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Professor Daniel Beer

Professor Daniel Beer

Professor Daniel Beer - Professor in Modern European History

Prof. Beer has published widely on the social and cultural history of the Russian Empire and has a particular interest in crime and punishment.

Prof. Beer is the author of two books on Imperial Russia. The first, Renovating Russia: The Human Sciences and the Fate of Liberal Modernity, 1880-1930 (Cornell University Press, 2008), examines how the human sciences – psychology, criminology, psychiatry – shaped attempts by liberal elites to forge a civilised, enlightened society governed by the rule of law. The second, The House of the Dead: Siberian Exile Under the Tsars (Allen Lane, 2016), won the 2017 Cundill History Prize and was shortlisted for the Wolfson Prize, the Longman History Today Prize and the Pushkin House Book Prize. His current research project explores the Russian revolutionary movement from its origins in the 1850s through to the successful campaign to assassinate Tsar Alexander II in 1881. It argues that the confrontation between the revolutionaries and the state became central to the development of Russian political culture and framed popular understandings of sovereignty and rights in the final decades of the Romanov dynasty. Prof. Beer writes for The Guardian, History Today, BBC History, The Times Literary Supplement, Literary Review, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. In his undergraduate teaching, Prof. Beer offers focused courses on “The Russian Empire in the Age of Reform and Revolution”, and “Europe, 1900: Cultures of Conflict and the Shock of the New” in addition to survey courses on the history of Modern Europe. He welcomes applications from research students in Russian history, especially those interested in biopolitics, empire, law, punishment, violence in Modern Russia.

More information about my research is available via PURE

Email -

Twitter - @beerdaniel

As Head of Department my role is to ensure that the Department of History is a welcoming and stable community with a culture of excellence. At the heart of our department is an ethos that focuses on combining an excellent student experience with innovative research and an engaging, thought-provoking approach to public engagement.

I am equally committed to the well-being of all staff and students to ensure everyone feels a valued part of the community and is supported both inside and outside the classroom.

Russian History




Contributor to BBC Radio 4 documentary, “The Deep State”, September 2018

Contributor to BBC Radio 4 documentary “The Revolution in Ideas”, October 2017

“The Russian Revolution”

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