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Associate Professor of Modern European Cultural History, Durham University

Dr. Helen Roche is Associate Professor in Modern European Cultural History at the University of Durham. Her second book, The Third Reich’s Elite Schools: A History of the Napolas, has just been published by Oxford University Press.

Her work has recently been featured in the press nationally and internationally, including appearances in The Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, on the BBC and Sky News. Her first book, Sparta’s German Children: The ideal of ancient Sparta in the Royal Prussian Cadet Corps, 1818-1920, and in National Socialist elite schools (the Napolas), 1933-1945, was published in 2013, and has subsequently received critical acclaim from reviewers in several disciplines, including Classics, intellectual history, and the history of education. Her article ‘Surviving Stunde Null‘ was also awarded German History journal’s “Best Article of 2015” prize.

Previously, she held Research Fellowships at UCL Institute of Advanced Studies and the University of Cambridge, having completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. Her research has been funded by (among others) the AHRC, the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) and the Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz. She is currently researching the history of everyday life under fascism in interwar Europe.

Helen welcomes enquiries from research students with an interest in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European social and cultural history, with a particular focus on German and Austrian history, the history of childhood and education, fascism studies and classical reception studies.


  • –present
    Associate Professor (Modern European Cultural History) in the Department of History , Durham University