  2d edition, 1983.

  • Korean translation, Seoul: In’gan Sarang, 1986.

For Mao: Essays in Historical Materialism.  With Philip Corrigan and Harvie Ramsay.  London: Macmillan, 1979.  226 pp.

Socialist Construction and Marxist Theory: Bolshevism and its Critique. With Philip Corrigan and Harvie Ramsay.  London: Macmillan; New York: Monthly Review, 1978.  232 pp.

In press

The Great Arch and Other Essays on State Formation. With Philip Corrigan. Leiden: Brill (for hardback, 2023) and Chicago: Haymarket (for paperback, 2024).

Edited books 

The Inhabited Ruins of Central Europe: Re-imagining Space, History and Memory. Co-edited with Dariusz Gafijczuk.   New York: Palgrave, 2013.  252 pp.

Twenty Years of the Journal of Historical Sociology. Co-edited with Yoke-Sum Wong.  Two volumes, Essays on the British State and Challenging the Field.  Oxford and New York: Wiley, 2008.

Readings from Karl Marx. London and New York: Routledge, 1989.  243 pp.  Reprinted 1990.


From the “Body Politic” to the “National Interest”: English State Formation in Comparative and Historical Perspective.  An Argument Concerning “Politically Organized Subjection.”  With Philip Corrigan.  Journal of Historical Sociology, Vol. 35, No. 1, 2022.

Prague at the End of History (The Prague Address).  New Perspectives, Vol. 27, No. 2, 149-160, 2019.

Surrealist Prague (this little mother has claws).  New Perspectives, Vol. 26, No. 2, 2018, 65-75.

Machines that can substitute for humans: notes on the boundaries of humanity. Nrivijnana Patrika/Journal of Anthropology, Vol 22 (Department of Anthropology, Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh).  An earlier version of the same text is available as Between Karel Čapek and a Hard Brexit. CEE New Perspectives blog, 16 June 2017.

White Riot—Brexit, Trump, and Post-Factual Politics. Journal of Historical Sociology, Vol. 30, No. 1, 92-106, 2017.

Great Arches Viewed from the Coasts of Bohemia: Reflections Inspired by Tables of Kings. New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of Central and East European Politics and International Relations, Issue 2, 2016, 73-92.

Modernism, Seen from Prague, March 1937. Artl@s Bulletin, Vol. 3, No. 1, 2014, 18-28.

Pod Stalinem: Field Notes from Another Modernity. Journal of Classical Sociology, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013, 87-103.

André Breton and the Magic Capital: An Agony in Six Fits. Bohemia, Vol. 52, No. 1, 2012, 55-75.

Crossed Wires: On the Prague-Paris Surrealist Telephone. Common Knowledge, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2012, 193-207.

Wittgenstein at Ground Zero. Space and Culture, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2008, 12-19.  Original version can be found at

Incognito Ergo Sum: Language, Memory and the Subject. Theory, Culture and Society, Vol. 21, No. 5, 2004, 67-89.  Original longer version of the text can be found at under title “In search of a subject.”

The Unbearable Lightness of Building: A Cautionary Tale. Grey Room, No. 16, 2004, 6-35.

Doll Parts, or, The Subject Reconfigured from the Point of View of the Mannequin. Public Proofs: Science, Technology, Democracy, 4S/EASST (conference proceedings, European Association for the Study of Science and Technology, Paris, August 26-28, 2004).

A Quintessential Czechness. Common Knowledge, Vol. 7, No. 2, 1998, 136-164.

The Language of Nationality and the Nationality of Language: Prague, 1780-1920. Past and Present, No. 153, 1998, 164-210.

Prague as a Vantage Point on Modern European History. METU Studies in Development, vol. 22, no. 3, 259-289 (conference proceedings, New Directions in Writing European History, Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, October 25-6, 1994).

  • Turkish translation: in Huri Islamoglu (ed.), Neden Avrupa Tarihi.  Istanbul: Iletisim Yayincilik, 1997; 2nd ed. 2014.

A Notable Administration: English State Formation and the Rise of Capitalism. American Journal of Sociology, Vol. 97, No. 5, 1992, 1382-1415.

British Reaction to the Amritsar Massacre 1919-1920. Past and Present, No. 131, 1991, 130-64.

  • Reprinted in D. Segal (ed.), Crossing Cultures: Essays in the Displacement of Western Civilization.  Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1992.
  • Reprinted in Punjab Past and Present, Spring 1996.
  • Reprinted in D. K. Verma, G. Singh, P. B. Singh, and R. K. Ghai (eds), Jallianwala Bagh: Commemorative Volume and Amritsar and Our Duty to India, Patiala: Punjabi University, 1997, pp. 24-51.

Revolution Against the State: The Context and Significance of Marx’s Late Writings. With Philip Corrigan.  Dialectical Anthropology, Vol. 12, No. 1, 1987, 65-85.

The Critique of Politics and Political Economy: Capitalism, Communism, and the State in Marx’s Writings of the Mid-1840s. Sociological Review, Vol. 33, No. 2, 1985, 221-253.

  • Reprinted in R. Jessop (ed.), Karl Marx’s Social and Political Thought: Critical Assessments, London: Routledge, 1990.

Bolshevism and the USSR. New Left Review I/125, January-February 1981.  With Philip Corrigan and Harvie Ramsay.

Method and Dogma in Historical Materialism. Sociological Review, Vol. 23, No. 4, 1975, 779-805.

Moral Relations, Political Economy, and Class Struggle. With Philip Corrigan. Radical Philosophy, No. 12, 1975, 18-22.

Book chapters, catalogue essays, review articles, encyclopedia entries

Karel Teige.  In Michael Richardson, Dawn Ades, Krzysztof Fijalkowski, and Georges Sebbag (eds), The Encyclopedia of Surrealism, vol. 3, Surrealists A-Z  London: Bloomsbury, 2019, pp. 316-324.

L’il Wallet Picture. Introduction to Kyler Zeleny (ed.), Materialities.  London: Velvet Cell Pocketbooks, 2017, 9-17.

What We Remember and How We Forget: Art History and the Czech Avant-garde. In Dariusz Gafijczuk and Derek Sayer (eds), Inhabited Ruins of Central Europe, 148-177.

The Day the Wall Came Down (American Surreal). Prologue to Gafijczuk and Sayer, Inhabited Ruins, 1-7.

Hypermodernism in the Boondocks: Photo/Montage and the Czech Book.  Oxford Art Journal, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2010, 243-9.

The Photograph: The Still Image. In S. Barber and C. Peniston-Bird (eds), History Beyond the Text, London: Routledge, 2008, 48-70.

Ceci n’est-pas un con: Duchamp, Lacan, and L’Origine du monde. In Marc Décimo (ed.), Marcel Duchamp and Eroticism, London: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2007, 160-172.

  • French translation in Marc Décimo (ed.), Marcel Duchamp et l’érotisme, Dijon: Les Presses du réel, 2008, 175-187.

Surrealities. In Timothy O. Benson (ed.), Central European Avant-Gardes: Exchange and Transformation 1910-1930, exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art/MIT Press, 2002, 90-107. This book won the 2004 Philip Johnson Award presented by the Society of Architectural Historians.

Everyday Forms of State Formation: Dissident Remarks on Hegemony. In Gilbert Joseph and Daniel Nugent (eds), Everyday Forms of State Formation: Revolution and the Negotiation of Rule in Modern Mexico.  Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1994, 367-378.

  • Spanish translation in G. Joseph and D. Nugent (eds), Aspectos cotidianos de la formación del estado: la revolución y la negociación del mando en el México moderno, Mexico City: Ediciones Era, 2002.

Ta krolewska wyspa, czyli raz jeszcze o “osobliwosciach Anglikow” [This Scepter’d Isle, or Once Again on the “Peculiarities of the English”].  In A. Czarnota and A. Zybertowicz (eds), Interdyscyplinarne studia nad geneza kapitalismu, t.2.  Torun: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Mikolaja Kopernika, 1993, 133-56.

Reinventing the Wheel: Anthony Giddens, Karl Marx, and Social Change. In Jon Clark et al (eds), Anthony Giddens: Consensus and Controversy.  London: Falmer Press, 1990, 235-256.

Marx after Capital. In Teodor Shanin (ed.), Late Marx and the Russian Road.  London: Routledge, and New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984, 142-171.

Late Marx: Contradiction, Continuity, Learning. With Philip Corrigan.  In Shanin, Late Marx, 77-94.

How the Law Rules. With Philip Corrigan.  In B. Fryer et al (eds), Law, State and Society.  London: Croom Helm, 1981, 21-53.  (Proceedings of 1980 BSA annual conference.)

The State as a Relation of Production. With Philip Corrigan and Harvie Ramsay.  In Philip Corrigan (ed.), Capitalism, State Formation, and Marxist Theory.  London: Quartet, 1980, 1-26.

  • Turkish translation, Praksis, June 2001.

Science as Critique: Marx versus Althusser. In J. Mepham and J-H. Ruben (eds), Issues in Marxist Philosophy, vol. 3.  Brighton: Harvester Press, and Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities, 1979, 27-54.

Newspaper articles, blog posts and other shorter pieces (selected)

Prague’s infinite shades of gray. Princeton University Press Ideas blog, 10 November 2022.

The density of unexpected encounters. Britské listy, 1 November 2022.

Athens aesthetics (photoessay).  In Craig Campbell and Yoke.Sum Wong (eds), Ex Situ: (Un)making space out of place, exh. cat., reposted on coastsofbohemia blog, 11 May 2019.

10 x 10 (elegy for an America that is only partly imagined)coastsofbohemia blog, 13 June 2018.

Schizophrenie, et-il une solution?  Response to questionnaire.  Alienist II.

Sudeten Ghosts.  coastsofbohemia blog, 27 & 28 January 2018.

Talkin’ ’bout My Generation.  coastsofbohemia blog, 31 December 2017.

Iron Curtains of the mind.  With Benjamin Tallis. Open Democracy, 6 November 2017.

Prejudice, hysteria, and a want of political leadership: of refugees and November 17 in Prague. CEE New Perspectives blog, 8 January 2017.

The REF: why did it cost so much? Times Higher Education, 30 July 2015.

A whole lotta cheatin’ going on? REF stats revisited. CDBU blog, 1 February 2015.

One scholar’s crusade against the REF.  Times Higher Education, 11 December 2014.

Problems with peer review for the REF. CDBU blog, 21 November 2014.

Time to abandon the gold standard? Peer review for the REF falls far short of internationally accepted standards.  LSE Impact blog, 19 November 2014.

Austin in available light (photoessay). The End of Austin, Issue 5, 22 May 2014.

Why I love the Prague coffee-house Kafka didn’t frequent. Zócalo Public Square, 13 May 2014.

A scandal in Bohemia, New York Times, Op-Ed, 10 July 2013, page A-23, and International Herald Tribune, 11 July 2013.  Subsequently republished on History News Network and elsewhere.

In the course of my career I have also published other book reviews, review essays, and occasional pieces in BBC Proms Magazine, Capital and Class, The Guardian, Journal of Historical Sociology, Journal of Peasant Studies, Radical Philosophy, Sociology, and Times Higher Education.

Journal special issue

New Perspectives Vol. 26, No. 2(S), 2018, was a special issue devoted to my work on Prague and modern Czech history. It contains:

  1. Introduction and other excerpts from The Coasts of Bohemia
  2. Introduction and other excerpts from Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century
  3. Surrealist Prague (this little mother has claws)
  4. Great Arches Viewed from the Coasts of Bohemia
  5. Between Karel Capek and a Hard Brexit
  6. Sudeten Ghosts
  7. Iron Curtains of the Mind
  8. Prejudice, Hysteria and A Failure of Political Leadership


Keynotes and public lectures

Prague at the End of History.  The Prague Address, for the European International Studies Association (EISA) 12th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Prague, September 12, 2018.

Making Trouble: Surrealism and the Human Sciences.  Articulations: Lectures in Art Appreciation, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, 20 April 2017.

Regions of Memory: Texas/Berlin.  Keynote, Genealogies of Memory: Memory Regions as Discourse and Imagination conference, University of Warsaw, 17 March 2016.

Metrics and Other Alternatives to the REF.  Keynote, Research and Enterprise Network for Universities Research Excellence and Funding conference, Birmingham City University, 28 April 2015.

The Chance Encounter of a Sewing Machine and an Umbrella on a Statistical Table: Notes on Surrealism and Sociology.  Annual Methods Lab Lecture, Goldsmiths College, University of London, 6 March 2015.

The REF and the State of Higher Education Today.  Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 8 December 2014.   

Unexpected Resonances: from Praha to Marfa.  Marfa Book Company, Crowley Theater, Marfa, Texas, 12 April 2014.

Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century: A Surrealist History—A Book Talk.  Institute for Historical Studies and Center for Russian and East European Studies, University of Texas at Austin, February 27, 2014.

Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century.  Faculty of Humanities, Charles University, Prague, 25 June 2013.

All the Beauties of the World: Modernism, as Seen from Twentieth-Century Prague.  Keynote, Global Art History and the Peripheries Challenge conference, École Normale Supérieure and Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art, Paris, June 12-14, 2013.

Images, Histories, States: England and Bohemia Compared. History Department, Peking University, Beijing, 5 April 2012.

Love, War, and the Songs of Exile: Prague-on-Seine 1938-1940.  Masaryk Annual Lecture, Czech Embassy, London, November 2011.

How We Remember and What We Forget: Cold War Art Histories and the Prewar Czech Avant-garde.  Institute for Historical Studies, University of Texas at Austin, April 2011.

Anamneses.  Keynote, Ethnographic Dreamworlds, Buffalo, NY, April 2006.

Architectures of Erasure: Mies, MoMA, and Corbu in Prague.  School of Architecture Lecture Series, McGill University, Montréal, November 2003.

The Architecture of Forgetting: The Trade Fair Palace in Prague. Distinguished Lecture, Czech Cultural Studies Workshop, University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, March 2003.

“Czechness” in Music?  Great Performers series, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York City, April 2001.

Memoirs in Search of a Subject.  Keynote, Canadian Sociology and Anthropology Association Congress 2000, University of Alberta, 2000.

Prague as a Capital for Modernity.  Public lecture in series to inaugurate Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Victoria, 1998.

Prague and Modernity.  Kaspar Naegele Memorial Lecture, University of British Columbia, 1997.

Prague as a Vantage-Point on Modern European History.  Keynote, New Directions in European History, Middle Eastern Technical University, Ankara, October 1994.

Everyday Forms of State Formation. Keynote, Popular Culture, State Formation, and the Mexican Revolution, Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, UC–San Diego, March 1991.

State Formation in Turner’s Britain. With Philip Corrigan. Tate Gallery, London, in series Turner’s Times, April 1987.

Conference papers

American Surreal.  Ex situ symposium, Anthropology Department, University of Texas at Austin, 9 April 2014.

Ce monde en dérive ...”: miscommunications on the Prague-Paris surrealist telephone. Royal Historical Society symposium Edges of Europe: Frontiers in Context, Lancaster University, June 2011.

Surreal(ist) Prague. Prague as Represented Space, Universität Regensburg, May 2011.

The Absent Center: Czech Avant-gardes and the Canons of Forgetting. Inhabited Ruins: Textures of Central Europe in Historical Perspective, Lancaster University, May 2010.

A Choice of Abdications: André Breton, Paul Éluard, and Prague. Czech Cultural Studies Workshop, University of Michigan—Ann Arbor, April 2006.

Ceci n’est-pas un con: Duchamp, Lacan and L’Origine du monde. Marcel Duchamp et l’érotisme, Université d’Orléans, December 2005.

Great Arches Viewed from the Coasts of Bohemia.  American Anthropology Association annual meetings, Chicago, November 2003.

Surrealities.  Los Angeles County Museum of Art symposium Exhibiting Central European Modernism at University of California—Los Angeles, June 1999.

Contemporaneities. State, Colony, Empire, Saint Peter’s College, Oxford University, March 1997.

The Amritsar Massacre and British Responses, 1919-1920. How Colonization Shaped Europe and Europe’s New Worlds, Claremont Colleges, California, April 1989.  This paper was also given at the ASA annual meetings in Washington D.C., August 1990.

From the Body Politic to the National Interest: Reflections on The Great Arch. With Philip Corrigan.  Mellon Symposium on Historical Anthropology, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, May 1987.

Papers to Discussion Group on the State, meeting annually at Saint Peter’s College, Oxford, from 1982-2002, at 1982, 1989, 1991 and 1995 meetings.  Co-organizer of group with G. E. Aylmer and Philip Corrigan 1982-1996.

I have also given invited talks at the universities of Birmingham, Bradford, British Columbia, Calgary, California-San Diego, Chicago, East Anglia, Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main, Harvard, Hull, Illinois-Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Kent, Leeds, London (Institute of Education), London School of Economics, Manchester, New School for Social Research, New York University, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Northwestern, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Oxford, Toronto, and Warwick.


2009-11. Royal Society/British Academy.   Newton International Fellowship, UK academic sponsor.  £99,000 for project The Ruins of Mitteleuropa.

2008-9. Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK).   Research Leave (two terms).  £33,000 to support writing-up of Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century.

2001-5. Canadian Foundation for Innovation.  $125,000 to establish Visual Culture Research Laboratory (since renamed Intermedia Research Studio) at University of Alberta.

2000-3. Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Canada, Interdisciplinary Studies Committee.  $24,000 for project The Arts of Modernity.

1996-9.  SSHRC, History Committee.  $35,000 for project Prague and Modernity.

1991-94. SSHRC, Sociology Committee.  $47,000 for project Prague 1848-1990.

1986-8. British Academy.  £10,000 for project Bastardy in English History.


I taught courses in sociology and history at all levels from first year BA to PhD at the Universities of Glasgow, Alberta, and Lancaster, and as a visiting scholar at OISE and the University of Dar es Salaam.  I supervised numerous BA and MA dissertations over the course of my career.  I have also worked in both design and delivery of distance education.

Undergraduate courses

How the Camera Changed the World; Prague 1750-1989: A History of Modernity; Sociological Theory (various courses and levels); Historical Sociology; Sociology of Art; The Urban Community; Historical Memory; Built Environments; The Image

Graduate courses

Historical Methods; Cultural History; Sociological Theory; The Visual Image; Prague and Modernity; Sociology of the State

I also taught at the International Graduate Summer School on “Memory, Culture and Identity” at Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, 19-29 June 2013.

Distance education

In Alberta I offered introductory sociology courses in the University’s off-campus program from 1987 through 1999, at Blue Quills First Nations College in St Paul, Yellowhead Tribal Council in Edmonton, and Maskwachees Cultural College on the Hobbema Reserve.  I previously tutored for the Open University in the UK (1979-82).

In 1992-3 I was commissioned as course consultant to develop the study guide for a new distance-learning course on power and inequality for Athabasca University.  Amounting in effect to a substantial textbook, this was published, together with an accompanying book of selected readings, as The Sociology of Power and Inequality, Athabasca University Press, 1993.  221 pp.

PhD and postdoctoral supervision

I have supervised 15 PhDs to completion (3 at Glasgow, 8 at Alberta, 4 at Lancaster).  Twelve of my PhD students went on to university positions in the UK (Paisley, Bristol, Newcastle, Edinburgh), New Zealand (Massey), Tanzania (Dar Es Salaam), Bangladesh (Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka), USA (U of Texas at Austin), and Canada (Windsor, Athabasca, Trent, Lethbridge). All published articles arising out of their doctoral research, while six have converted their theses into books (Blackwell, Routledge (2), McGill-Queens University Press (2), University of Minnesota Press).  Six of the seven eligible students I supervised at Alberta and one student I supervised at Lancaster received SSHRC doctoral scholarships.  In Alberta I sat on over 40 supervisory committees for PhD students across Sociology, History, and cognate disciplines.

I was the UK sponsor and supervisor for the Newton International Fellowship held by my former Alberta PhD student Dariusz Gafijczuk at Lancaster University from 2009-11.  These postdoctoral fellowships were a flagship program of the Royal Society and British Academy, designed to “select the very best early stage post-doctoral researchers from all over the world, and offer support for two years at UK research institutions.”  Success rate in the competition was 1 in 15.  This fellowship eventuated inter alia in the conference and subsequent book The Inhabited Ruins of Central Europe.


Lancaster University

2010-13.  Member of University Finance and General Purposes Committee.

2009-12.  Head, Department of History.

2007-10.  Member of Academic Board, Lancaster Institute of Advanced Studies.

University of Alberta

1996-2000.  Chair, Department of Sociology.

1994-2000.  Member (first as an elected faculty representative, then as department chair) of the Faculty Evaluation Committee.

Member of University Graduate Scholarships and Awards Committee.

Elected member of General Faculties Council.

SERVICE (selected)

Joint managing editor, The Journal of Historical Sociology, 1988-2022.  I was the founding editor of this journal, which is published quarterly by Wiley (formerly by Blackwell).  The JHS was offered through traditional institutional subscriptions and electronic consortia to over 2500 libraries worldwide. From 2023 it changed its name to Sociology Lens.

Senior editor, New Perspectives: Interdisciplinary Journal of Central and East European Politics and International Relations, 2014-2020.

Member of editorial board, Journal of Cultural Analysis and Social Change, 2018 onward.

External assessor of research grant applications for Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.  I have read many grant applications to SSHRC over the years in both sociology and history.

External progress assessor (involving on-site inspection and a substantial report) on $5m SSHRC Major Collaborative Research Initiatives project, 2002.

Member of SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowships Committee 3 (Anthropology, Archaeology, Criminology, Folklore, Sociology), 2013-14.

Reviewer of research grant proposals for European Research Council, Austrian Science Foundation, and Czech Science Foundation.

External assessor of tenure and/or promotion cases for Brock University (Professor); University of California—Davis (tenure); University of Chicago (tenure); Concordia University (Professor); Harvard University (Associate Professor; Professor); London School of Economics (Senior Lecturer); University of Michigan (tenure and promotion to Associate Professor); University of New Brunswick (Professor); University of Ottawa (Professor); Trent University (tenure and promotion to Associate Professor); University of Western Ontario (Professor); Wright State University (tenure and promotion to Associate Professor).

Reviewer of book manuscripts for Princeton University Press, Cornell University Press, Duke University Press, Open University Press, Blackwell, Routledge, Macmillan, and Bloomsbury Academic Press.

Reviewer of article submissions for American Ethnologist, American Journal of Sociology, Canadian Journal of History, Canadian Journal of Law and Society, Canadian Journal of Sociology, Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, Capital and Class, Philosophy of the Social Sciences, Public Art Dialogue, Sociology, and Sociological Review.

External examiner for PhDs at the Universities of British Columbia, Calgary, Dar Es Salaam, La Trobe (Melbourne), Manchester, New York University, and Toronto, and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

MEDIA (selected)

Prague: Inhabited Ruins of Central Europe: Derek Sayer in conversation with Robert Kusek and Aleksandra Szczepan.  Herito (Krakow), No. 22-23, 2016, pp. 286-297.

New Books in East European Studies.  Interview with Amanda Swain on Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century (podcast).  24 July 2015.

BBC Radio 4 “Thinking Aloud” (discussion with Laurie Taylor on “Grading universities—The rights and wrongs of the Research Excellence Framework”).  14 January 2015.

Lisette Allen, “Talking Czech surrealism, chlebíčky with the author of Prague: Capital of the Twentieth Century.” interview, 14 January 2014.

Radio Prague “One on One” (interview with Masha Volynsky on Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century). 15 July 2013.

BBC Radio 3 “Night Waves” (feature and interview with Anne McElvoy on Prague, Capital of the Twentieth Century).  23 May 2013.