Dr Marco Duranti

BA Harvard PhD Yale
Senior Lecturer in Modern European and International History

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9036 9662
Fax +61 2 9351 3918

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Biographical details

I’m a historian of late modern Europe specialising in the origins of international law and organisations. I have published widely on the history of human rights, European integration, and conservatism. I approach these topics from a comparative and transnational perspective, locating them in their global, imperial, and pan-European contexts. My research, teaching, and public engagement aim to show how the past illuminates our present, including the current crises now besetting Britain and continental Europe. I have been invited to deliver keynotes and invited presentations at dozens of universities abroad, as well as give live radio and television interviews on ongoing political developments in the European Union.

I joined the Department of History in 2011 after receiving my BA in history from Harvard University and PhD in history from Yale University. Before this, I was a Fulbright Scholar at the European University Institute in Florence, a Fox Fellow at Sciences Po in Paris, and a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Max Planck Research Group on History and Memory at the University of Konstanz. In 2017, I was a Visiting Fellow in the Lauterpacht Centre for International Law and Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge.

I recently authored The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), 528 pages. Drawing on twenty archives in six countries, it explores the foundations – cultural, intellectual, and political – of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) across the first half of the 20th century, its investigations track the involvement of British and continental European conservatives, among them Winston Churchill, in the ethical and legal dimensions of the European project. An extended overview of the book can be found on Immanent Frame. The Conservative Human Rights Revolution was longlisted for the 2017 CHASS Australia Prize. It has been reviewed favourably in history journals and law journals, as well as magazines such as Dissent and the London Review of Books.

I’m currently working on two new major projects. The first project is a study of the origins Euroscepticism in Britain, France, and Italy, The project’s local history component compares the social impact of European integration across cities that are today bastions of popular opposition to the European Union, looking at their residents’ evolving attitudes toward resulting demographic and economic changes. Its discursive component investigates how Euroscepticism emerged, not just from nationalism, but from a broader reaction against modernity and an attachment to older transnational identities.

The second project is a teaching and research initiative called “Human Rights History in the Digital Age.” In collaboration with ProQuest, I’m leading a team of data scientists and eLearning specialists in constructing a web interface that uses Text and Data Mining (TDM) to study the global history of human rights. These Digital Humanities modules analyze the contexts in which different categories of human rights have appeared in dozens of historical newspapers across the globe, such as Indigenous rights, LGBTI+ rights, and refugee rights. The interactive interface allows users to visualize text mining operations such as topic modelling, feature analysis, geographic analysis, and network analysis to arrive at historical findings not possible through close reading.

Research interests

  • 20th-Century Europe (esp. Britain, France and Italy)
  • Conservatism (esp. Christian democracy and neoliberalism)
  • Digital Humanities, especially Text and Data Mining
  • European identity, European values, and European memory culture
  • European integration and Euroscepticism
  • Human rights and humanitarianism (esp. the ECHR and UDHR)
  • International justice, law and organisations (esp. the European Court of Human Rights)
  • International organisations (esp. the European Union, UNESCO, and United Nations)
  • Intersection of nationalism, imperialism, and internationalism
  • Right-wing intellectuals and movements

Teaching and supervision

Teaching

  • HSTY1001: History Workshop
  • HSTY1044: Twentieth-Century Europe
  • HSTY2605: Contemporary Europe
  • HSTY2616: The Human Rights Revolution
  • HSTY2626: Fascism and Antifascism
  • HSTY2652: Genocide in Historical Perspective
  • HSTY2659: Nationalism
  • HSTY4001: New Approaches to Modern European History
  • HSTY7001: The History of Human Rights

Supervision

Topics in late modern Western European history, international history, history of human rights and humanitarianism, history and memory

Current projects

  • Application of Text and Data Mining (TDM) to the global history of human rights
  • Origins of Euroscepticism in Britain, France, and Italy
  • Political History of public controversies involving the European Court of Human Rights
  • Popular and populist resistance to the international order.

Conferences and Workshops Convened

'Popular and Populist Resistance to the International Order’, SSSHARC ‘Huddle’, University of Sydney (7 December 2018).

‘Medieval Legacies of Human Rights in Australasia, Europe, and the Muslim World,’ University of Sydney (20 June 2016).

'Nation and Empire in the Age of Internationalism,' University of Sydney (21 July 2014).

'Human Rights and Imperialism in Historical Perspective,' University of Sydney (10-11 August 2012).

'Political Reconciliation and Civil Society in 20th-century Europe,' University of Konstanz, Germany (9-11 December 2010).

Selected grants

2018

  • Developing Digital Literacy in Human Rights History; Duranti M, Plumbe R, Sun C; DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant.

2012

  • Human Rights and Empire; Duranti M, Moyn S; Office of Global Engagement/IPDF Grant.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Duranti, M. (2017). The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention. New York: Oxford University Press. [More Information]

Book Chapters

  • Duranti, M. (2016). European Integration, Human Rights, and Romantic Internationalism. In Nicholas Doumanis (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1914-1945, (pp. 440-458). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. [More Information]
  • Duranti, M. (2013). Conservatives and the European Convention on Human Rights. In Norbert Frei, Annette Weinke (Eds.), Toward a New Moral World Order Menschenrechtspolitik und Volkerrecht seit 1945, (pp. 82-93). Weimar: Wallstein Verlag.
  • Duranti, M. (2013). Holocaust Memory and the Silences of the Human Rights Revolution. In Aleida Assmann, Jan Assmann (Eds.), Schweigen: Archaologie der literarischen Kommunikation XI (Silence: Archeology of literary communication, vol. 11), (pp. 89-100). Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag.
  • Duranti, M. (2012). "A Blessed Act of Oblivion": Human Rights, European Unity and Postwar Reconciliation. In B Schwelling (Eds.), Reconciliation, Civil Society, and the Politics of Memory: Transnational Initiatives in the 20th and 21st Century, (pp. 115-139). Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag.

Journals

  • Duranti, M. (2012). Curbing Labour's Totalitarian Temptation: European Human Rights Law and British Postwar Politics. Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, 3(3), 361-383. [More Information]
  • Duranti, M. (2012). The Holocaust, the legacy of 1789 and the birth of international human rights law: revisiting the foundation myth. Journal of Genocide Research, 14(2), 159-186. [More Information]
  • Duranti, M. (2006). Utopia, Nostalgia and World War at the 1939–40 New York World's Fair. Journal of Contemporary History, 41(4), 663-683. [More Information]

2017

  • Duranti, M. (2017). The Conservative Human Rights Revolution: European Identity, Transnational Politics, and the Origins of the European Convention. New York: Oxford University Press. [More Information]

2016

  • Duranti, M. (2016). European Integration, Human Rights, and Romantic Internationalism. In Nicholas Doumanis (Eds.), The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1914-1945, (pp. 440-458). Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. [More Information]

2013

  • Duranti, M. (2013). Conservatives and the European Convention on Human Rights. In Norbert Frei, Annette Weinke (Eds.), Toward a New Moral World Order Menschenrechtspolitik und Volkerrecht seit 1945, (pp. 82-93). Weimar: Wallstein Verlag.
  • Duranti, M. (2013). Holocaust Memory and the Silences of the Human Rights Revolution. In Aleida Assmann, Jan Assmann (Eds.), Schweigen: Archaologie der literarischen Kommunikation XI (Silence: Archeology of literary communication, vol. 11), (pp. 89-100). Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag.

2012

  • Duranti, M. (2012). "A Blessed Act of Oblivion": Human Rights, European Unity and Postwar Reconciliation. In B Schwelling (Eds.), Reconciliation, Civil Society, and the Politics of Memory: Transnational Initiatives in the 20th and 21st Century, (pp. 115-139). Bielefeld, Germany: Transcript Verlag.
  • Duranti, M. (2012). Curbing Labour's Totalitarian Temptation: European Human Rights Law and British Postwar Politics. Humanity: An International Journal of Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development, 3(3), 361-383. [More Information]
  • Duranti, M. (2012). The Holocaust, the legacy of 1789 and the birth of international human rights law: revisiting the foundation myth. Journal of Genocide Research, 14(2), 159-186. [More Information]

2006

  • Duranti, M. (2006). Utopia, Nostalgia and World War at the 1939–40 New York World's Fair. Journal of Contemporary History, 41(4), 663-683. [More Information]

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