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Julian Wright

Professor of History and Head of Department

Department: Humanities

Julian joined Northumbria as Professor of History and Head of Humanities in 2017, after thirteen years teaching at Durham University and, prior to that, a Junior Research Fellowship at Christ Church, Oxford. He is especially interested in the culture, politics and ideas of modern France and he has been co-editor of the journal French History since 2009. He works with an interdisciplinary network of scholars who are interested in changing experiences and concepts of time in modern Europe. Julian is also involved in music within the wider region as Musical Director of the Durham Singers.

Campus Address

Office: Lipman 108

+44 (0)191 227 3736


MA, DPhil

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

I am very interested in temporality as a theme in modern European culture: both how Europeans conceptualized and experienced the present, and how these experiences and ideas changed over time and in different contexts. 

This theme was essential in my recent work on socialism in France, where arguments raged over whether social change should happen incrementally or in a future upheaval. The idea of the present, ‘Time on a Human Scale’, is also at the heart of a volume of essays which I am editing, currently under consideration with a major international series, with seventeen contributions from scholars in many different disciplines. We are concerned with the turn of 1900 as a period in which concepts of the present were re-evaluated and recast, in music, art, philosophy, anthropology, sociology and politics. 

I am now beginning to explore a new way of thinking about the experience of the present by studying people who lived ‘outside time’ in the era of the Second World War, and I hope to build contacts with colleagues and future students interested in temporality as it was experienced by POWs, the bereaved, people living in secrecy including in the Resistance, exiles and housewives.

Teaching Interests

I have taught widely in modern European history and welcome enquiries for dissertation supervision at UG and PhD level from students interested in French cultural, intellectual and political history.

Key Publications


Socialism and the Experience of Time: Idealism and the Present in Modern France (Oxford: OUP, 2017).

The Regionalist Movement in France, 1890-1914: Jean Charles-Brun and French Political Thought (Oxford: OUP, 2003).

Edited collections: 

(Edited with Stuart Jones) Pluralism and the Idea of the Republic in France (Basingstoke: Macmillan, 2012).

Articles (selection): 

'Socialism and political identity: Eugene Fourniere and intellectual militancy in the Third Republic', French Historical Studies 36 (2013), pp. 449-78.

'Réformisme et historiographie révolutionnaire. Georges Renard et Eugène Fournière, historiens du XIXe siècle', Mil neuf cent. Revue d'histoire intellectuelle 30 (2012), pp. 21-38.

'Les réformistes au secours d’une femme en deuil. Une petite histoire de réseaux et de recherches socialistes à la veille de la Grande Guerre', Cahiers Jaurès 200 (2012), pp. 163-172.

'After the Affair: the Congrès de la Jeunesse and intellectual reconciliation in 1900', French History 23 (2009), pp. 491-516.

(co-authored with Christopher Clark) 'Regionalism and the state in France and Prussia', European Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire 15 (2008), pp. 277-93.

'Social reform, state reform and Aristide Briand's moment of hope in France, 1909-10', French Historical Studies 28 (2005), pp. 31-67

Book chapters (recent):

'A lesson in revolution: Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, The Communist Manifesto', in Hammersley, Rachel (ed.), Revolutionary Moments: Reading Revolutionary Texts (London: Bloomsbury, 2015), pp. 109-116.

'Vision and reality: Joseph Paul-Boncour and Third Republic pluralism', in Wright, Julian & Jones, H. S. (eds.), Pluralism and the Idea of the Republic in France (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2012), pp. 179-197.


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