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Susan Pedersen

Professional affiliation

Professor of History and James P. Shenton Professor of the Core Curriculum at Columbia University.

Full Biography


Ph.D. — Harvard University, 1989
M.A. — Harvard University, 1983
B.A. — Radcliffe College, 1982

Interests and Research

Susan Pedersen, Professor and James P. Shenton Professor of the Core Curriculum, specializes in British history, the British empire, comparative European history, and international history. She is now writing a book on the mandates system of the League of Nations and its impact on the imperial order.


  • Fellowship from the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New Public Library, 2011-12
  • Fellowship from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, 2011
  • Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, 2009
  • Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2007
  • Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, 2006
  • Fellowship from the the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2005-6
  • Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2002-3 and 1994-5
  • Albion book prize of the North American Conference on British Studies (for Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience)
  • Allan Sharlin Prize, Social Science History Association (for Family, Dependence and the Origins of the Welfare State)


Advisory Boards: Twentieth Century British History, The Historical Journal, The National Archives

Member: American Historical Association, North American Conference on British Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, American Association of University Women Fellow, Royal Historical Society

Major Publications


Settler Colonialism in the Twentieth Century: Projects, Practices, Legacies

Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience

After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain

Family, Dependence, and the Origins of the Welfare State: Britain and France, 1914-1945

Recent Scholarly Articles

“Getting out of Iraq – in 1932: The League of Nations and the Road to Normative Statehood,” American Historical Review, 115: 4 (Oct. 2010), 975-1000.

“The Impact of League Oversight on British Policy in Palestine,” in Rory Miller, ed., Palestine, Britain and Empire: The Mandate Years (London: Ashgate, 2010), 39-65.

"Metaphors of the Schoolroom: Women Working the Mandates System of the League of Nations," History Workshop Journal 66 (2008), 188-207.

"Back to the League of Nations: Review Essay," American Historical Review, 112: 4 (Oct. 2007), pp. 1091-1117.

"The Meaning of the Mandates System: An Argument," Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 32: 4 (Oct-Dec. 2006), 560-82.