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Professor Brian McCook

Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities

Phone
+44 (0)1473 338183
Email
Dean.SSH@uos.ac.uk
School/Directorate
School of Social Sciences and Humanities
Brian McCook ORCID

Sandra Mann, Professional Assistant

Phone
+44 (0)1473 338708
Email
s.mann2@uos.ac.uk
Brian McCook staff profile photo

As Dean of Social Sciences and Humanities, I lead an innovative School of research-active scholars dedicated to serving the needs of a diverse, creative, and vibrant student body. We pride ourselves on co-creation, working with our students and external partners to build a shared vision and passion around community engagement, promoting social justice, and working to change lives for the better. A strong interdisciplinary ethos underpins everything we do as School. Staff are enthusiastic about their subjects and dedicated to promoting a collegial, student-centred atmosphere and positive student learning experience. 

By academic background, I am a comparative social and cultural historian of the 19th and 20th centuries. My research interests are wide ranging and include the study of ethnicity and nationalism, citizenship, diaspora, and transnational migration. I teach and supervise on areas relating to these thematic areas, with specialist geographic focus on Central and Eastern Europe, the UK, and the United States. I am currently working on a monograph project related to the migration and settlement of East European refugees in the UK during and after World War II.

BA History and German, Bates College, 1994

     Phi Beta Kappa, cum laude

MA History, University of California, Berkeley, 2000
 

PhD History, University of California, Berkeley, 2004

     First Field: Late Modern Europe – Concentration on Central and Eastern Europe

     Second Field: Comparative Social History – United States, Western Europe, Russia

     Outside Field: Sociology

I am currently Director of Studies for six Ph.D. students in History, English, Psychology, and Childhood Studies and contribute to teaching on the History and Sociology UG degrees via guest lectures and seminars on topics related to ethnicity and race, war and genocide, refugees and citizenship.

In previous roles, I have taught on a wide array of UG and PGT modules, including:

  • Empires in World History
  • Modern British Politics
  • Revolution, Dictatorship & Freedom: 20th Century Central Europe
  • History and the Politics of Belonging
  • The Holocaust
  • Emergence of Modern Europe
  • Migration and Cultural Encounters
  • Contemporary Political Landscapes: Europe
  • Twentieth Century History and Culture in Europe
  • History and Theory
  • The Rise and Fall of Communism
  • Dissertation Workshop
  • Modern Germany
  • Modern East-Central Europe
  • Researching the Past: Concepts, Methods, and Sources
  • Comparative European Labour Movements
  • BA and MA Dissertation

My research interests involve the thematic study of ethnicity and nationalism, social movements, citizenship and the contestation of power, and transnational migration and diaspora studies within a comparative global context.

Currently I am working on a monograph examining British policy to Polish and DP refugees during and after World War II (1939-1956), focusing on resettlement policy towards a 300,000 strong refugee population, the majority of which actively fought alongside Allied armies in World War II. It examines, in particular, British policy towards Poles, domestic reactions against this refugee group, and Polish integration during in the Cold War era.

Publications

Selected publications (see ORCID ID: 0000-0003-2086-8221 for full listing)

Cover of The Borders of Integration

The Borders of Integration: Polish Migrants in Germany and the United States, 1870-1924 (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2011)

     Awarded 2012 Oskar Halecki Prize by the Polish American Historical Association ($1,000)

 

Articles in Journals/Edited Volumes:

“Polish Migration to Germany and the United States, 1870-1924” in Dorota Praszalowicz and Anna Sosna-Schubert (eds.) Deutsche und polnische Migrationserfahrungen: Vergangenheit und Gegenwart (Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 2014)

“Education in War and Exile: The Polish Experience in Britain, 1940-54,” in Anna Mazurkiewicz, ed., East Central Europe in Exile, vol. 1 (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013).

Polish Industrial Workers in the Ruhr since the End of the 19th Century,in Klaus J. Bade, Pieter C. Emmer, Leo Lucassen, Jochen Oltmer, eds, The Encyclopedia of European Migration and Minorities (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011).

“Becoming Transnational: Continental and Transatlantic Polish Migration and Return Migration, 1870-1924,” in Annemarie Steidl, Josef Ehmer, Stan Nadel, and Hermann Zeitlhofer, eds., Relations Among Internal, Continental, and Transatlantic Migration (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Unipress 2009).

Migration, Citizenship, and Polish Integration in the Ruhr Valley and Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1870-1924,Bulletin of the German Historical Institute 38:1 (2006).

The Struggle for Polish Autonomy and the Question of Integration in the Ruhr and Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1880-1914,in Stefan Berger, ed., Towards a Comparative History of Coalfield Societies (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005).

Irish and Polish Migration in Comparative Perspective, John Belchem, Klaus Tenfelde, eds., editorial asst. Brian McCook, (Essen: Klartext Verlag, 2003).

Divided Hearts: The Struggle between National Identity and Confessional Loyalty among Polish Catholics in the Ruhr, 1904-1914,Polish Review 47:1 (2002).

 

Book Reviews:

Negotiating Boundaries in the City: Migration, Ethnicity, and Gender in Britain, by Joanna Herbert. In Urban History 37:2 (2010).

Immigration Past, Immigration Present: Confronting the Internal “Other” in Europe,H-German review of The Immigrant Threat: The Integration of Old and New Migrants in Western Europe since 1850, by Leo Lucassen; Migration and Inequality in Germany, 1870-1913, by Oliver Grant; Italianer in Hamburg: Migration, Arbeit und Alltagsleben vom Kaisserreich bis zur Gegenwart, by Elia Morandi; The Consolidated Asylum and Migration Acquis: The EU Directives in an Expanded Europe, by Peter van Krieken (2009). Available from http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/.

Immigration and Integration in the Bonn and Berlin Republics,H-German review of The Politics of Exclusion: Institutions and Immigration Policy in Contemporary Germany, by Simon Green (2006).  Available from http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/.

The Limits and Lessons of Occupation,H-German online review of The Ruhr Crisis, 1923-1924, by Conan Fischer. (2004). Available from http://www.h-net.msu.edu/reviews/.

External Fellowships and Awards:

  • EU Aurora Mobility Grant (2014)
  • British Academy Overseas Conference Grant (2010)
  • Polish American Historical Association Dissertation Prize (2006)               
  • German Historical Institute (2005-2006) – Thyssen-Heideking Post-doctoral
  • Social Science Research Council (2004-2005) – Post-doctoral Fellowship Free University of Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies
  • University of Mainz, Institute for European History (2004) – Doctoral Fellowship
  • Phi Beta Kappa Research Award (2003)
  • German Historical Institute (2002) – Doctoral Fellowship
  • Kosciuszko Foundation Scholarship (2002)                          
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) (2000-2001 - Declined Award) - Doctoral Fellowship
  • Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Chancellor Scholar (2000-2001) - Affiliated with the Ruhr-University Bochum and the University of Osnabrück

Other Distinctions

  • ZEIT-Stiftung/Europa University Viadrina (Frankfurt O.) Junior Scholar – Summer Institute on Oppositional Cultures (2005)
  • German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)/University of Munich German Studies Junior Scholar – Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute (2003)
  • Woodrow Wilson Center (Washington D.C.) East European Junior Scholar – Summer Training Institute – (2002)

Academic Conference Organization

  • Organizer for Polish American Historical Association Annual Conference, held in conjunction with the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Boston, January 2011.
  • Co-organizer for conference on The Polish Diaspora in America and the Wider World”, held at the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Krakow in June 2010.
  • Co-organizer for Polish American Historical Association Annual Conference, held in conjunction with the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in San Diego, January 2010.

Academic Conference Papers:

  • “Ethnicity and Nationalism: History and Theory.” Paper presented at Perm State University, May 22, 2019.
  • “Polish Resistance and Refugees during and after the Second World War.” Paper presented at Bridgewater State University, April 11, 2019.
  • “The Bolshevik Revolution and its impact on American Labor, 1917-1924.” Paper presented at the 100 Years Bolshevik Revolution conference at St. Petersburg State University, December 6-10, 2017.
  • “Education in War and Exile: The Polish Experience in Britain.” Paper presented at the East Central Europe in Exile: Patterns of Transatlantic Migration conference at the University of Gdansk, May 31-June 4, 2012
  • “Hard Coal, Hard Men: Polish Masculinity in the Coalfields of Pennsylvania”. Paper presented at the American Ethnicity: Rethinking Old Issues, Asking New Questions conference held at the Jagiellonia University, Krakow, May 21-22, 2012
  • “Poles Apart? Refugees, British Society, and the Building of an Anglo-Polish Identity, 1945-1955.Paper presented at the conference on “The Polish Diaspora in America and the Wider World“, Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences, Krakow, June 25-26, 2010.
  • “Z Polski do Anglii (From Poland to England): The Polish Resettlement Corps and the Making of Polish Britons.” Paper presented at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, January 7-10, 2010.
  • “Comparing Migrant Communities in Germany and the United States, 1870-1924.Paper presented at Swansea University, Wales, November 16, 2009
  • Mining Masculinity: The Making of Hard Coal Men in the Ruhr and Northeastern
  • Pennsylvania, 1870-1914.Paper presented at the Social History Society Conference, University of Warwick, April 3-5, 2009.
  • Comparing Polish Migrant Experiences in Germany and the United States.Paper presented at the History Research Seminar series at De Montfort University, Leicester, January 21, 2009.
  • Enemies into Allies: Ex-Wehrmacht Soldiers and the Politics of Identity within the Polish Second Corps, 1944-1946.Paper presented at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting, New York City, January 2-5, 2009.
  • Challenging the State: Polish Immigration in the Ruhr and Northeastern Pennsylvania.Paper presented at the Workshop on American Ethnicity: Rethinking Old Issues, Asking New Questions held at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow, May 19-20, 2008.
  • “Becoming ‘Mining Men’: Gender, Ethnicity and Working Class Militancy in the Ruhr and Pennsylvania, 1880-1918.” Paper presented at the European Social Science History Conference, Lisbon, February 26-March 1, 2008.
  • Polish Forced Labor during World War II: Assessing a Decade of Research and Debate.Paper presented at the American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C., January 3-6, 2008.
  • “Parallel Lives, Parallel Societies? Confronting the Polish Immigrant Challenge in the Ruhr and Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1870-1924”. Paper presented at the German Historical Institute Conference on “Migration and Urban Governance,” Washington D.C., May 11-13, 2007
  • “The First Transnationals?: Continental and Transatlantic Networks among Polish Migrants, 1880-1924”. Paper presented at the Social Science History Association Conference, Minneapolis (USA) November 2-5, 2006.
  • “The Face of Mining: Markets, Labour Regimes, and State Regulation in the Coal Industries of the Ruhr Valley and Northeastern Pennsylvania, 1880-1914”. Paper presented at the European Social Science History Association Conference, Amsterdam, March 22-25, 2006.
  • “Mining Masculinities and Femininities: Gender Relations within Polish Immigrant Communities in Germany and Pennsylvania, 1890–1930”. Paper presented at the American Historical Association/Polish American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, January 6-9, 2006.
  • “The Boundaries of Inclusion: The Polish Minority in the Ruhr”. Paper presented at the Alexander von Humboldt Association’s German Chancellor Scholars Forum on “Reconfiguring German Belonging—Past, Present, Future,” Providence (USA), June 4-6, 2005.
  • “Becoming ‘Mining Men’: Gender and Working Class Militancy within the Workforce of the Ruhr and Pennsylvania, 1900-1918”. Paper presented at the University of Swansea, February 25, 2005.
  • Staroprusaki, Mazurzy, Germans or Poles? Masurian Exceptionalism in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries”. Paper presented at the American Historical Association/Polish American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington D.C., January 8-10, 2004.
  • “The Babylonian Exile: Continental and Transatlantic Polish Migration and Re-migration, 1880-1924”. Paper presented at the conference on Relations between Internal, Continental and Transatlantic Migration in the 19th and at the Beginning of the 20th Century” held at the University of Salzburg, December 12-14, 2003.
  • “The Case of Remigrants: The Effects of Polish Working Class Remigration on Social Developments in Poland”. Paper presented at the East European Junior Scholars Training Seminar sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center. Given in Wye River (USA), August 9-12, 2002.
  • “Divided Hearts: The Struggle between National Identity and Confessional Loyalty among Polish Catholics in the Ruhr, 1904-1914”. Paper presented at the conference “Europe 1000-2000: A Thousand Years of Civitas, Communitas et Universitas” – Budapest, April 27-29, 2001.

I am a strong supporter of global education to make global citizens and in my current and previous roles I have led on: building international exchange partnerships; the planning of international network research bids to EU and other funding bodies; direct recruitment of international students; negotiating partnership 3+1 and 1+1 partnership agreements, and internationalising of the undergraduate and post-graduate curriculum. 

Recent International Educator Conferences attended:

  • British Council Going Global 2021, held 15-17 June online
  • Higher Education Marketing Conference 2021, held 29-30 June online
  • NAFSA Annual Conference 2017, held May 29-June 2 in Los Angeles, CA
  • NAFSA Annual Conference 2016, held May 31-June 4 in Denver, CO
  • NAFSA Annual Conference 2015, held May 26-29 in Boston, MA.
  • NAFSA Annual Conference 2014, held May 26-30 in San Diego, CA.
  • EAIE Annual Conference 2013, held 10-13 September in Istanbul, Turkey.
  • NAFSA Annual Conference 2013, held May 27-31 in St. Louis, MO.