Thomas Biskup

Lecturer in Early Modern History

Faculty of Arts, Cultures and Education

01482 465178

Born in Berlin, Thomas Biskup was educated at the universities of Göttingen and Cambridge, where he obtained his MPhil and PhD.

He has been at the University of Hull since completing his post-doc research, and has also held research fellowships at the University of Oxford, the Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel (twice), and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton.

Thomas's field of interest is the political culture of early modern Europe, with a focus on monarchy and courts, political ritual and pamphlets from 17th to 20th-century Germany.

He is also interested in the relationship of European expansion and natural sciences in the age of the Enlightenment.


Research Interests

  • The political culture of early modern Europe, with a focus on 17th to early 19th century Germany

  • Monarchy and image-making, courts and political ritual in Prussia and other German territories

  • Cultural transfer, clandestine literature, and concepts of the body politic and the natural body

  • The relationship of European expansion and natural sciences in the age of the Enlightenment

  • The links between the history of science and political history from the early modern period to the 19th century

Research groups

Currently pursuing international projects with the Prussian Palaces and Gardens Foundation (Stiftung Preussische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg - SPSG), Berlin, and the Interdisciplinary Research Centre for the European Enlightenment (IZEA), Halle.


Biskup T, ‘Transnational careers in the service of Empire: German natural historians in 18th-century London’, in: André Holenstein, Hubert Steinke and Martin Stuber (eds.), Scholars in Action. The Practice of Knowledge and the Figure of the Savant in the 18th Century (Brill: Leiden, 2013), pp. 46-69.

Biskup T, Friedrichs Größe: Inszenierungen des Preußenkönig in Fest und Zeremoniell 1740-1815 (Campus: Frankfurt, 2012)


• Historische Zeitschrift, 298 (2014), pp. 381-405 

• Annales, 69 (2014), pp. 236-7  

• German History, 31 (2013), pp. 309-311 

• Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, 41 (2014), pp. 446-7

• Sehepunkte, 14 (7/8, 2014) 15 July 2014

 • Francia, 2014/4 

•Innsbrucker Historische Studien, 21 (2014), pp. 295-6 

Biskup T, Schalenberg M (eds.), Selling Berlin: Imagebildung und Stadtmarketing von der preußischen Residenz bis zur Bundeshauptstadt (Steiner: Stuttgart, 2008)


• Sehepunkte (8, 2008), 15 June 2008

 •Historische Zeitschrift 290 (2010) 

•H-Soz-Kult, 6 November 2008 

•H-Soz-u-Kult, 6 October 2011 

•Central European History, 4/41 (2008), pp. 690-691 

•Francia (3, 2009)

•IASL Online: Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, 9 June 2009 

•German History, 27 (2009) pp. 309-311 

•H-Germany, March 2009 

Biskup T, Kohlrausch M (eds.), Das Erbe der Monarchie: Nachwirkungen einer deutschen Institution seit 1918 (Campus: Frankfurt, 2008)


•Sehepunkte 9 (4, 2009), 15 April 2009

 •H-Soz-Kult, 26 February 2009 

Biskup T, ‘The hidden queen: Elisabeth Christine and queenship in eighteenth-century Prussia’, in: Clarissa Campbell Orr (ed.), Queenship in Europe, 1660-1815 (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2004), pp. 300-321


Programmes taught on (2019)

Modules list

  • Exploring the Past

  • Thinking about the Past

  • Monarchy, Enlightenment, and Revolution: Europe, 1740-1815

  • Research Project Management for Historians

  • Early Modern Peoples and their Worlds

  • Memory, Meaning and History

Research PhDs

Thomas has been supervising PhD students working on political culture in Germany, France, and Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries, and graduate students writing their theses in political and social European history between the early modern period and the 20th century.

Completed PhDs

  • Jacob Zobkiw, Strategies of Laughter in the French Revolution (2015)

Current PhD supervisions

  • Crawford Matthews, Royal Dignity, Ceremony and Rank: Anglo-Prussian Relations and their impact, 1688 – 1740

Professional highlights

Academic qualifications

  • MPhil, Cambridge University (1996)

  • PhD, Cambridge University (2001)

External roles

Grant-awarding bodies

  • Royal Society, London (Newton-Fellowship-Programm)

  • Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, US

  • Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel, Germany

National scholarship foundations

  • Fond zur Förderung der wissenschaftlichen Forschung (FWF), Austria

  • Research Foundation Flanders, Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (FWO), Belgium

  • Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD), Germany


  • History

  • German History

  • Modern History

  • Medizinhistorischer Journal


  • Wiley

  • Palgrave-Macmillan

Awards and accolades

  • 2015-2016, Gerda Henkel Member, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton

  • 2015, Research Fellow, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

  • 2005, Research Fellow, Herzog August Bibliothek Wolfenbüttel

  • 2001-2004, Mary Somerville Junior Research Fellow, Oxford

Professional highlights

Recent highlights included appearances on the BBC's Radio 4 broadcast of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time on Frederick the Great, in July 2015, and, as presenter, on ARTE TV channel's documentary, France - Allemagne, Une Histoire Commune, broadcast in January and February 2016 - where he also got to talk about Ludwig II of Bavaria flying over his palaces in a small plane.

Professional highlights include a year at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and working as a curator on the 'Friederisiko' exhibition in Potsdam's historic palaces in 2012.