Erik Linstrum

Assistant Professor

(434) 924-7147

Nau 391
Office Hours: On Leave 2017-18
PDF icon CV public summer 2018.pdf

Field & Specialties

Modern Britain and British Empire; science; European cultural and intellectual


Ph.D., Harvard University, 2012
A.M., Harvard University, 2009
A.B., Princeton University, 2006


Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire (Harvard University Press, 2016)


“Facts about Atrocity: Reporting Colonial Violence in Postwar Britain,” History Workshop Journal 84 (fall 2017): 108-127


“The Politics of Psychology in the British Empire, 1898-1960,” Past & Present 215 (May 2012): 195-233

Current Research

Erik Linstrum is a historian of modern Britain in its imperial and global contexts.  His research explores the politics of knowledge and the circulation of information.  His first book, Ruling Minds: Psychology in the British Empire, won the George Louis Beer Prize of the American Historical Association for the best book of the year in European international history.  It has been featured in AeonNew YorkLibérationFirstpost, and the Times Literary Supplement.


Linstrum is currently writing a history of knowledge about colonial violence in post-1945 Britain.  The book traces reports of atrocities in Malaya, Kenya, and Cyprus as they moved through British society: from the anticolonial left to the unabashedly imperialist right, from Fleet Street to the Church of England, from veterans' associations to the British Red Cross, from BBC teleplays to the West End theater scene. 

Awards & Honors

Kluge Fellowship, Library of Congress, 2016

Michigan Society of Fellows, University of Michigan, 2012-15

Walter D. Love Article Prize, North American Conference on British Studies, 2013

FHHS Article Prize, Forum for History of Human Science, 2013

Harold K. Gross Prize, Department of History, Harvard University, 2012

Courses Taught

Linstrum teaches surveys of modern British and British imperial history and seminars on a wide range of topics, including colonial knowledge, colonial violence, London, and the human sciences.

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts