Dr Fraser Raeburn
Lecturer in Modern European History; Modern European History
Affiliated research centres
I studied history and economics at the University of Sydney, before moving to Britain to pursue postgraduate research. My PhD, which I completed in 2018, was undertaken at the University of Edinburgh.
I specialise in the history of interwar Europe and Britain, particularly social, cultural and political responses to the rise of fascism. My research to date has focused on transnational mobilisations in response to the Spanish Civil War (1936-9), looking at how the conflict led to widespread popular responses in the form of fundraising, solidarity movements and foreign fighters.
Summary of research interestsPlaces:
- Britain & Ireland
- Near East
- Comparative & Global History
- Twentieth Century & After
My reserch interests lie at the intersection between the social, cultural, transnational, political, emotional and military history of the 1930s. Much of my research to date has aimed to explore the ways in which people were mobilised across borders in response to the rise of fascism in Europe – most famously during the Spanish Civil War, which saw tens of thousands of foreigners travel to Spain to take part in what was seen as the key flashpoint in the wider struggle against reaction, militarism and fascism. I have an enduring fascination with their experiences, motives and trajectories, and what they can tell us about the cultures of international communism, ‘foreign fighter’ mobilisations and the wider history of European fascism and anti-fascism.
My PhD project looked at Scottish involvement in the Spanish Civil War, primarily those who went to Spain to fight in the International Brigades. This project, aside from telling the story of a relatively neglected subgroup in Spain, also aimed to advance research into the International Brigades more broadly. It looks at how the social and political context of Scotland in the 1930s led to such a relatively large number of Scots volunteering, and explores the insight that the Scots can provide into the experience of fighting in Spain, the nature of the international volunteers’ encounters with Spaniards and the role of Stalinist cultures in shaping the International Brigades.
I am currently working on placing transnational mobilisations within a comparative framework. I'm interested in exploring the role of solidarity in shaping responses to conflicts across borders, seeking to understand solidarity not only as a political concept, but as an emotional lived experience.
In 2019/20, I will teach all or part of the following courses:
- Introduction to Historiography
- Themes in Modern European History
- The Third Reich
- Historical Skills and Methods I
- Making of the Modern World
- Historical Skills and Methods II
My first monograph, Scots and the Spanish Civil War, will be published by Edinburgh University Press in 2020.
Politics, Networks and Community: Recruitment for the International Brigades Reassessed, Journal of Contemporary History (available online)
‘The “Premature Anti-fascists”? International Brigade veterans’ participation in the British war effort, 1939-45’, War in History (available online).
‘”Fae nae hair te grey hair they answered the call”: International Brigade Volunteers from the West Central Belt of Scotland in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-9’, Journal of Scottish Historical Studies, 35, No. 1 (2015), pp. 92-114.