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Dr Toby Thacker 

Education & Qualifications

BA (Hons) Modern History, Brasenose College, Oxford

PGCE, Bristol University

MA Modern German History, Cardiff University,

PhD, Cardiff University (2002)

Career Overview

Between 1988 and 1998 I taught History at Cheltenham Bournside School and Sixth Form College; I was Head of History there between 1991 and 1998. From 2003 to 2006 I was a Lecturer in Modern European History at Swansea University; and since 2006 I have been a Lecturer in Modern History at Cardiff University.

Teaching Profile

Part One Undergraduate modules:

I teach on HS 1105, ‘Making of the Modern World’, and on HS1107, ‘The Practice of History’

Part Two Undergraduate modules:

I am course tutor for HS1787, Into the Vortex: Britain and the First World War War (this is a 30 credit second year option module)

I am course tutor for HS1829, ‘From Bismarck to Goebbels: Biography and German History, 1870-1945’ (this is a 30 credit third year advanced option module)

Postgraduate teaching:

I teach MA modules on modern German history, and I teach on HST 699, Historiographical Debates (this is a core module on the MA History course). I contribute to the MA course on Music and Politics for the School of Music at Cardiff University. I will accept suitably qualified PhD candidates interested in modern German history.


‘“Anleitung und Kontrolle”: Stakuko and the Censorship of Music in the GDR, 1951-1953’, presented to the conference on Censorship – Phenomenology, Representation, Contexts, Newcastle University, March 2000.

‘Relatively Content? Musicians and Republikflucht in the early GDR’, presented to the conference on Socialist Realism and Music in Central Europe 1945-1955, Central European Music Research Centre, Cardiff University, March 2001.

‘Meyer and Eisler: Two models of Parteilichkeit in Music’, presented to the conference on the Social History of Central European Politics, Swansea University, April 2001.

“Whose Bach? Göttingen, Leipzig, and cultural politics in Germany in 1950”, presented to the Annual Conference of the American Historical Association, San Francisco, January 2002.

‘New wine in old skins? Bach, Handel, and the GDR’s quest for national legitimacy’, presented to the conference on The contours of legitimacy in central Europe, St. Antony’s College, Oxford, May 2002.

‘Ernst Hermann Meyer – German, Jew, Communist, or Englishman? Ideological pressures on the self-representation of a state hero’, presented at the annual convention of the Rocky Mountains Modern Languages Association in Scottsdale, Arizona, October 2002.

‘Etwas anders als die Hampstead Perspektive: an outline of selected musical transactions between Britain and the GDR’, presented to the annual conference of the German History Society at the University of Glamorgan, April 2003.

‘Marxism, Humanism, and Tradition: Constructing a new history of music in the German Democratic Republic’, presented to the annual conference of the Royal Musical Association, Cardiff University, September 2003.

‘“Liberating German musical life”: The BBC German Service and planning for Music Control in Occupied Germany, 1944-1949’, presented to the conference on German-language broadcasting by the BBC, at the Centre for the Study of German and Austrian Exiles, University of London, September 2003.

‘“Wirksame politische Kampfinstrumente”: East-West choral exchanges and the struggle for German identity, 1949-1956’, presented to the Colloquium on Music and Power at the Zentrum für Zeithistorische Forschung in Potsdam, January 2004.

‘“Gesungen oder musiziert wird aber fast in jedem Haus”: Representing and Constructing Citizenship through Music in twentieth-century Germany’, presented to the conference on Citizenship and Identity in twentieth-century Germany, at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, September 2004.

‘Film biographies of the great composers and the manipulation of history in the GDR’ presented to the Multi-Ethnic Studies Association: Europe and the Americas (MESEA) conference on Ethnic Life Writing and Histories at the University of Navarra, Pamplona, May 2006.

‘British and American Music in Germany after 1945: Imposition and Reception’, presented to the conference on German and Transatlantic relations since 1945, held by the Hanns-Seidel-Stiftung and the Centre for British Studies at Bamberg University, Germany, in January 2007.

‘Culture, Consumption, and Identity: Rock ‘n’ roll in the German marketplace’ presented to the conference on The 1950s: the Lost Decade, at Cardiff University, July 2007

‘Bełżec, Sobibór, and Treblinka: Time, Place, and Memory’, presented to the Historical Association at Cardiff University, February 2008.

Keynote speech, ‘Musical oppositions in post-war Europe: construction and deconstruction’ to the Royal Musical Association conference on Music after Fascism, held at York University in July 2008.

‘Meyer’s Mansfelder Oratorium in 1950: Tensions behind the realist façade?’ presented to the Mary Bird Research Seminar, Cardiff University Music School, 17 February 2009, and to the Bristol University Music Department Research Seminar, 24 February 2009.

‘Goebbels and Hitler’, presented to the History Society at Peterhouse, Cambridge, February 2010

 ‘A Welsh Lad meets Dr Goebbels; Gareth Jones’ reporting from Germany in 1933’, presented to the Department of Continuing Education at Cardiff University, October 2010

‘Joseph Goebbels: Propaganda and Private Writing’, presented to the History Society at Bristol University, November 2010

‘The fiasco revisited: the legacy of denazification for music in divided Germany’, presented to the conference on Music in Divided Germany, 1945-1990, at Berkeley University, California, September 2011

‘War, Death, Religion, and Music: Goebbels and the Mozart Requiem in December 1941’, presented to the Research Seminar at the University of Worcestershire, March 2012