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Dr Anna Ross

CFP: 'World Making and the City' - come join us @Warwick_Global for our 2020 @RoyalHistSoc Symposium, 13-15 May 2020. Details here. Applications close 1 September 2019.


Phone: 024 76150853, internal extension 50853
Room: H012, ground floor of the Humanities Building
Office Hours: 

Academic Profile

  • 2018- : Associate Professor of Modern European History, University of Warwick
  • 2016-2018: Assistant Professor of Modern European History, University of Warwick
  • 2013-2016: Postdoctoral Prize Research Fellow (JRF), Nuffield College, University of Oxford
  • 2013: PhD, Modern European History, University of Cambridge
  • 2008: MPhil, Modern European History, University of Cambridge
  • 2004: BA(Hons), University of Sydney


  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (2019-present)
  • I have held visiting positions at Princeton, Humboldt Universität, and the University of Sydney.


I am a political historian of modern Germany, and modern Europe more generally. My work explores the building of states and empires, as well as larger questions of sovereignty across the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I also have a keen interest in the relationship between political processes and cities.

My first book, Beyond the Barricades: Government and State-Building in Post-Revolutionary Prussia, 1848-58 (Oxford: OUP, January 2019), investigates the shifting political landscape in German-speaking Europe after the 1848/9 revolutions. It focuses on the activities of a group of moderate conservatives in Prussia, most of whom were determined to learn lessons from their experiences of upheaval and enact a wave of reforms spanning from criminal justice to urban planning. In other words, the work re-evaluates the fundamental importance of these figures to the breakdown of feudal realities across German-speaking Europe, and in doing so, recasts the post-revolutionary period as one in which a new world of direct state engagement comes to the fore in the shaping of modern Prussia and ultimately, modern Germany. I have a book chapter related to this project in The 1848 Revolutions and European Political Thought, ed. by Douglas Moggach and Gareth Stedman Jones (Cambridge: CUP, 2018) and an article entitled ‘Down with the Walls! The Politics of Place in Spanish and German Urban Extension Planning, 1848-1914,’ Journal of Modern History 90 (2018), in which I extended part of my research to consider the urban-extension schemes embraced by conservative governments in the post-revolutionary period in Germany and Spain.

After completing my first book, I began to push my research forward by reconceptualising state-building as an ongoing process of making sovereign claims. I have been doing this in two research projects, one quite distinct from the subject matter of my early work and one that extends it. My first project (funded by the British Academy; Oxford University Press; and the Humanities Research Fund, University of Warwick) takes me into Spain’s swansong of colonial engagement in North Africa, specifically in Morocco. Here I look at the building of the protectorate capital, Tetouan, and what this indicated about claims of state, empire, and world order. Articles related to this project weave together my Spanish and German fields of expertise, especially as the German presence in North Africa increased during WWII.

The second project I am developing and what will ultimately be a monograph, grows out of my earlier work on Prussian and later German state-building. It examines the fraught relationship between the territorial state and worlds of financial imperialism between the 1860s and 1970s. This means that the project takes me back to North Africa, as well as enveloping numerous other regions in which Germans lived and invested around the world. Attention to questions of sovereignty means that it also takes me into the globalist projects of international law in the twentieth century.




  • ‘Down with the Walls! The Politics of Place in Spanish and German Urban Extension Planning, 1848-1914’, Journal of Modern History 90 (2018): pp. 292-322

Book Chapters


  • ‘On Unsettled Democratization: History and Political Science in Conversation’ German History 36 (2018): pp. 432-7.

Book Reviews

  • Jasper Heinzen, Making Prussians, Raising Germans: A Cultural History of Prussian State-Building after Civil War, 1866-1935 (Cambridge: CUP, 2017)(German Studies Review, Volume 41, Number 3, October 2018)
  • Sons and Heirs: Succession and Political Culture in Nineteenth-Century Europe, ed. by Frank Lorenz Müller and Heidi Mehrkens (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2015)(English Historical Review, November 2017)
  • Heléna Tóth, An Exiled Generation: German and Hungarian Refugees of Revolution, 1848-1871 (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2014)(Central European History, Volume 48, Issue 4, December 2015)
  • Eva Giloi, Monarchy, Myth, and Material Culture in Germany, 1750-1950 (Cambridge: CUP, 2011) (German History, Volume 30, Issue 3, September 2012)

Other Professional Activities

  • Editorial board, German History (2018-present)
  • International Advisory Council, Global Urban History Project (GUHP) (2018-present)
  • I tweet @Annarosstweets




1848 thought book