Dr Matthew Kerry

Lecturer in European History

History Stirling

Dr Matthew Kerry

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About me

About me

I am a social and cultural historian of modern Spain and much of my work examines the meaning and practice of politics in everyday life. My first book, Unite, Proletarian Brothers! Radicalism and Revolution in the Spanish Second Republic, was published in open access in 2020 and I've discussed my work on podcasts and in blogposts as well as in academic articles.

Before setting out on an academic career, I briefly worked as an English teacher in Oviedo in northern Spain and studied for an MA in Contemporary History at the Universidad de Zaragoza (2011). I completed my PhD at the University of Sheffield (2015) and after a stint teaching at Loughborough I moved across the pond to Toronto to take up a position as postdoctoral fellow at York University. After a year of sampling baked goods with holes in the middle and with little improvement in my skating skills, I crossed back across the Atlantic to join Durham University. After Durham, I spent a period as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Ibero-American Studies at the University of Leeds and as a DAAD fellow at the Institute for Social Movements in Bochum, Germany, during which I undertook a thorough sampling of the region's famed currywurst. I joined Stirling in 2019.

I am spending spring 2022 at the Universidad de Granada as a Royal Society of Edinburgh Saltire Fellow

Appointments and Memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Historical Society
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
  • Member of the Steering Committee of the Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History, University of Edinburgh (2020-2)
  • Royal Society of Edinburgh Saltire Fellow, Universidad de Granada (2022)
  • [Former] Visiting Research Fellow, University of Leeds (2018-20)

Principal Publications

Unite, Proletarian Brothers! Radicalism and Revolution in the Spanish Second Republic, 1931–1936, London: University of London Press, 2020.

with Alex Paulin-Booth, 'Activist Times: Temporality and Political Action in Twentieth-Century Europe', edited special issue of European Review of History, vol. 28, no. 4 (2021).

["Los boicots en la primavera del Frente Popular: crisis comunitaria y justicia popular en la Asturias de 1936"] (https://www.jstor.org/stable/48668983?seq=1), Historia Social, 103 (2022), pp. 95-116.

"The Bones of Contention: The Secularization of Cemeteries and Funerals in the Spanish Second Republic". European History Quarterly, vol. 49, no. 1 (2019), pp. 73–95

"Radicalisation, Community and the Politics of Protest in the Spanish Second Republic: Asturias, 1931–34", English Historical Review, 132, no. 555 (2017), pp. 318–343

"Painted Tonsures and Potato-sellers: Priests, Passing and Survival in the Asturian Revolution", Cultural & Social History, vol. 14, no. 2 (2017), pp. 237–255

Recent Blogposts and Podcasts

Fake News and the Revolution that never was - Age of Revolutions

Unite, Proletarian Brothers! - ABC with Danny and Jim Podcast

Asturias 1934: The Community Revolution - Historias Podcast

Seeing and Defining Fascism - RHS Historical Transactions Blog

October 1934 - History of the Second World War Podcast


Much of my research examines the everyday experience of politics through a social and cultural lens. So far I have mainly worked on protest, violence, left-wing radicalism and anticlericalism, which is the subject of my book Unite, Proletarian Brothers! Radicalism and Revolution in the Spanish Second Republic, which was published by the University of London Press in 2020. The book builds on my PhD thesis and examines the process of ‘radicalisation’ in the coalfields of Asturias during the Second Republic, drawing together factors like strike action, boycotts, anticlericalism, protests at police intrusion and brutality, and shifting understandings of fascism at the local level.

My current work moves away from this tight focus on the prelude to the Spanish Civil War towards the broader history of political engagement in twentieth-century Spain. I'm working on two connected, but different projects. The first is a history of Spanish charivari or rough music, which I'm currently studying in the context of late twentieth-century Spain. The second project is a history of sound and mass politics in Spain from the 1890s to the Second Republic. I'm working on different forms of political sound and noise-making and their role in expressing or regulating political behaviour. I'm interested in a variety of themes, from the role of new technologies of sound to rhetoric and crowd responses at rallies.

Outputs (11)


Book Chapter

Kerry M (2022) The Last Echo of 1917? The Asturian October between Revolution and Antifascism. In: Berger S & Weinhauer K (eds.) Rethinking Revolutions from 1905 to 1934: Democracy, Social Justice and National Liberation around the World. Palgrave Studies in the History of Social Movements. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan. https://link.springer.com/book/9783031044649

Book Chapter

Kerry M (2022) The Sound of Blasphemy in Early Twentieth-Century Spain: Vulgarity, Violence and the Crowd. In: Bouwers EG & Nash DS (eds.) Demystifying the Sacred: Blasphemy and Violence from the French Revolution to Today. New Perspectives on the History of Liberalism and Freethought, 2. Oldenbourg: De Gruyter. https://www.degruyter.com/document/isbn/9783110713091/html?lang=en

Website Content

Kerry M (2021) Spain 1934: Fake News and the Revolution that Never Was. Age of Revolutions [Blog] 15.02.2021. https://ageofrevolutions.com/2021/02/15/spain-1934-fake-news-and-the-revolution-that-never-was/

Website Content

Kerry M (2020) Seeing and defining fascism: Historical lessons from mid-century Spain. Royal Historical Society Blog and Online Resources [Blog post] 06.10.2020. https://blog.royalhistsoc.org/2020/10/06/seeing-and-defining-fascism-historical-lessons-from-mid-century-spain/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seeing-and-defining-fascism-historical-lessons-from-mid-century-spain



I teach modern European history with a particular focus on the first half of the twentieth century and the darker side of human nature.

I lead the following honours-level modules:

  • Interwar Europe: Communism, Fascism and Democracy
  • Death and Destruction: A History of Violence in Europe, c.1890-1945

I also currently lecture on:

  • Concepts of History

Recent final-year dissertation topics I've supervised include: Kristallnacht and the dynamics of antisemitic violence under Nazism; British understandings of violence in the Republican zone during the Spanish Civil War; sexual violence in the Holocaust.