Susan Grayzel

University of Leeds Distinguished Chair Award, University of Leeds - History

I’m a professor of history at Utah State University, my latest stop in a career spent teaching modern European history, and researching and publishing about women, gender and war. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited the UK many times to conduct and present research, so I feel like I know my way around London fairly well or at least how to get to my key spots: the Imperial War Museum, National Archives, Sadler’s Wells and Tate Modern. But I’m eager to get to know a new part of the country and a new city, with its own rich archives, libraries, museums and venues. While in Leeds, I look forward to putting the finishing touches on my latest book—with the working title "The Age of the Gas Mask: Chemical Weapons and Civilian Bodies in Imperial Britain, 1915-1945." Here, I argue that one material object [the civilian gas mask] can help us understand the ways in which the British empire came to terms with modern war.  I also plan to teach a post-graduate seminar on the history of the body, and eagerly await the opportunity to engage with students and colleagues there.  Beside my work, I hope to find time to enjoy theatre, dance and art and to go for long walks and slow but steady runs.