Pedersen, Susan G.

Gouverneur Morris Professor of History

Office Hours

Spring 2024: Tuesdays, 12:00 - 2:00 pm



Ph.D. — Harvard University, 1989
M.A. — Harvard University, 1983
B.A. — Radcliffe College, 1982


Interests and Research

Susan Pedersen, Gouverneur Morris Professor of History, specializes in British history, the British empire, comparative European history, and international history.  Her book about the League of Nations and its impact on the imperial order, The Guardians:  The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, appeared from Oxford University Press in summer 2015. 

In 2014, Pedersen founded a graduate training collaboration in Twentieth-Century British history with Guy Ortolano of NYU and Peter Mandler of Cambridge University. PhD students working in this field participate in regular dissertation workshops and book discussions across all three institutions. For more on the New York-Cambridge Training Collaboration (NYCTC)  click here. After ten years in operation, NYCTC will conclude its activity with a final workshop in Cambridge in July 2024.

Lectures available on line:

Susan Pedersen opens the “The Moment of British Women's History” conference, February 2013.

“The League of Nations Secretariat as a Site of Political Imagination,” Nicolai Rubinstein
Memorial Lecture, Queen Mary / University of London, March 2017;

“Why Look Back at the League of Nations?” Cundill Prize Lecture, McGill University,
Montreal, October 2016;


  • Bielefeld Wissenschaftspreis, 2022
  • Leverhulme Distinguished Visiting Professor, Cambridge University, Spring 2022
  • Fellowship, Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study, Fall 2021
  • Visiting Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge, 2018-19
  • Cundill Prize in Historical Literature, and Lionel Trilling Prize, for The Guardians:  The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire, 2015.
  • Fellowship, All Souls College, Oxford University, Spring 2014.
  • Fellowship from the Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New Public Library, 2011-12.
  • Fellowship from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study, 2011.
  • Fellowship from the American Academy in Berlin, 2009.
  • Fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation, 2006.
  • Fellowship from the the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, 2005-6.
  • Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, 2002-3 and 1994-5.
  • Albion book prize of the North American Conference on British Studies (for Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience).
  • Allan Sharlin Prize, Social Science History Association (for Family, Dependence and the Origins of the Welfare State).



  • Advisory Boards: Twentieth Century British History, The Historical Journal, The National Archives.
  • Member/Fellow: British Academy, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Historical Association, North American Conference on British Studies, Phi Beta Kappa, American Association of University Women Fellow, Royal Historical Society.



Susan Pedersen's 2014 Ford Lectures at Oxford, "Internationalism and Empire:  British Dilemmas, 1919-1939," are on open access at Columbia Academic Commons:


Balfours in Love and Trouble:  Living Sexual and Political Change at the Fin-de-Siecle, forthcoming from John Murray (UK), 2025.

The Guardians: The League of Nations and the Crisis of Empire

Settler Colonialism in the Twentieth Century: Projects, Practices, Legacies

Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience

After the Victorians: Private Conscience and Public Duty in Modern Britain

Family, Dependence, and the Origins of the Welfare State: Britain and France, 1914-1945

Recent Scholarly Articles

“Writing the Balfour Declaration into the Mandate for Palestine,” International History Review,
pre-print publication: DOI:  10.1080/07075332.2022.2123377

“The Women’s Suffrage Movement in the Balfour Family,” Twentieth Century British History,
30: 3 (Sept. 2019), 299-320.

“Back to the League of Nations: Review Essay,” American Historical Review, 112: 4 (Oct. 2007), pp. 1091-1117.

“The Meaning of the Mandates System: An Argument,” Geschichte und Gesellschaft, 32: 4 (Oct-Dec. 2006), 560-82.

Additional writing in London Review of Books