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Dr Pierre Purseigle

Pierre Purseigle  

Director of International Mobility
Reader in Modern European History

Room: Room 3.79, third floor of the Faculty of Arts Building

Phone: +44 (0)24 76523316 (x23316)


Office Hours:
Mondays, 11-12pm (MS Teams)
Tuesdays, 3-4pm (In person)



Academic Profile

I graduated in Political Studies (Sciences Po) from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Lyon and in Modern History from the University of Toulouse. A former Lavoisier Research Fellow at the Maison Française d’Oxford, I also studied at the University of California, Berkeley and at Pembroke College, Oxford.

Prior to my arrival at Warwick, I worked as a Junior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Toulouse. I subsequently taught a range of European and World History papers at the University of Oxford. I was also Visiting Lecturer (Maître de conférences) at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham.

Between 2013 and 2016, I was Marie Curie Research Fellow at the Centre for War Studies at Trinity College Dublin and at Yale University, where I also taught the comparative history of the First World War.

My research and teaching agenda have been driven by a strong commitment to the comparative and interdisciplinary study of warfare and urban catastrophes in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My work to date has mainly focused on the European and global history of the First World War and on the urban experience of modern warfare. I am now writing on the urban reconstruction of interwar Europe and I am developing a new project on the global history of urban disasters and recovery since the early twentieth-century. From the local to the transnational, I endeavour to combine different scales of analysis and to engage with a range of disciplinary perspectives. I published articles and book chapters on the comparative urban history of the First World War, on refugeedom during the conflict, and on humour in wartime. My most recent publications have investigated the historiography and global history of the First World War and the transformations of the belligerent state during the conflict.

A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, I am also a co-founder and past President of the International Society for First World War Studies and a former Editor-in-Chief of First World War Studies.

Academic Career

  • 2022-2023: Francqui Chair, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
  • Spring 2023: Fellow, Brussels Institute of Advanced Studies
  • Aug 2022-Present: Reader in Modern Continental European History, University of Warwick
  • Fall 2019: Visiting Professor, Institute of Advanced Studies, CY University
  • Fall 2014: Marcel Bataillon Visiting Chair in French Historiography, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México
  • Sept 2013-Aug 2022: Associate Professor in Modern Continental European History, University of Warwick
  • Jan 2013-Dec 2015:
 Marie Curie Research Fellow, Yale University (2013-2014) / Trinity College, Dublin (2015-2016)
  • 2009-2012: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer, School of History and Cultures, University of Birmingham
  • 2007-2009: Lecturer, Department of French Studies, University of Birmingham
  • 2007: Senior Research Scholar, Modern European History Research Centre & Tutor in Modern History, University of Oxford
  • 2005-2006: Stipendiary Lecturer in Modern History, Jesus College, Oxford
  • 2003-2005: Tutor in Modern History, University of Oxford
  • 2002-2003: Lavoisier Research Fellow, Maison Française d’Oxford & Visiting Research Scholar, Modern History Faculty, University of Oxford
  • 1998-2002:
 Junior Lecturer, Department of History, University of Toulouse II


  • 2006: European Doctorate in History, University of Toulouse II - Jean Jaurès, (summa cum laude)
  • 2003-2005: Besse Research Scholar, Pembroke College, University of Oxford
  • 2002-2003: Maison Française d’Oxford
  • 1999: University of California, Berkeley (EAP Scholarship)
  • 1998: M.A. (DEA) in Modern History with starred distinction, University of Toulouse
 II - Jean Jaurès
  • 1996: B.A. in Political Studies, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Lyon

Latest talk(s)

  • "La Grande Guerre : une catastrophe urbaine. Ce que les sciences sociales du désastre apportent à l’histoire des conflits.", Seminar paper, ENS Paris-Saclay, 27 November 2023
  • "War, policymaking, and the discipline of history. Three lessons of the First World War", Inaugural Lecture, College of Europe, Bruges, 20 September 2023
  • “War and urban catastrophes: responses from history and practice”, Francqui Chair Inaugural Lecture, Vrije Universiteit Brussels, 12 June 2023
  • “From war literature to literate war. What periodicals tell us about the First World War”, Ghent University – VU Brussels, Brussels, 15 May 2023


Single-Authored / Co-Authored Books

  • P. Purseigle, Rebuilding European lives. The reconstitution of urban communities in inter-war Europe (1914-1939) (in preparation)
  • P. Purseigle, Mobilisation, Sacrifice et Citoyenneté. Des communautés locales face à la guerre moderne. Angleterre – France, 1900-1918, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2013, 450p. ISBN: 978-2-251-44470-3
  • G. Vaughan, C. Berthezène, P. Purseigle, J. Vincent, Le Monde Britannique, 1815-1931, Paris, Editions Belin, 2010. ISBN: 978-2-7011-5410-7

Edited Books

  • P. Purseigle, A. R. Seipp, eds., Oxford Handbook of the First World War, New York – Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2019 (forthcoming). ISBN: 978-0-1999-4685-3
  • N. Martin, T. Haughton, P. Purseigle, eds., Aftermath: Legacies and Memories of War in Europe, 1918-1945-1989, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014, 254p. ISBN 978-1-4094-4428-2
  • P. Purseigle, ed., Warfare and Belligerence. Perspectives in First World War Studies, Boston – Leiden, Brill, 2005, 420p. ISBN: 978 90 04 14352 4
  • J. Macleod, P. Purseigle, eds., Uncovered fields. Perspectives in First World War Studies, Boston – Leiden, Brill, 2004, 302p. ISBN: 978 90 04 13264 1

Edited Peer-Reviewed Journal Issues

  • Guest editor, “Marianne in War and Peace, 1913-1923. The French Republic in the era of the First World War”, French History, Volume 35, Issue 4, December 2021. ISSN 0269-1191
  • Co-editor with O. Compagnon, « Géographies de la Première Guerre mondiale », Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 71/1, Janvier - Mars 2016. ISSN : 0395-2649
  • Co-editor with R. Boyce, S. Jansen, M. Scot, « Historiographies étrangères de la Première Guerre mondiale », Histoire@Politique, n°22, janvier-avril 2014.
  • Co-editor with C. Berthezène, « Déclin et résilience du libéralisme britannique », special issue of Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire, 120, Octobre 2013
  • Co-editor of “Guerres et changement social”, special issue of Histoire et Sociétés. Revue européenne d’histoire sociale, n°8, October 2003. This volume addresses the problematic relations between military conflicts and social change, wartime state and local social policies, the urban experience of war, women’s work in World War I, literary and cinematographic representations of warfare as well as the memory of both World Wars and the Holocaust.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • “Exceptional Pragmatism. The French State at war in 1914-1918.”, First World War Studies, special issue on States of exception in WWI - under review.
  • "Southern identities and patriotic mobilisation in WWI France”, English Historical Review, accepted - forthcoming, October 2023
  • “La Cité de demain. French urbanists in war and reconstruction, 1914-1928”, French History,vol. 35, Issue 4, December 2021, p. 505–531
  • “Marianne en guerre, 1913–1923: the French Republic in the era of the Great War”, French History, vol. 35, Issue 4, December 2021, p. 427–430
  • “Controversy: War Culture”, 1914-1918 Online. International Encyclopedia of the First World War, https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.netLink opens in a new window, Jan 2020
  • « Géographies de la mobilisation et territoires de la belligérance pendant la Première Guerre mondiale » (with O. Compagnon) – Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales, 71/1, Janvier - Mars 2016, p. 37-64. ISSN : 0395-2649
  • « Écrire l’histoire du Déluge. Histoire et expérience britannique de la Grande Guerre. », Histoire@Politique, n°22, janvier-avril 2014. ISSN 1954-3670
  • “The First World War and the Transformations of the State”, International Affairs, 90: 2 (March 2014), 249-264. ISSN: 1468-2346. Published in SpanishLink opens in a new window in Revista Universitaria de Histora Militar, June 2014. ISSN: 2254-6111
  • « Belligérance libérale. La Grande-Bretagne face à la Grande GuerreLink opens in a new window », Vingtième Siècle. Revue d’histoire, 120, Octobre 2013, 27-42. ISSN: 0294-1759. Published in Portuguese in Ler História, 66, 2014. ISSN: 0870-6182
  • “A very French debate: The 1914-18 ‘war culture’, Journal of War and Culture Studies, 1, 1, 2008, 9-14. ISSN: 17526272
  • “On the Road to ‘Total War’. Exile and Resettlement in Western Europe, 1914-1918.”, Contemporary European History, 16, 4 (November 2007), 427-444. ISSN: 0960-7773
  • « La guerre au miroir de l’humour : le dessin de presse en France et en Grande-Bretagne durant la Première Guerre mondiale. », in Histoire et Société. Revue européenne d’histoire sociale, n°1, Janvier - Mars 2002, pp.124-137. ISBN: 2-9520178-2-4 ISSN: 1633-2784
  • “Mirroring societies at war: pictorial humour in the British and French popular press during the Great War.”, in Journal of European Studies, Vol.31, 3/4, n°123, 2001, 289-328. ISSN: 0047-2441
  • « 1914-1918 : Les ressorts locaux des mobilisations nationales : étude comparée Angleterre-France », in Annales du Midi, Tome 112, n°232, Octobre - Décembre 2000, pp.463-482. ISSN: 0003-4398

Selected Book Chapters

  • “Refugees and the emergence of a transnational home front”, in H. Strachan, ed., The British Home Front, 1914-1918, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2022, 314-332. ISBN: 9781316515495
  • “Catastrophe and reconstruction in Western Europe: the urban aftermath of the First World War”, in L. Verpoest, L. Engeelen, et al., eds., Revival after the Great War: Repair, Rebuild, Remember, Leuven, Leuven University Press, 2021, 34-51. ISBN: 9789461663542
  • "Las geografías de la guerra y de la beligerancia en la era de la Primera Guerra Mundial", in O. Compagnon, C. Foulard, G. Martin, M.I. Tato, eds. América Latina y la Primera Guerre mundial, Mexico City, CEMCA, 2018, 20-41. IBSN: 978211521377
  • “Granitsy patriotizma. Geografiya i etika mobilizatsii vo Frantsii v period Pervoy mirovoy voyny” // Kultury patriotizma v period Pervoy mirovoy voyny. Sankt-Peterburg, 2018 (in print)
  • “El significado de reconstrucción en la Europa de entreguerras“, in J. Rodrigo, M. Alonso Ibarra, D. Alegre Lorenz, eds., Teatros de lo bélico: experiencias de guerra y posguerra en las sociedades europeas (1895-1953), Zaragoza, Prensas Universitarias de Zaragoza, 2018 (forthcoming)
  • “Violência e de solidariedade. Experiências urbanas da Primeira Guerra Mundial”, in M. F. Rollo and A. P. Pires, eds., As Cidades e as Guerras, Lisbon (forthcoming)
  • “Urban Geography of the World at War”, in L. Van Ypersele, N. Wouters, eds., War and Fatherland. Nations, Identities and the First World War, London, Bloomsbury, 2018, pp. 235-253. ISBN: 978-1-3500-3643-7
  • Through the fog of war”, in N. Martin, T. Haughton, P. Purseigle eds., Aftermath: Legacies and Memories of War in Europe, 1918-1945-1989, Farnham, Ashgate, 2014. ISBN 978-1-4094-4428-2
  • “Between participation and victimization. WWI urban mobilization in comparative perspective”, in F. Lenger, ed., Kollektive Gewalt in der Stadt: Europa 1890-1939, Munich, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, July 2013. ISBN-13: 978-3486718584
  • “Homefronts: The Mobilization of Resources” in R. Chickering, D. Showalter, H. van de Ven, The Cambridge History of War. Vol. 4. War and the Modern World, 1850-2005, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012, pp. 257-284. ISBN-13: 9780521875776
  • “‘Wither the local?’ Nationalization, modernization, and the mobilization of urban communities in England and France, c.1900-1918”, in O. Zimmer, W. Whyte, eds., Nationalism and the Reshaping of Urban Communities in Europe, 1848-1914, London, Palgrave, 2011, pp. 182-203. ISBN-13: 978-0230246287
  • “Warfare and Belligerence. Approaches to the First World War”, in P. Purseigle, ed., Warfare and Belligerence. Perspectives in First World War Studies., Boston – Leiden, Brill Academic Publishers, 2005, 1-37. ISBN: 978900414352 4

Undergraduate Teaching

Doctoral Supervision


  • Leonie Bausch, Hierarchies of Gender, Nation, and Race: Sexual Encounters in the French Zone of Occupation in Post-War Germany, 1945-1955, M4C Doctoral training partnership, Co-supervised with Elizabeth Harvey (Nottingham)
  • Emanuele Podda, Emile Giraud and the development of French internationalist and constitutional thought (1922-1960), M4C Doctoral training partnership, Co-supervised with Daniel Hucker (Nottingham)


  • Camille Mahé, Children’s experiences of occupation and post-war demobilization in Western Europe: France, Germany, Italy (1940-1949) - Joint PhD, co-supervised with Prof. Guillaume Piketty, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, Paris. Warwick History full studentship – Contrat doctoral, Sciences Po. Successfully defended December 2021.
  • Rebecca Crites, The continuation of war by other means: domestic violence in Britain, 1914-1936, AHRC Studentship – Successfully defended January 2017

I am interested to hear from potential postgraduate students interested in urban history and disaster studies, in the European and global history of the First World War, on the comparative history of Britain and France, and on twentieth-Century European History.

Latest Externally Funded Projects

  • Paris Seine Excellence Initiative 2018-2019 – Visiting Professorship: €75,600

    • The cities rise again. Urban recovery and reconstruction in the age of catastrophe, 1900-1939

  • EU Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Programme 2016-2018 - €183,455
    • “Brothers in Wounds: Italy's Disabled Veterans in Transnational Perspective (1917-1939)”
    • Fellow: Dr Martina Salvante



Click hereLink opens in a new window to access my ORCID profile