Our Team

Prof Laura Lee Downs
Principal Investigator

Laura Lee Downs is Professor in the Department of History and Civilization at the European University Institute, where she holds the chair in the History of Gender and Sexuality, and Directrice d’études at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, where she holds the chair ‘La Gestion sociale : France-Angleterre, XXe siècle.’ She is the author of Manufacturing Inequality: Gender division in the French and British metalworking industries, 1914-1939 (Ithaca & London, 1995), which won the Pinckney Prize for the best book in French History written by a North American; Childhood in the Promised Land: Working-class movements and the colonies de vacances in France, 1880-1960 (Durham & London, 2002); Writing Gender History (3rd edition, revised and expanded, forthcoming, London, 2020); Histoire des colonies de vacances de 1880 à nos jours (Paris, 2009); and, with Stéphane Gerson, Why France? American Historians Reflect on their Enduring Fascination (Ithaca & London, 2006). Her current research explores the shifting relationships between the social and the political in twentieth-century Europe via the comparative study of civil society mobilizations around social welfare in Italy, France and Great Britain from about 1870-1970. Recent publications in conjunction with this research include: ‘La piu’ serena italianizzazione?’ Social action and nationalist politics in the North-eastern Adriatic borderlands (1919-1954), Acta Histriae 26/4 (December 2018), 1087-1102; « Au revoir les enfants : Wartime evacuation and the politics of childhood in France and Britain, 1939-1945, » History Workshop Journal 81/2 (fall 2016), 1-39; ‘And so we transform a people’: Women’s Social Action and the Reconfiguration of Politics on the French Right, 1934-1947 », Past and Present, November 2014, 1-39. In March 2020, Prof. Downs received an ERC Advanced Grant for her project “Social Politics in European Borderlands, 1870s-1990s: A Comparative and Transnational Study” (SOCIOBORD), which project commenced on 1 September 2020

Dr Dominika Gruziel
Senior research fellow and project manager

Dr John Paul Newman 
Research associate

Dr Claudine Marissal
Research associate

Prof Machteld Venken
Research associate

Dr Tatiana Zhurzhenko
Research associate

Pavel Petrov

Trainee visiting student (Erasmus+)

Laura Borgese
Project coordinator