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Macdonald, Simon

Research Fellow

Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom

United Kingdom

Max Weber alumnus

Department of History and Civilization

Cohort(s): 2015/2016

Ph.D. Institution

University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


I am a cultural and transnational historian of European and global interaction and exchange from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. I received my PhD in History from Cambridge University in 2011, and have undertaken postdoctoral and teaching work at McGill University, Edinburgh University, and University College London, where I continue to be an Associate at the UCL Centre for Transnational History.
My interdisciplinary research and teaching revolves mainly around the history of cosmopolitanism during the eighteenth century, exploring intellectual debates, cross-cultural transfer, and transnational groups. My doctoral thesis, which is now the subject of a book manuscript, examined the British expatriate presence in France during the eighteenth century, using a focus on population exchange so as to explore broader spheres of interaction and to probe larger historical questions about changing patterns of cross-border conjunctures.
My postdoctoral work develops this research agenda, exploring ideas, networks and practices of cosmopolitanism in eighteenth-century Europe. In particular, it considers the ways in which cosmopolitanism constitutes a salient term for investigating cross-border interchange at this period, and especially for studying the diversity of activities in which historical actors identified, debated and valorized the negotiation of difference. In this way, my work also contributes to the development of transnational history approaches. My work has appeared in journals including the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, Review of English Studies, and Études Épistémè.
I have extensive teaching and lecturing experience, including leading undergraduate and graduate courses on the Enlightenment, early modern and eighteenth-century European history, and transnational history.
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