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Dr Jessica Reinisch

Reader in Modern European History

Contact details

Department of History, Classics and Archaeology
Birkbeck, University of London
Room G30
26 Russell Square
London
WC1B 5DQ

Email: j.reinisch@bbk.ac.uk
Tel: (020) 7631 6393

Twitter: @JessicaReinisch
Academia.edu: http://birkbeck.academia.edu/JessicaReinisch
Researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Jessica_Reinisch

Profile

  • Jessica Reinisch’s main interests lie in the history of modern Europe, the world wars and post-war reconstruction, internationalism, international organisations and networks, humanitarianism, science and expertise, and refugees, migration and displacement.
  • She is currently working on a history of the work and impact of a short-lived but highly influential international body, the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), whose activities in Europe dominated in the stretches of war-torn Europe that became the frontline of the emerging Cold War.
  • She is Director of the Centre for the Study of Internationalism at Birkbeck.
  • Since 2013, she has been co-editor of the journal Contemporary European History, which covers the history of Eastern and Western Europe, including Britain, from 1918 to the present.
  • She has been a co-organiser of the Beyond Camps and Forced Labour conferences since 2007. The sixth conference took place at Birkbeck in January 2018.

Research and teaching

  • Research
  • Jessica Reinisch was Principal Investigator of a collaborative research project, The Reluctant Internationalists (2013-2017), funded by her Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. The project studied the international organisations and networks in twentieth-century Europe through the lens of public health, medicine and medical science. It brought to light a history of overlapping and competing internationalisms built around a variety of political, cultural, religious and economic priorities. Researchers identified a range of political, social, cultural, economic, religious and linguistic factors that determined whether and how local actors thought or acted ‘internationally’, and thus helped to counteract a still widely popular technocratic view of internationalism, which sees logistical or political obstacles as the primary barriers to international cooperation. You can read more about the project’s findings and activities here.
  • She held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship (2007-2009) at the Department of History, Classics and Archaeology, Birkbeck, before her appointment as Lecturer in 2009.
  • She was a postdoctoral research fellow on Eric Hobsbawm’s Balzan Prize Project, Reconstruction in the Immediate Aftermath of War: A Comparative Study of Europe, 1945-1950 (2004-2007).
  • She completed her PhD at the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHOSTM), Imperial College London in 2005.
  • Teaching
  • Jessica Reinisch’s teaching interests include comparative modern European history, international organisations and networks, war and post-war reconstruction, nationalism and internationalism, migration and population displacement, the history of medicine, science and technology.
  • Recent PhD students
  • Jane Mumby, The Quiet Death of the League of Nations
  • David Brydan, Franco’s Internationalists: Spanish Health and Welfare Experts on the World Stage, 1939-1959
  • Barbara Warnock, The First Bailout: The Financial Reconstruction of Austria, 1922-1926
  • Simon Huxtable, A Compass in the Sea of Life: Soviet Journalism, the Public, and the Limits of Reform After Stalin, 1953-1968
  • Jeff Porter, Before Wiedergutmachung: The Western Allies and Restitution for German Jews Robbed by the Nazis, 1943-1953

Publications

  • Books
  • The Perils of Peace: Public Health in Occupied Germany (Oxford University Press, 2013) – now a free eBook, download here.
  • U.N.R.R.A. (in progress)
  • Edited volumes
  • Refugees in Europe, 1919-1959: A Forty Years’ Crisis? (with Matthew Frank) (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  • Post-War Reconstruction in Europe: International Perspectives, 1945-1949 (with Mark Mazower and David Feldman) Past and Present Supplement 2011
  • The Disentanglement of Populations: Migration, Expulsion and Displacement in postwar Europe, 1944-1949 (with Elizabeth White) (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011)
  • Justice, Politics and Memory in Europe after the Second World War: Landscapes after Battle Vol.2 (with David Cesarani, Suzanne Bardgett and Dieter Steinert) (Vallentine Mitchell, 2011)
  • Survivors of Nazi persecution in Europe after the Second World War: Landscapes after Battle Vol.1 (with David Cesarani, Suzanne Bardgett and Dieter Steinert) (Vallentine Mitchell, 2010)
  • Special issues
  • Agents of Internationalism, Contemporary European History, Vol.25, No.2, May 2016
  • Refugees and the Nation-State in Europe, 1919-1959 (with Matthew Frank), Journal of Contemporary History, Vol.49, No.3, July 2014
  • Relief Work in the Aftermath of War, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol.43, No.3, July 2008
  • Articles and chapters
  • “Old Wine in New Bottles? UNRRA and the Mid-Century World of Refugees”, in: Matthew Frank and Jessica Reinisch (eds), Refugees in Europe, 1919-1959: A Forty Years’ Crisis? (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  • “’The Story Remains the Same?’ Refugees in Europe from the ‘forty years’ crisis’ to today” (with Matthew Frank), in: Matthew Frank and Jessica Reinisch (eds), Refugees in Europe, 1919-1959: A Forty Years’ Crisis? (Bloomsbury, 2017)
  • Agents of Internationalism“, Contemporary European History, Vol.25, No.2, May 2016, 195-205.
  • Forever Temporary’: Migrants in Calais, Then and Now”, The Political Quarterly, published online 18 September 2015, Print edition: Vol.86, No.4, September-December 2015, 515-522.
  • History matters… but which one? Every refugee crisis has a context”, History & Policy, published online 29 September 2015, http://www.historyandpolicy.org/policy-papers/papers/history-matters-but-which-one-every-refugee-crisis-has-a-context
  • “Refugees and the Nation-State in Europe, 1919-1959” (co-authored with Matthew Frank), Journal of Contemporary History, Vol.49, No.3, July 2014, 477-490.
  • “Auntie UNRRA at the Crossroads”, Past and Present, Vol.218, Supplement 8, 2013, 70-97.
  • “Internationalism in relief: the birth (and death) of UNRRA”, Past and Present, Vol.210, Supplement 6, 2011, 258-289.
  • “Survivors and the politics of relief”, in: David Cesarani, Suzanne Bardgett, Jessica Reinisch and Dieter Steinert (eds.), Justice, Politics and Memory in Europe after the Second World War: Landscapes after Battle Vol.2 (Vallentine Mitchell, 2011), 1-18.
  • “Refugees and labour in the Soviet zone of Germany”, in: Jessica Reinisch and Elizabeth White (eds.), The Disentanglement of Populations: Migration, Expulsion and Displacement in postwar Europe, 1944-1949 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 185-209.
  • “Relief in the aftermath of war”, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol.43, No.3, July 2008, 371-404.
  • “‘We shall rebuild anew a powerful nation’: UNRRA, internationalism and national reconstruction in Poland”, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol.43, No.3, July 2008, 451-476,
  • “‘La nazione hanno bisogno di cittadini sani e coraggiosi’: le displaced persons, l’Unrra e la sanità pubblica”, in: Guido Crainz, Raoul Pupo and Silvia Salvatici (eds.), Naufraghi della pace: Il 1945, i profughi e le memorie divise d’Europa (Donzelli, 2008)
  • “Displaced Persons and Public Health in Germany after 1945”, in: J.D.Steinert & Inge Weber-Newth (eds.), Beyond Camps and Forced Labour: Current International Research on Survivors of Nazi Persecution, (Secolo Verlag: Osnabrück, 2008), 43-53.
  • “A new beginning? German medical and political traditions in the aftermath of the Second World War”, Minerva: a Journal of Science and Learning, Vol.45, No.3, September 2007, 241-257.
  • “‘Zurück zu unserem Virchow!’ – Medizinische Karrieren, Nationalhelden und Geschichtsschreibung in Deutschland nach 1945”, in: Rolf Winau and Johanna Bleker (eds.), Gesundheit und Staat: Studien zur Geschichte der Gesundheitsämter in Deutschland, 1870-1950 (Matthiesen Verlag, 2007), 255-271.
  • “‘Man kommt zwangsläufig in die Rolle des Pg.-Schützers…’: Entnazifizierung und Gesundheitspolitik in der Sowjetischen Besatzungszone”, in: Peter Barker, Marc-Dietrich Ohse and Dennis Tate (eds.), Views from Abroad: die DDR aus britischer Perspektive (W.Bertelsmann Verlag, 2007), 79-91

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