Dr Andrew Tompkins

DPhil (Oxon), FRHistS

Department of History

Lecturer in Hsitory

Dr Andrew Tompkins
+ 44 114 22 22616

Full contact details

Dr Andrew Tompkins
Department of History
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I am a historian of contemporary (post-1945) Europe with a particular interest in environmental, spatial and transnational history.

My first book, Better Active than Radioactive!, examined French-German networks of anti-nuclear protest in the 1970s, and I continue to write and teach about activism, social movements, and periods of political upheaval such as 1968 and 1989

 The other major strand of my research looks at everyday life in shared border environments, such as along the Rhine River and the Oder-Neisse line. 

I joined the department in 2015 and previously held positions at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin as well as Balliol College, Oxford.

I received my DPhil in History from the University of Oxford in 2013. I also studied History at the University of Chicago (M.A., 2008) as well as Political Science and International Studies at the University of North Carolina (M.A., 2005 and B.A., 2002). 

My research has been funded by scholarships from the German Universities’ Excellence Initiative, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Centre Marc Bloch, Clarendon Fund, and Berliner Abgeordnetenhaus as well as grants from the Society for the Study of French History, German History Society, the Polish government and others.

  • B.A. in International Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (2002)
  • M.A. in Political Science (Trans-Atlantic Masters), University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sciences Po Paris and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (2005)
  • M.A. in History, University of Chicago (2008)
  • DPhil, History, University of Oxford (2012/2013)
Research interests
  • Environmental history
  • Transnational history
  • Spatial history
  • Everyday history
  • 20th-century Europe


  • Tompkins AS (2016) Better Active than Radioactive! Anti-Nuclear Protest in 1970s France and West Germany. Oxford: Oxford University Press. RIS download Bibtex download

Journal articles

Book reviews


  • Tompkins AS (2014) Tagungsbericht -- Phantomgrenzen in Ostmitteleuropa: Zwischenbilanz eines neuen Forschungskonzeptes RIS download Bibtex download

Theses / Dissertations

  • Tompkins AS (2013) ‘Better active today than radioactive tomorrow!’ : transnational opposition to nuclear energy in France and West Germany, 1968-1981. RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Migration and identity hub

Research supervision

I am pleased to supervise postgraduates interested in the environmental, social, or cultural history of Germany, Poland, France, and other countries in contemporary Europe.

I am likewise interested in questions of borders, migration, and minority populations (national, regional, or sexual) as well as the study of protest, revolutions, and social/political movements in Europe and beyond.

Current students

  • Rory Hanna - Student Protest and Activism in West Germany, 1949-1967
  • Maria Vasquez-Aguilar - Exiles in Action: Political activism amongst the Chilean Refugees in the UK, 1973-2013

All current students

Completed students

  • Mirjam Galley - Builders of Communism, 'Defective‘ Children and Social Orphans. Soviet Children in Care after 1953.

PhD study in History

  • DAAD, 2020-2022
  • Humboldt Post-Doc Fellow (German Universities’ Excellence Initiative), 2013-2016
Teaching activities


  • HST2504 - Two Germanys, ‘One People’? Central Europe, 1945-1990
  • HST3162/63 - Solidarity, Sabotage, Students: Protest in Europe, 1968-89


  • HST6083 - Borders in 20th Century Europe