Susan G. Pedersen

Susan G. Pedersen

Research Interest


Ph.D. — Harvard University, 1989
M.A. — Harvard University, 1983
B.A. — Radcliffe College, 1982

Interests and Research

Susan Pedersen, Gouverneur Morris Professor of History, specializes in British history, the British empire, comparative European history, and international history.  Her book about the League of Nations and its impact on the imperial order, The Guardians:  The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, appeared from Oxford University Press in summer 2015.  For that book, click here.

In 2014, Pedersen founded a graduate training collaboration in Twentieth-Century British history with Guy Ortolano of NYU and Peter Mandler of Cambridge University. PhD students working in this field participate in regular dissertation workshops and book discussions across all three institutions. For more on the New York-Cambridge Training Collaboration (NYCTC)  click here.


  • Cundill Prize in Historical Literature for The Guardians:  The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, 2015.
  • Fellowship, All Souls College, Oxford University, Spring 2014.
  • Fellowship from the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New Public Library, 2011-12.
  • Fellowship from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, 2011.
  • Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, 2009.
  • Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, 2007.
  • Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, 2006.
  • Fellowship from the the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2005-6.
  • Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2002-3 and 1994-5.
  • Albion book prize of the North American Conference on British Studies (for Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience).
  • Allan Sharlin Prize, Social Science History Association (for Family, Dependence and the Origins of the Welfare State).


  • Advisory Boards: Twentieth Century British History, The Historical Journal, The National Archives.
  • Member: American Historical Association, North American Conference on British Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, American Association of University Women Fellow, Royal Historical Society.



The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire

Settler Colonialism in the Twentieth Century: Projects, Practices, Legacies

Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience

After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain

Family, Dependence, and the Origins of the Welfare State: Britain and France, 1914-1945

Recent Scholarly Articles

“Samoa at Geneva:  Petitions and Peoples before the Mandates Commission of the League of Nations,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 40: 2 (June 2012), 231-61.

“Getting out of Iraq – in 1932:  The League of Nations and the Road to Normative Statehood,” American Historical Review, 115: 4 (Oct. 2010), 975-1000.

“The Impact of League Oversight on British Policy in Palestine,” in Rory Miller, ed., Palestine, Britain and Empire:  The Mandate Years (London: Ashgate, 2010), 39-65.

"Metaphors of the Schoolroom: Women Working the Mandates System of the League of Nations,"History Workshop Journal 66 (2008), 188-207.

"Back to the League of Nations: Review Essay," American Historical Review, 112: 4 (Oct. 2007), pp. 1091-1117.

"The Meaning of the Mandates System: An Argument," Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 32: 4 (Oct-Dec. 2006), 560-82.

Additional writing in the London Review of Books.