Dr. Holger Hoock is a historian of Britain, the British Empire, and Revolutionary America. He is the author, most recently, of Scars of Independence: America’s Violent Birth. His other books include Empires of the Imagination and The King’s Artists.
His research interests include histories of violence; the history of monuments, memory, and commemoration; and the intersections of state-formation, war, and empire-building, on the one hand, with histories of the arts, archaeology, cultural patriotism and exploitation, heritage, and museums on the other.
Hoock has been a Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress, a Visiting Scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study at the University of Konstanz as well as Visiting Professor at his alma mater, the University of Freiburg. His research has also been supported by, among others, The Huntington Library, the Library Company of Philadelphia, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and the David Library of the American Revolution in the U.S.A, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the British Academy in the UK, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst and the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes in Germany. He is the recipient of the UK’s Philip-Leverhulme-Prize for internationally recognized young researchers (2006) and an elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society (UK).
His personal and professional journey has so far taken Holger from Germany to the United Kingdom and the United States. Holger grew up near Heidelberg in Southwestern Germany, was educated at the Universities of Freiburg (M.A., 1997), Cambridge, and Oxford (D.Phil. 2001), and taught at the Universities of Cambridge (2002–5) and Liverpool (2005–10), where he also founded the interdisciplinary Eighteenth-Century Worlds Research Centre. In 2010, he moved to the J. Carroll Amundson Chair in British History at the University of Pittsburgh, PA.
In addition to sharing his passion for historical research as a writer, lecturer, and consultant for museums and TV, Holger relishes opportunities to help foster diverse, equitable, and inclusive research and educational environments. He is passionate about the pivotal role that graduate education plays in research universities, about its importance as a public good, and about fostering the conditions – inclusive, student-centered, broadly-purposed, career-diverse – in which diverse graduate students thrive as they prepare to lead their disciplines and professions. A boundary-crossing institution builder, Holger has served as founding director of an interdisciplinary research center in the UK, editor of the international Journal for British Studies (2014-17), and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research in the University of Pittsburgh’s Dietrich School of Arts & Sciences (2017-21).