Christian Damm Pedersen

PhD (History)

  • Campusvej 55

    5230 Odense M


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Personal profile


CHRISTIAN DAMM PEDERSEN is an assistant professor in modern history. I teach in the departments of English Studies and History. I am a historian of Britain and the British Empire. I joined the History Department of the University of Southern Denmark after having completed a PhD in History at the University of Copenhagen, where I was involved in the research project Embers of Empire: The Receding Frontiers of Post-Imperial Britain, funded by the Danish Velux Foundation. I have previously been a visiting researcher at the British Institute in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya and a visiting scholar at the Oxford Centre for Global History, University of Oxford. I am currently affiliated with the CEMES research group on Europe as a Global Process based at the Centre for Modern European Studies, University of Copenhagen. I am also a member of the advisory board for history and archaeology at Folkeuniversitetet in Odense, and a member of the Danish Society for Contemporary History.

EMPLOYMENT: Assistant Professor, University of Southern Denmark; Research Assistant, University of Copenhagen; Research Assistant, University of Southern Denmark; PhD Fellow, University of Copenhagen.

EDUCATION: BA, History and Political Science, University of Copenhagen; MA, History, University of Copenhagen (including a visiting graduate studentship at New York University); PhD, History, University of Copenhagen.


Research information

My RESEARCH INTERESTS lie in modern British history, connections between Britain and Africa, and the history of the British world. I also have a broader interest in the comparative history of empires, rights and citizenship in imperial contexts, historiography, political ideas and political rhetoric, and memories of empire.

PRIMARY FIELDS OF INTEREST: British history; African history; Imperial and post-imperial history; History of rights, citizenship and belonging; Political and civic communities; Memory cultures; Prime ministers; Denmark's colonial past.

CURRENT RESEARCH: The first research project is an edited volume titled The Break-Up of Greater Britain (co-edited with Stuart Ward) which examines the global causes, dynamics and impact of decolonisation on the British world since the Second World War. This book is forthcoming with Manchester University Press (Studies in Imperialism series) and sheds new light on the global ramifications of the end of empire across multiple communities of self-styled ‘Britons’, from India to China, Southern Africa, Australasia, the West Indies, the Falklands, Gibraltar and Britain itself. The second project is about the afterlives of empire. In Empire’s Shadow? Prime Ministerial Rhetoric in Post-Imperial Britain problematizes legacies of empire in British politics and memory culture by way of a rhetorical examination of prime ministers’ use of the imperial past in their public speeches and writings – from Harold Macmillan to Boris Johnson. I’m particularly interested in how the imperial past function as an ideological frame of reference, a moral compass and political capital in post-imperial Britain. The broader purpose of this project is to explore the meaning and function of the use of the imperial past by national leaders as well as prime ministers’ role as agents of contested memories. The project is not about the British Empire or British decolonisation; rather it deals with how political leaders construct, remember and communicate (or forget, obscure and suppress) specific views and attitudes to the past to enhance their power and achieve their aims. The ambition is to add to the growing body of recent cultural studies on empire and memory struggles from the angle of political contestation and prime ministerial rhetoric.