School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations

Dr Alexander Maxwell

Senior Lecturer
School of History, Philosophy, Political Science & International Relations

Phone: 04 463 6753
Location: Room 422, Old Kirk Building, Gate 3 Kelburn Pde, Kelburn Campus

Dr Alexander Maxwell

Office Hours

On Research and Study Leave until Trimester 2, 2014.


  • BAS: University of California, Davis
  • MA: Central European University, Budapest
  • Ph.D: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Director, Antipodean East European Study Group

This scholarly society examines the peoples and cultures of Central and Eastern Europe.

Research Areas

  • The Habsburg and its successor states, particularly Slovakia and Hungary 
  • National awakening in the Habsburg, Romanov, Hohenzollern, and Ottoman Empires
  • Everyday life in Europe, 1750-1950
  • Linguistic nationalism and the history of linguistic ideologies
  • The history of everyday life, particularly consumption and sexuality
  • The social history of clothing
  • History teaching pedagogy



I am very interested in supervising theses related to nationalism, ethnicity, social history of language, gender history, or the history of everyday life. I am best qualified to assist students working in European history, but am willing to supervise topics in other geographic areas.

Recent publications

Edited Volumes:
Articles / Book Chapters:
  • (with Alexander Campbell) 'István Széchenyi, the Casino Movement, and Hungarian Nationalism, 1827-1848,' Nationalities Papers, vol. 42, no. 1 (2014), 1-18.
  • 'The Legacy of Slavic Reciprocity in the First Czechoslovak Republic', in: Agnieszka Gąsior, Lars Karl, Stefan Troebst, eds., Post-Panslavismus: Slavizität, Slavische Idee und Antislavismus im 20. und 21. Jahrhundert (Góttingen: Wallstein, 2014), 69-78
  • 'East Europeans in the Cold War Comic This Godless Communism', in: Chris York, Rafiel York, eds., Comic Books and the Cold War: Essays on the Graphic Treatment of Communism, The Code and Social Concerns (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2012), 190-203.
  • 'A Brief History of Political Legitimacy: Demotic Ideology and the Spread of Democracy,' Nebula, vol. 7, no. 4 (December 2010), 95-102.
  • 'Typologies and Phase Theories in Nationalism Studies: Hroch’s A-B-C Schema as a Basis for Comparative Terminology,' Nationalities Papers, vol. 38, no. 6 (November 2010), 865-80.
  • 'Slavic Macedonin Nationalism: From "Regional" to "Ethnic"', Ethnologia Balkanica, vol. 11 (2008), 127-54. A Bulgarian translation has appeared as Славянският - Македонский национализъм: от - "регионален" към "этнически," in the journal Македонски преглед [Macedonian Review], no. 1 (2009), 1-36.
  • 'Polish Goals in a Panslav Context: Walerjan Krasiński's Panslavism and Germanism,' New Zealand Journal of Slavonic Studies, vol. 42 (2008), 101-20.
  • ' "Der schöner, magyar, schnurbärtiger, bärtiger Man": Nationalisierter Gesichtshaare in Ungarn im 19. Jahrhundert', in: Birgit Haas, ed., Haare zwischen Fiktion und Realität: Interdisziplinäre Untersuchungen zur Wahrnehmung der Haare (Münster: LIT, 2008), 180-204.
  • 'National Endogamy and Double Standards: Sexuality and Nationalism in East-Central Europe during the 19th Century,' Journal of Social History (December 2007), 413-33.
  • "'Such a Smoking Nation as This I Never Saw...": Tobacco, Nationalism and 19th Century Hungarian Society,' Journal of the Social History of Alcohol and Drugs, vol. 21 no.1 (Autumn 2006), 7-23
  • 'Why the Slovak Language has Three Dialects: A Case Study in Historical Perceptual Dialectology,' Austrian History Yearbook, vol. 37 (Spring, 2006), 385-414. This article won the R. John Rath Prize. It appears in Slovak translation as 'Prečo má slovenčina tri nárečia: prípadová štúdia z historickej perceptuálnej dialektológie,' see Sibyla Mislovičová, ed., Jazyk a jazykoveda v pohybe (Bratislava, 2008) and in the e-journal Forum Historiae, vol. 3, no. 2 (2009)
  • 'Budapest and Thessaloniki as Slavic Cities (1800-1914): Urban Infrastructures, National Organizations and Ethnic Territories,' Ethnologia Balkanica, vol. 9 (2006), 43-64
  • 'Multiple Nationalism: National Concepts in 19th century Hungary and Benedict Anderson’s "Imagined Communities"', Nationalism and Ethnic Politics, vol. 11, no.3 (Fall 2005), 385-414
  • 'Nationalising Sexuality: Sexual Stereotypes in the Habsburg Empire,' Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 14, no. 3 (2005), 266-90
  • 'Magyarization, Language Planning, and Whorf – The Word "Uhor" as a Case Study in Linguistic Relativism', Multilingua, vol. 23, no. 3 (2004), 319-337
  • 'Contemporary Hungarian Rune Writing: Linguistic Nationalism within a Homogenous Nation,' Anthropos, 99 (2004), 161-175
  • 'Literary Dialects in China and Slovakia: Imagining Unitary Nationality with Multiple Orthographies', International Journal of Sociolinguistics, no. 164 (2003), 129-149.
  • 'Hungaro-Slavism: Territorial and National Identity in Nineteenth-Century Slovakia', East Central Europe/lEurope du Centre-Est (ECE/ECE), vol. 29/pt.1 (2002), 45-58
Pedagogical Articles:

Conferences organised

Year Conference
2013 The Czechs and their Neighbours
2012 Psychoactive Substances in European History and Culture, (with Richard Millington)
2012 National Councils and Great Powers
2012 Nationalism and Religion in Iran
2011 Germanness Beyond Germany
2011 Sexualities and Science in Eastern Europe, (with Henrietta Mondry)
2010 National Bodies in Eastern Europe, (with Henrietta Mondry)
2010 The ‘East-West’ Discourse: Symbolic Geography and its Consequences
2008 Hungarians and Their Neighbors: Conflict and Nationality, (with Sacha Davis)
2008 Polish Culture, Polish Experiences
2007 Failed National Languages: National Languages through Historians’ Eyes


Post-graduate theses

Geoffrey Brown, 'Subcarpathian Ruthenia through Czech Eyes 1918-1938'. (Ph.D. in progress).
Matthew Vink, Self-Determination along the Austrian Frontier, 1918-1920: Case Studies of German Bohemia, Vorarlberg, and Carinthia'. (MA 2011).


Honours theses

Alexander Campbell, 'Poland Denied: the Political and Personal Failures of Alexander I at the Congress of Vienna, 1814-15.' (Honours 2012).
Rowan Johnson,'"Sorcery" in the South Seas: Folk Belief, Ecology and Conflict in Early Contact New Zealand'. (Honours 2012).
Zachary Kendall, 'Post-Trianon Hungary: The Politics of Democratic Denial'. (Honours 2011).
Matthew Vink, 'Changing Political Loyalties of German-Austrians in the Aftermath of the First World War'. (Honours 2011).
Ciaron Fleming, 'Tukhochevsy and the Purges of the Red Army'. (Honours 2011).
James Patterson, 'Konrad Henlein: Avid Nazi or Reconciled Czechoslovak? A Historiographic Analysis'. (Honours 2009).
Elizabeth Major, 'Milošević and the not so "Silent Majority": An Analysis of the Protagonists of the Serbian October 5th Revolution'. (Honours 2008).