Photo of Prof Celia Donert

Prof Celia Donert BA, MA, Ph.D.

Professor of History History


Personal Statement

I am a historian of contemporary Europe, with research interests in state socialism, social movements, and the history of human rights. My first book, The Rights of the Roma: The Struggle for Citizenship in Postwar Czechoslovakia, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2017. I am the recipient of an AHRC Early Career Leadership Fellowship on How Women's Rights Became Human Rights: Gender, Socialism and Postsocialism in Global History, 1917-2017 and the Principal Investigator of an AHRC Research Network on The Legacies of the Roma Genocide in Europe since 1945 (2017-19).

In 2018 I was a visiting professor in the history of human rights and democracy at the University of Vienna, and from 2017-19 I am a visiting fellow at the Global History Department, Freie Universität, Berlin.

Before joining the University of Liverpool in 2012, I held postdoctoral research fellowships at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung Potsdam, the Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin and the Institute for Contemporary History in Prague. In 2013 and 2014 I was an Erasmus visiting lecturer at the Institute of Economic and Social History, Charles University, Prague, and in spring 2012 I was chercheur invité at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. I received my PhD in History from the European University Institute in Fiesole, Italy, after studying at Oxford and the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. During my doctoral studies I was also a Marie Curie Fellow at the Slovak Academy of Sciences, as part of the European Doctorate in the Social History of Europe and the Mediterranean. Before embarking on my PhD, I worked for the European Commission in Slovakia, and I've also been an international election observer for the OSCE.

I am an editor of Contemporary European History and a member of the editorial board of Social History; I was previously an editorial board member of Romani Studies and book review editor for Contemporary European History. In addition, I am a co-convenor of the Rethinking Modern Europe seminar series at the Institute of Historical Research in London.

I am currently supervising AHRC-funded doctoral work on human rights and the British Left, on socialist feminism in 1970s Britain, and transnational leftwing politics in interwar Liverpool. I would be delighted to hear from prospective doctoral students working on the contemporary history of central and eastern Europe, global socialism, feminism, and human rights.

Administrative Roles

  • Early Career Researcher Representative, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 2016-18
  • History Undergraduate Curriculum Lead 2016-17
  • Director of MA Twentieth-Century History 2016-17
  • History Postgraduate Curriculum Lead 2013-15

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