Chalmers W. Poston Distinguished Professor of European History
507 Hamilton Hall
Curriculum Vitae


BA Columbia University, 1976
MA University of Pennsylvania, 1977
PhD University of Cambridge, 1984

Research Interests

Susan Dabney Pennybacker’s research centers upon the political culture of modern Britain and the former British Empire. Her book-in-progress, entitled Fire By Night, Cloud by Day: refuge and exile in postwar London (Cambridge), concerns the movement of individuals between metropolitan London and South Africa, Trinidad, India, and Europe between 1945 and 1994. It is based in both archival and ethnographic research conducted in London, New Delhi, Port of Spain, Cape Town and Johannesburg. She has a keen interest in visual media sources, especially documentary photography and film. Pennybacker is a founding member and co-convener of the Triangle Global British History Seminar and the Transnational and Global Modern History seminar. She is the Immediate Past President of the North American Conference on British Studies (NACBS), 2018-20, and an associate editor of the Journal of British Studies.

Some Notable Publications

  • “A Cold War Geography: South African Anti-Apartheid Refuge and Exile in London, 1945-1994, in, Nathan Riley Carpenter and Benjamin N. Lawrence, eds., Africans in Exile: mobility, law and identity (Indiana University Press, 2018), 185-99.
  • “Anti-apartheid testimony: unmaking the histories of South African Jewish communists” in Carol S. Gould, Simone Gigliotti and Jacob Golomb, eds., Ethics, Art, and Representations of the Holocaust: Essays in Honor of Berel Lang (Lexington Books, Rowman and Littlefield, 2013)
  • “Afterword” in Robbie Aitken and Eve Rosenhaft, eds., Africa in Europe: Studies in Transnational Practice in the Long 20th Century (University of Liverpool Press, 2013)
  • From Scottsboro to Munich: Race and Political Culture in 1930s Britain (Princeton University Press, 2009)
  • A Vision for London, 1889–1914: Labour, Everyday Life and the London County Council Experiment (Routledge, 1995, paperback edition, 2013)

Graduate Students

Senior Honors Thesis Students

  • Andrew Soboriero, co-advised with Lloyd Kramer
  • Augusta Dell Omo, co-advised with Tobias Hof

Courses Taught (as schedule allows)

For current information about course offerings, click here.

  • HIST 164—The History of Britain in the 19th Century
  • HIST 165—The History of Britain in the 20th Century
  • HIST 398—Modern London: The Imperial Metropolis
  • HIST 490 (Honors)—Topics in British Imperial History, 1715–Present
  • HIST 722—Contemporary Global History
  • HIST 771—Topics in Modern European History
  • HIST 775—Studies in Modern English History