Wednesday 12 July 2017


Professor Jo Fox, head of department and professor of modern British and European history in the Department of History at Durham University, has been appointed director of the Institute of Historical Research (IHR) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, with effect from 1 January 2018.

Founded in 1921, the IHR is at the centre of the study of academic history in the UK. It is home to an outstanding open-access library, hosts numerous events and seminars, has a dedicated programme of research training, and is at the forefront of developing a range of innovative digital resources for historians.

‘It is an exciting time to be an historian, with the research environment rapidly evolving,’ said Professor Fox. ‘The Institute of Historical Research is extremely well placed to play a central role in the development of the discipline, providing for its future by supporting working historians throughout their careers’.

Professor Fox is a specialist in the history of propaganda and psychological warfare in twentieth-century Europe. She has published on the propaganda in Britain and Germany during the Second World War, in particular exploring the connections between propaganda and popular opinion. She is currently working on a history of rumour in the Second World War and, with David Coast (Bath Spa), on a major project on rumour and politics in England from 1500 to the present day. She has previously served as the Honorary Communications Director of the Royal Historical Society.

Professor Fox holds BA and PhD degrees in history from the University of Kent.

Commenting on the appointment, Professor Sir Adrian Smith, vice-chancellor of the University of London said: ‘I am very pleased to welcome Professor Fox to the university. The IHR is a very important part of the study of history in the UK and Professor Fox will bring her considerable expertise, particularly in the use of new technologies for the benefit of scholars and students’.

‘I am delighted with the appointment of Professor Jo Fox as director of the Institute of Historical Research’, said Professor Roger Kain, dean of the School of Advanced Study. ‘She brings a distinguished record as a historian as well as administrative ability and experience to the role. She will strengthen the institute’s position at the heart of the modern historical profession and lead the institute’s further development as it approaches its centenary in 2021’.

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Notes to Editors

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  1. The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and support of research in the humanities. SAS and its member institutes offer unparalleled resources, facilities and academic opportunities across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. Last year SAS welcomed 786 research fellows and associates, held 2,007 events highlighting the latest research in the humanities, received 24.4 million online visits to its research resources and platforms, and hosted 194,145 visits to its specialist libraries and collections. The School also leads Being Human, the UK’s only nationwide festival of the humanities. Find out more at or follow SAS on Twitter at @SASNews.
  2. The Institute of Historical Research was founded in 1921 and is one of nine institutes that comprise the University of London’s School of Advanced Study. The Institute’s mission is to promote the study of history and an appreciation of the importance of the past among academics and the general public. It offers a wide range of services both onsite and remotely which promote and facilitate excellence in historical research, teaching and scholarship in the UK, by means of its library, events programmes, fellowships, training and publications. It is a leading centre for the creation of digital resources for historians, and promotes the study of London history through its Centre for Metropolitan History and the Victoria County History.
  3. The University of London is a federal University and is one of the oldest, largest and most diverse universities in the UK. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University is recognised globally as a world leader in higher education. Its members are 18 self-governing member institutions and nine research institutes of outstanding reputation. Learn more about the University of London at