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Dr Max Hodgson

Dr Max Hodgson 

I am a Research Fellow for the Wellcome Trust Investigator Award ‘Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000’ at the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Warwick. I completed my PhD, which examined socialist conceptions of prison reform and cultural diplomacy in Britain and the Soviet Union, in 2018, and taught at Reading, Buckingham, and Oxford prior to joining Warwick.

At Warwick I am researching the ways in which British authorities and penal institutions utilized the concept of ‘refusal’ to examine, construct, and intervene in the physical health of the British population between 1916 and 1945. With a focus on two different carceral contexts – the imprisonment of conscientious objectors in the First World War, and the forcible ‘reconditioning’ of the long-term unemployed in labour camps through the Great Depression – the work analyses the ways that ‘refusal’ was pathologized as the physical (and criminal) weakness of the nation.

Academic Profile 

2020-2021: Research Fellow for the Wellcome Trust Investigator Award ‘Prisoners, Medical Care and Entitlement to Health in England and Ireland, 1850-2000’

2019-2020: Lecturer in History, Wadham College, Oxford

2019-2020: Departmental Lecturer in 20th Century Russian History, Oxford School of Global and Area Studies, University of Oxford

2018-19: Lecturer in Modern British and European History, University of Buckingham

2017-present: Co-editor, Online Russian Archive Guide, BASEES & University of Reading

2015-18: Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Reading

2014-2018: PhD, Anglo-Russian History, University of Reading

2013-2014: MSc, Russian and East European Studies, Wolfson College, University of Oxford

2009-2013: BA (Hons), International Relations




Labour and the Soviets: Criminality, Cultural Diplomacy and Socialism in Britain and Russia (in preparation)

Edited Volumes:

[with Andy Willimott, Jonathan Waterlow and Samantha Sherry] Using Archives and Libraries in the Former Soviet Union, 3rd edn (2018, British Academy Press) 

Journal Articles:

Hodgson, Max, ‘Pathologizing “refusal” in carceral spaces: conscientious objectors, “soft” somatic bodies and prison healthcare in Britain, 1916-1919’ (in preparation for submission to the Social History of Medicine)

Hodgson, Max, ‘NEP Anxieties and Bolshevik Borrowings: Soviet Cultural Diplomacy, Penal Policy and the International Feedback Loop, 1919-1927’ (reviewed and under revision for Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History)

Hodgson, Max, “‘If I ever have to go to prison, I hope it’s a Russian Prison”: British Labour, Social Democracy and Soviet Communism, 1919-1925’, Twentieth Century British History, 28, 3 (2017), 344-66

Hodgson, Max, ‘A Gradualist Approach to Criminality: Early British Socialists, Utopia and Crime’, Studies in History, Archaeology, Religion and Conservation, 2, 1 (2015), 48-71

Book Reviews:

Hodgson, Max, ‘Review: David Burke, Russia and the British Left (I.B. Tauris, 2018)’, Revolutionary Russia, 32, 2 (2019), 306-308

Selected Conference Papers 

(2020) Keynote speaker, ‘Medical Cooperation and Anglo-Russian Relations: Lessons from the Past’, UK-Russia Young Medics Association Conference’, Queen’s College, University of Cambridge

(2020) ‘Pathologizing “refusal”: conscientious objectors and healthcare provision in Britain’, Centre for History of Medicine Work in Progress Seminar, University of Warwick

(2019) ‘Epistemic Empires: Britain, Russia, and the production of knowledge at the International Penitentiary Congress, 1872-1910’, Workshop, The Russian Empire/Soviet Union Through the Lens of Global and New Imperial Histories, Tyumen State University, Russia

(2019) ‘“A Soviet government of justice and kindness”? British visitors to Russia, cultural diplomacy and prisons in the inter-war period’, BASEES Annual Conference, University of Cambridge

(2019) ‘Revolutionary anxieties and Bolshevik borrowing: the criminological axis and Soviet kul’tpokaz, 1919-27’, Study Group on the Russian Revolution Annual Conference, Cardiff University

(2018) ‘Prisons and Communist borrowing: Soviet cultural diplomacy, the circulation of ideas and the construction of left-wing international relations, 1919-32’, Les gauches et l’international, Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po, Paris

(2018) ‘Transnational Britain: Discussing exceptionalism, the movement of ideas and identity’, Kings Contemporary British History Conference, Kings College, London

(2017) ‘Seducing the West: Selling Soviet Revolution through Prison Socialism’, Russian and Eurasian Studies Centre Seminar, St Antony’s College, University of Oxford

(2017) ‘An Unlikely Utopia: British socialism and the Soviet trade of utopian ideals in penal politics, 1918-1925’, Southern Conference on British Studies, Dallas, Texas, USA

(2017) ‘Swaying opinions: Soviet channels of influence within the Labour Party in inter-war Britain’, Modern British Studies Conference: British Studies in a Broken World, University of Birmingham

(2016) ‘British Labour in Soviet Prisons’, GW4: Modern British Politics and Political History, University of Bristol

(2015) ‘Early Socialists, Utopia and Crime’, Twentieth Century Studies Symposium, University of Southampton