Dr Kara Critchell

Visiting Lecturer

(Email: k.critchell@chester.ac.uk )

I am a modern British and European historian and my research interests fall into the broad categories of Holocaust and Genocide studies, British imperialism and memory studies.


BA (Southampton); MA (Southampton); PhD (Winchester)


I completed my BA in History at the University of Southampton in 2006 and was awarded an AHRC-funded MA in Jewish Culture and History by the same institution the following year. After a brief spell working in politics I returned to academia and successfully completed my PhD in 2014.

Following the completion of my PhD I held teaching positions at the Universities of Portsmouth and Winchester before moving to the Centre for German-Jewish Studies at the University of Sussex as a Research Fellow. During my time at the Centre I conducted research for a major project that analysed Holocaust teaching in Sussex and Hampshire.


I contribute to the teaching of hte following undergraduate modules:

  • Debates in History: Gender, Memory and the Holocaust (Level 5)

  • The Holocaust (Level 5)

  • Gritty City, Urban Wonderland: The Rise of the Modern Metropolis (Level 6)

  • Historical Sources: Gritty City, Urban Wonderland: The Rise of the Modern Metropolis (Level 6)


My doctoral research explored the role of Holocaust education in the construction and mediation of British Holocaust consciousness and the subsequent impact this has had on conceptualisations of British identity. Through the prism of education my thesis discussed the way in which educational organisations contribute to the appropriation of Holocaust themes for political and cultural use through the domestication and decontextualisation of Holocaust consciousness within a British narrative. 

Alongside my continuing interest into British cultural engagement with the Holocaust I have more recently begun conducting research on the figure of the perpetrator in political violence and genocide. My current research project focuses on 'democratic perpetrators' of political violence with a particular emphasis on British colonial violence during the process of decolonisation. For this I draw heavily on nineteenth, and early twentieth, century narratives of race, immigration, and gender especially when considering sexualised violence carried out against indigenous communities.

To accompany these research interests in 2015 I co-organised the first international conference of the ‘Encountering Perpetrators’ series. Following this, in collaboration with colleagues from Utrecht and Winchester University, I established and became Editor-in Chief of the Journal of Perpetrator Research, an inter-disciplinary, peer-reviewed open access journal committed to facilitating and promoting the scholarly study of perpetrators of political violence. I am also a founding member of the Perpetrator Studies Network, an international and interdisciplinary network of scholars which provides a forum for scholarly discussion and debate regarding perpetrators of political violence and genocide across historical, geographic, and cultural lines.

Published work

‘Review: C. Sharples and O. Jensen, Britain and the Holocaust: Remembering and Representing War and Genocide, Holocaust Studies: A Journal of Culture and History, Vol. 20, No. 3, (2014), 171-174

'Remembering and Forgetting: The Holocaust in 21st Century Britain', Quest: Contemporary Issues in Contemporary Jewish History, (forthcoming 2016)