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Hannah Elias

Dr Hannah Elias is Academic and Digital Engagement Officer for the IHR, an Associate Research Fellow, and a Course Tutor for our MRes Programme. 

She is a historian of Modern Britain, religion, propaganda, and the transatlantic history of race and social protest.; + 44 (0)207 862 8844

Institute roles

Hannah joined the Institute in December 2017 as Academic and Digital Engagement Officer, and served as a Course Tutor for the IHR's M.Res programme beginning in the 2018-19 academic year. She is responsible for the IHR's communications and engagement strategy, and is part of the IHR's Steering Group. 

Hannah is an experienced practitioner of public history, and has led some of the IHR's key public engagement initiatives, including 'Where do we fit in?' Black and Asian British History on the Curriculum, co-hosted in partnership with the Runnymede Trust. She is also the host/producer of the IHR's podcast History in Conversation, and acts as managing editor of the IHR's digital magazine, On History.

Hannah studied for her PhD in History at McMaster University, Canada, where she received funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada for her doctoral project 'Radio Religion: War, Faith and the BBC, 1939-1948' (completed 2016). Prior to working at the IHR, Hannah was as an Associate Lecturer in the Department of History at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she taught the global history of revolution. Between 2015-2018, Hannah served as Editor of History Workshop Online and was an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London. Hannah is currently a Raphael Samuel History Centre team member, and part of the History Workshop Online Advisory Board. 

Research interests

Hannah is a cultural historian of religion in Britain and the Atlantic World in the twentieth century. Her primary research interest concerns the relationship between religion and public life, and the negotiation and mutation of religious beliefs and customs as individuals and communities migrate, interact and experience crisis. Her recent research has focused on transnational networks of protest and resistance in religious communities in the 1960s, particularly those connected to global and national anti-racism campaigns. She has recently authored an essay on the relationship between Martin Luther King, Jr., St Paul's Cathedral, and anti-apartheid networks. 

Her research has also focused on the use of religion as tool of persuasion or coercion, particularly in the propaganda outputs and activities of Britain’s wartime Ministry of Information. She is currently writing a book and several articles based on her 2016 doctoral thesis, entitled ‘Radio Religion: War, Faith and the BBC, 1939-1948.’ Working with colleagues at Durham and Worcester, Hannah is also co-editing a collection of essays on Christianity and the Second World War.

Hannah is currently involved in a number of research and networking projects in collaboration with the RHS, Historical Association, and the Runnymede Trust, among others, which are aimed at exploring and redressing structural racial inequalities in the historical discipline, including diversifying and 'decolonising' history curricula and developing and strengthening the 'pipeline' of development for BAME students to reach the highest levels of the profession in greater numbers.