Sam Knapton

Sam Knapton


  • 3.46 Arts

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Personal profile

Academic Background

I am a historian of twentieth century displacement, Central and East-Central Europe and international humanitarianism. My doctoral research is now under preparation for publication under the title Humanitarian Workers, Military Officials and Polish Displaced Persons in British Occupied Germany. This research centres on post-1945 histories of displaced persons (DPs) in Germany, and in particular Polish DPs as it shifts the focus away from the institutions governing the DPs and onto the willing (or rather unwilling) welfare workers, military officials and DPs themselves in the chaotic post-war landscape. It reconceptualises relationships between DPs, welfare workers and officials and shows the lasting, and indelible effect the DP camps had on Polish identity in the post-war world. I am now in the early stages of work on a second major research project focusing on the shifting meanings of 'rehabilitation' in the medicalised discourse of humanitarian aid.

As well as a Junior Research Fellow at the Pilecki Institute in Warsaw for 2021/2, I am working on an edited volume with Katherine Rossy (Carleton University) focusing on UNRRA for the Histories of Internationalism Series with Bloomsbury Academic.

I studied Modern History at the University of Sunderland before pursuing a PhD at Newcastle University in Modern European History under the supervision of Professor Tim Kirk and Dr. Felix Schulz. I worked at Newcastle University as a Teaching Assistant before coming to UEA as a Lecturer in Modern European History. My work has been funded by the German History Society, the German Historical Institute (London) and the German-Polish Research Foundation, as well as Newcastle University's Humanities Research Institute and Forced Migration Group.

Teaching Interests

Modules I regularly teach on/contribute to:

HIS-4003A: Introduction to Modern History
HIS-4006B: Age of Extremes
HIS-4009B: History, Controversy, and Debate
HIS-5018A: Modern Germany
HIS-5050B: Propaganda
HIS-6028Y: Third Reich
HIS-6023A: Youth in Modern Europe
HIS-6077B: Contesting the Past

HIS-7016Y: Nationalism and Violence in C20th
HIS-7024Y: Historical Research Skills
HIS-7025Y: Specialist Tutorials - Zero Hour: Defeat, Occupation and Displaced Persons in Post-War Germany, 1945-1949

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Devlopment Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions