Dr Dan Gordon

Senior Lecturer in European History

Department of English, History & Creative Writing


Underlying all my work is an interest in highlighting hidden voices, the everyday actions carried out by individuals and groups in opposition to dominant power structures around them. So I have written about the less powerful struggling for justice, rights and fair treatment in unequal situations, and I have also analysed the actions of leaders searching for solutions and compromise. I am as interested in individuals making new lives outside their home environments as in people coping with unequal access to transport systems. France is the country I specialise in, but I also engage in comparative work, for example analysing social and political movements in the UK, France and Italy, with particular interests in histories of anti-racism and histories of free public transport in the late twentieth century. I have written on a wide range of contemporary issues, including the gilets jaunes protests, the sans-papiers movement, the Calais refugee crisis, social inequalities and elections, for a variety of both French- and English-language publications. The history I write is affected by my own Jewish family background which, on both sides, is one of migration, separation and political action. The difficulties I have faced including chronic illness, together with my long experience of pastoral work as a personal tutor and year tutor, mean that I am very aware of what students of all ages may go through when studying and writing history.

Collaborative work

Since 2019 I have been part of a pan-European research project on Social Justice In 20th Century Europe, involving historians from countries including Romania, Hungary, Czechia, Norway, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK. We have held a series of workshops and are together preparing an edited book as we discuss this joint endeavour, seeking to critically historicise for the first time a pervasive element of debate in modern Europe. My contribution interrogates tensions inherent within social justice discourses of the Left and centre-Left about immigration. In 2021-2022 I am also part of the collective organising committee of a series of research workshops at Sciences-Po Paris on the history of Social Actors and Movements. Previous academic collaborations include as an advisor to an international Marie Sklodowska-Curie funded project on children’s literature and 1968 based at the University of Tours and the University of Reading (2016-2018).

At Edge Hill, I am a core member of the Migration Working Group North West, deliver guest lectures on the Politics programme and regularly participate in the Gramsci Society. From 2013-2020 I was on the Editorial Board of the interdisciplinary journal Modern and Contemporary France, and previously served on the Executive Committee of the Association for the Study of Modern and Contemporary France. I am a contributor to the French History Network blog. I also regularly collaborate outside academic settings: for example from 2012-2015 on the Advisory Board of a project by the Paris-based immigration history NGO, Génériques, assisting in the collection of oral histories of activists from minority communities in France and in making them publicly available.

International setting

My research work is regularly called upon at an international level. On the 50th anniversary of the French events of May-June 1968, I was interviewed by newspapers in Colombia, Switzerland and France, and my work on the hidden history of immigrant workers’ role in the French general strike of that year was translated into French by a Belgian magazine. Previously an obituary I wrote for one of the leaders of the 1968 student movement in France was handed out by his friends at his funeral, and I was invited by the Mayor of Paris to the naming of a square after a Tunisian migrants’ rights activist I had interviewed. I have been a regular speaker at Les Reclusiennes, an annual grassroots festival of ideas named after the 19th century anarchist Elisée Reclus held in the town of his birth in southwestern France. I am frequently invited to speak in France and elsewhere, for example at a public event at a town hall in Lyons, or in Washington DC, where my book Immigrants and Intellectuals: May ’68 And The Rise Of Anti-Racism in France is a set text for students at Georgetown University. My work frequently crosses academic/non-academic boundaries. For example in 2017-2018 I organised a seminar series at Edge Hill on Lived Experiences of Anti-Racist Activism in Europe Since The 1970s, involving live public oral history interviews with activists from the UK, France and beyond.


I strongly believe in bringing authentic voices to my teaching, and in 2021 organised an online student conference at which academics and undergraduates from the Edge Hill community and beyond presented papers on 1989-1991: The Birth Of Contemporary Europe?, many drawing on their own personal or family experiences. I have taught at Edge Hill since 2003, in which time I have had one six month period of research leave, and often bring back from national and international conferences the latest research from the wider academic community to inform teaching for Edge Hill students on the broad range of modules I teach in 19th and 20th century European history. Two PhD students have successfully completed theses in 20th century French history with myself as lead supervisor, and I currently work with four History PhD students as well as advising BA and MA students on their dissertations. As a Departmental International Coordinator, I actively promote the development and maintenance of our international links, particularly with the universities of Oldenburg and Rouen. I have been an external examiner at both British and French universities. In 2021 I was interviewed for an undergraduate module at Queen Mary University of London and chaired a panel at an interdisciplinary online postgraduate conference at Nanterre University on migrant identities. I frequently give talks at local North West schools and colleges and welcome enquiries from teachers looking for external speakers.


My first degree was in Modern History at the University of Oxford, then I studied at the University of Sussex for an MA in Contemporary History and a PhD funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Board. I taught at both those universities, as well as the University of Nice, where I spent a year as an Entente Cordiale Scholar researching political expulsions from France in the 1930s and 1940s. Immediately before joining Edge Hill, I was the Alistair Horne Visiting Fellow at St Antony’s College Oxford. I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a former member of the Steering Committee of History UK. In my spare time I enjoy acting; in 2019 I was executed at the Battle of Agincourt in the community chorus of a Brexit-themed professional production of Shakespeare’s Henry V at the Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre in Chester, for which I was consulted on my research on the gilets jaunes. I am continually self-reflective and empathetic in my research and teaching, drawing on diverse approaches to highlight stories which might otherwise be lost.


Special Subject: 1968 And All That: Protest in Western Europe

Migration and Mobility in Contemporary European History

Introduction to Contemporary French History

Communism in Eastern and Central Europe After 1945

Interpreting European History: the Nineteenth Century



  • Immigrants And Intellectuals: May ’68 And The Rise Of Anti-Racism In France (Pontypool: Merlin Press paperback, 2012). Sections translated in French as:
    • ‘Les travailleurs immigrés sortis de la nuit’, Lava, special issue, no 4 (April 2018), https://lavamedia.be/fr/les-travailleurs-immigres-sortis-de-la-nuit/ and also in Flemish version of same issue
    • ‘Le 17 octobre 1961 et la population française: la collaboration ou la résistance?’ in Aïssa Kadri, Moula Bouaziz and Tramor Quemeneur, eds, La guerre d’Algérie revisitée. Nouvelles générations, nouveaux regards (Karthala, 2015)
    • ‘Sans Frontière et la fin des années 68 en France’ in Caroline Rolland-Diamond, Xavier Landrin, Anne-Marie Pailhès, and Bernard Lacroix, eds, Les contrecultures: genèses, circulations, pratiques (Syllepse, 2015)

Articles and chapters since 2003

  • ‘Talking Out Of Revolution: Henri Krasucki and Jacques Chirac’s Secret Pigalle Negotiations and the Resolution of the French General Strike of May-June 1968’, Labour History Review, vol 83, no 3 (December 2018), pp. 219-247
  • ‘Islamophobia, Antisemitism and the Search for Common Ground in French Antiracist Movements Since 1898’, in James Renton and Ben Gidley, eds, Antisemitism and Islamophobia in Europe: a Shared Story? (Palgrave, 2017), pp. 217-266
  • ‘L’économie morale des banlieusards: aux origines de la ‘‘crise des transports’’ en France des années 1970?’, Vingtième Siècle, no 126 (October 2015), pp. 119-131, https://www.cairn.info/revue-vingtieme-siecle-revue-d-histoire-2015-4-page-119.htm
  • ‘Les marches vues du Royaume Uni’ in François Brun and Ahsène Zehraoui, eds, Les Marches pour l’Egalité et contre le racisme de 1983 à 1985, special issue of Migrations Société, no. 159-160 (May-August 2015), pp. 141-158, https://www.cairn.info/revue-migrations-societe-2015-3-page-141.htm
  • ‘French and British Antiracists Since the 1960s: a rendez-vous manqué?’, in Maud Bracke and James Mark, eds, Between Decolonisation and the Cold War: Transnational Activism and its Limits in Europe, 1950s-1990s, special issue of Journal of Contemporary History, vol 50, no 3 (July 2015), pp. 606-631
  • ‘From Militancy to History: Sans Frontière and Immigrant Memory at the Dawn of the 1980s’ in Emile Chabal, ed, France Since the 1970s: History, Politics and Memory in an Age of Uncertainty (Bloomsbury Academic, 2015), pp. 115-128
  • Sans Frontière et Race Today, vecteurs parallèles de l’héritage de l’immigration’, in Louisa Zanoun, ed, La patrimoine de l’immigration en France et en Europe: enjeu social et culturel, special issue of Migrance (Hors série 2013), pp. 43-56
  • ‘Reaching Out to Immigrants in May ’68: Specific or Universal Appeals?’ in Julian Jackson, Anna-Louise Milne and James Williams, eds, May ’68: Rethinking France’s Last Revolution(Palgrave, 2011), pp. 93-108
  • ‘A ‘Mediterranean New Left’? Comparing and Contrasting the French PSU and the Italian PSIUP’, Contemporary European History, vol 19, no 4 (November 2010), pp. 309-330
  • ‘Memories of 1968 in France: Reflections on the 40th Anniversary’ in Sarah Waters and Ingo Cornils, eds, Memories of 1968: International Perspectives(Peter Lang, 2010), pp. 49-78
  • ‘Le PSU et les luttes de l’immigration: perspectives nationales et internationales’ in Tudi Kernalegenn, François Prigent, Gilles Richard and Jacqueline Sainclivier, eds, Le PSU vu d’en bas. Réseaux sociaux, mouvement politique, laboratoire d’idées (années 1950-années 1980) (Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2009), pp. 327-336
  • ‘Liquidating May ’68? Generational Trajectories of the 2007 Presidential Candidates’, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 16, no 2 (May 2008), pp. 143-159
  • ‘Daniel Guérin et le mouvement des travailleurs immigrés en France après 1968’, in David Berry, ed, Daniel Guérin, révolutionnaire en movement(s)Dissidences, vol 2 (March 2007)
  • ‘Controlling the Streets in May 1968’ in Jessica Wardhaugh, ed, Paris and the Right in the Twentieth Century(Cambridge Scholars, 2007), pp. 104-121
  • ‘The Back Door of the Nation State: Political Expulsions and Continuity in Twentieth Century France’, Past and Present, no 186 (February 2005), pp. 201-232
  • ‘ ‘‘A Nanterre, ça bouge’’: immigrés et gauchistes en banlieue, 1968 à 1971’,Historiens et Géographes, no 385 (January 2004), pp. 75-86
  • ‘Juifs et musulmans à Belleville (Paris 20e) entre tolérance et conflit’, Cahiers de la Méditerrannée, no 67 (December 2003), pp. 287-298., https://journals.openedition.org/cdlm/135
  • ‘ ‘‘Il est recommandé aux étrangers de ne pas participer’’: les étrangers expulsés en mai-juin 1968’, Migrations Société, vol 15, no 87-88 (July-August 2003), pp. 45-65

Review articles

  • ‘Commentary on French Historical Studies Special Issue: May ‘68: New Approaches, New Perspectives’, H-France Salon, Volume 10, no 3 (2018), pp. 1-9, https://www.h-france.net/Salon/Gordon.pdf
  •  ‘Full Speed Ahead? The Trente Glorieuses in a Rear View Mirror’, Contemporary European History, vol 26, no 1 (February 2017), pp. 189-199
  • ‘Polychronicon: Reinterpreting 1968: The Case of France’, Teaching History, no 162 (March 2016), pp. 44-45
  • ‘Pomp and Circumstance’, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 23, no 2 (April 2015), pp. 249-255
  • ‘History at Last? 1968-2008’, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 17, no 3 (August 2009), pp. 335-342
  • ‘Three New Works by Azouz Begag’, H France Review, vol 7 (October 2007), no. 118, https://www.h-france.net/vol7reviews/vol7no118gordon.pdf
  • ‘From May to October: Reassessing the 1968 Generation’, Modern and Contemporary France vol 13, no 2 (May 2005), pp. 229-233

Reviews since 2003

  • La part de l’ombre. Histoire de la clandestinité politique au XXe siècle, ed. Virgile Cirefice, Grégoire Le Quang and Charles Riondet, H-France Review, vol 21 (2021), forthcoming
  • De cendres et de braises: Voix et histoires d’une banlieue populaire / L’expérience d’un film by Manon Ott, Modern and Contemporary France, published online November 2020
  • Opening the Gates: the Lip Affair, 1968-1981 by Donald Reid, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 27, no 3 (August 2019), pp. 405-406
  • Quand la gauche se réinventait. Le PSU, histoire d’un parti visionnaire by Bernard Ravenel, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 26, no 2 (May 2018), pp. 220-222
  • Ordinary Workers, Vichy and the Holocaust: French Railwaymen and the Second World War by Ludivine Broch, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 26, no 1 (February 2018), pp. 91-93
  • At Home In Postwar France: Modern Mass Housing and the Right To Comfort by Nicole Rudolph, Journal Of Contemporary European Studies, vol 25, no 3 (October 2017), pp. 394-396
  • Militant Around the Clock? Left-Wing Youth Politics, Leisure and Sexuality in Post-Dictatorship Greece, 1974-1981 by Nikolaos Papadogiannis, European Review of History / Revue européene d’histoire, vol 24, no 4 (October 2017), pp. 653-654
  • Against Old Europe: Critical Theory and Alter-Globalization Movements by Raphael Schlembach, Journal of Contemporary European Studies, vol 24, no 1 (January 2016), pp. 193-194.
  • The Transport Debate by Jon Shaw and Iain Docherty, Political Quarterly, vol 86, no 4 (October-December 2015), pp. 577-579
  • The Thinking Space: The Café as a Cultural Institution in Paris, Italy and Vienna, ed. Leona Rittner, Scott Haine and Jeffrey Jackson, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 23, no 1 (January 2015), pp. 125-127
  • ‘Olivier Assayas’ Après mai‘, Fiction and Film for French Historians, vol 5, no 2 (November 2014), https://h-france.net/fffh/maybe-missed/olivier-assayas-apres-mai/
  • Europe’s 1968: Voices of Revolt, ed. Robert Gildea, James Mark and Anette Warring, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 22, no 3 (August 2014), pp. 411-413
  • ‘Integration, Again: the Frenchness of a British Nationalist’, review of The British Dream: Successes and Failures of Post-War Immigration by David Goodhart, Political Quarterly, vol 84, no 4 (October-December 2013), pp. 551-553
  • The Republic and the Riots: Exploring Urban Violence in French Suburbs, 2005-2007 by Matthew Moran, French Studies, vol 67, no 1 (January 2013), p. 141
  • Memories of May ’68: France’s Convenient Consensus by Chris Reynolds, Modern and Contemporary France, vol 20, no 2 (May 2012), pp. 276-277
  • Paris 1961: Algerians, State Terror and Memory by Jim House and Neil MacMaster, English Historical Review, vol 124, no 509 (August 2009), pp. 1014-1016

Comment pieces since 2003

  • ‘Historians in Lockdown: The Covid Diary of Dr Daniel Gordon: On Not Doing Things: Or, It’s Décroissance, Jim, But Not As We Know It!’, French History Network Blog, May 2020, frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/blog/?cat=349
  • ‘The Gilets Jaunes and the Moral Economy of Driving’, in Michael Behrent and Diane Labrousse, eds, France’s Yellow Vests: Lessons from a Revolt, H-Diplo / International Strategic Studies Forum Policy Series, nos 2-5, April 2019, https://issforum.org.roundtables/policy/2-5-yellowvests
  • ed, ‘Erasmus: Student Voices’, Edge Hill History Newsletter, September 2018, http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/history/files/2018/09/Newsletter-2018.pdf
  • ‘How Should We Remember 1968?’, State Of Nature Blog, May 2018, stateofnatureblog.com/one-question-how-should-we-remember-1968/
  • ‘Tribute to Jacques Sauvageot (1943-2017)’, French History Network Blog, November 2017, frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/blog/?p=1574
  • ‘Immigrant Struggles, Anti-Racism and May 1968: an interview with Daniel A.Gordon’, Viewpoint, October 2017, https://www.printfriendly.com/p/g/EEcGWg, translated in French as ‘Le mai 68 des travailleurs immigrés en France. Entretien avec Daniel A. Gordon’, Contretemps, September 2017, https://www.contretemps.eu/mai-68-immigres-france-gordon/
  • ‘1969-2017’, French History Network Blog, May 2017, frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/blog/?p=1348
  • ‘Calais Is Our Berlin Wall’, French History Network Blog, October 2016, frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/blog/?p=1118
  • ‘Why Study European History After Brexit?’, Edge Hill History Newsletter, September 2016
  • ‘Boris Sarkozy and Nigel Le Pen: The Europe Of Our Nightmares?’, French History Network Blog, June 2016, frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/blog/?p=1022
  • Comment under Gisela Stuart, ‘Would Britain Be Better Off In Europe Or Going It Alone?’, Guardian, June 2016, https://profile.theguardian.com/user/id/16264326?page=1
  • Comments under Heather Stewart, ‘Vote To Leave EU Would ‘Condemn Britain To Irrelevance’, Say Historians’, Guardian, May 2016, https://profile.theguardian.com/user/id/16264326?page=1
  • ‘French Historians Under The Spotlight: Dr Daniel Gordon’, French History Network Blog, February 2016, frenchhistorysociety.co.uk/blog/?p=827
  • Co-author, ‘A Transport Revolution for the North West: The North West Transport Manifesto’, Green Party, April 2015,
  • ‘Eric Hobsbawm (1917-2012)’, Edge Hill History Newsletter, September 2013
  • ‘La crise en banlieue’, The Virtual Stoa Blog, November 2005, https://virtualstoa.net/2005/11/16/113216302254233062/
  • ‘Les élus d’origine étrangère en Grande-Bretagne’, La Lettre de la Citoyenneté, no 73, January-February 2005, perso.nnx.com/marion/royaume73a.htm
  • ‘The Tower of Babel Comes to North London: Reflections from the European Social Forum’, The Voice of the Turtle Blog, October 2004
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