Dr Felix Schnell

Senior Lecturer
Department of History
Dr Felix Schnell
  • Email

  • Telephone

    +44 (0) 1206 872226

  • Location

    5NW.8.7, Colchester Campus

  • Academic support hours

    by appointment



Like probably many male teenagers of my generation I was fascinated by war and military stuff, especially Frederick the Great and the Second World War. At school it turned out that history was the only subject which didnt bore me to death. And I also realised that theres interesting stuff beyond war. However, after my A-levels I decided to study archaeology because I wanted to be as far from reality as possible and live in my personal ivory tower. It turned out, however, that archaeology intellectually was a rather underwhelming subject to study, and that I was more interested in people than in pottery fragments. So, I returned to history after my first year at the university, and delved into the Middle, and Early Modern Ages. Later, when I had to choose a second and a third subject, I opted for philosophy and Slavic studies. The latter was due to my love of the music of Russian composers, but I completely underestimated the necessary effort to learn Russian. Consequently, I began to focus on Russian history to make the effort worthwhile, and my professor in Goettingen drove me towards modern history. So I have ended up with something I would never have imagined when I left school. I studied at Goettingen University, Free University Berlin (1990-1996) and I did my postgraduate studies at Bielefeld University (1998-2004)


  • PhD University of Bielefeld, 2004

  • Post-doctoral dissertation (Habilitation) Humboldt University of Berlin, 2011


University of Essex

  • Research seminar convenor, Department of History, University of Essex (2016 - present)

  • Cluster leader 'War, memory, and life-stories', Department of History, University of Essex (2017 - present)

  • Module director HR100 'Making the Modern World', Department of History, University of Essex (2016 - present)

  • Liaison officer Essex Pathways, Department of History, University of Essex (2015 - present)

  • Director of research, Department of History, University of Essex (1/10/2016 - 31/12/2016)

  • Lieutenant director of employability, Department of History, University of Essex (1/2/2015 - 31/12/2015)

Research and professional activities

Research interests

Russian and Soviet History in the late 19th and 20th Century

Open to supervise

History of Ukraine

Open to supervise

War, Violence, and Revolution in 19th and 20th Century Europe

Open to supervise

Current research

The self-fashioning of a destruction-warrior:the letters of a Police Battalion's member to his wife (1941-1942)

Discourses of Bio-Politics andWork Housesin Late Imperial Russia

Capturing Violence in Words: Perpetrators, Victims, and Bystanders

Teaching and supervision

Current teaching responsibilities

  • The Making of the Modern World since 1750 (HR100)

  • Resisting Empire (HR104)

  • People and Power: A History of Democracy in Modern Europe (HR106)

  • Approaches to History (HR211)

  • The Social and Cultural History of the First World War (HR214)

  • Choosing Your Past: How to Design and Manage a Research Project (HR231)

  • Human Rights in Historical Perspective (HR291)

  • The Russian Revolution 1905-1932 (HR619)

  • Research Project (HR831)

  • Approaches to War, Culture and Society (HR962)

Previous supervision

Yang Yang
Yang Yang
Thesis title: Radicalism At the Margin: The New Emergence of Chinese Trotskyist Movement in Hong Kong, 1969-1981
Degree subject: History
Degree type: Doctor of Philosophy
Awarded date: 1/11/2018


Journal articles (6)

Schnell, F., Justifying Murder: Performativity in the Letters of Sergeant Mathias Müller, Police Battalion 309 (1941/42). German History

Schnell, F., (2018). Unequal Brother: Russians and Ukrainians from the Middle Ages to the Present. RUSSIAN REVIEW. 77 (3), 507-508

Schnell, F., (2015). Ukraina i Krym v 1918 – nachale 1919 goda. Ocherki politicheskoi istorii. Revolutionary Russia. 28 (2), 205-207

Schnell, F., (2015). Empire in Disguise: The Soviet-Russian Imperial Metamorphosis after World War I. Journal of Modern European History. 13 (2), 203-225

Schnell, F., (2014). Aufschrei gegen das Vergessen Margolins Vergleich von Gulag und NS-Lagern. Osteuropa. 2014 (11-12), 91-102

Schnell, F., (2014). Historische Hintergruende ukrainisch-russischer Konflikte. Aus Politik und Zeitgeschichte. 64 (47-48), 10-17

Book chapters (2)

Schnell, F., (2016). Semantische Verarmung der Kommunikation. Die Leere des Gewaltraums.. In: Umkämpfte Räume Raumbilder, Ordnungswille und Gewaltmobilisierung. Editors: Jureit, U., . Wallstein Verlag. 29- 49. 3835319213. 9783835319219

Schnell, F., (2015). Von dörflicher Selbsthilfe zur paramilitärischen Miliz: Spontane Vergemeinschaftung durch Gewalt im Russischen Bürgerkrieg (1918). In: Gewaltmassen: Über die Eigendynamik und Selbstorganisation kollektiver Gewalt. Editors: Paul, A. and Schwaub, B., . Hamburger Edition. 312- 336. 978-3868542936

Other (1)

Schnell, F., (2014).Gewalt und Gewaltforschung,Docupedia-Zeitgeschichte

+44 (0) 1206 872226


5NW.8.7, Colchester Campus

Academic support hours:

by appointment