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Dr Maximilian Drephal

Lecturer in History


Dr Maximilian Drephal

T:  +441473 338554

Dr Maximilian Drephal is a historian of empire, who specialises in the international history of modern Afghanistan. He joined History at Suffolk in 2019, having previously taught at the University of Sheffield and Loughborough University. He holds a PhD in History from Loughborough University and an MA in History and English from the Freie Universität Berlin, having also studied also at the University of Manchester. Dr Maximilian Drephal is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.


The Rise of the West? 1500-1905

The Decline of the West? 1905-2001

Europe in the Age of Total War, 1914-1945

The Cold War

A History of Genocide


Maximilian Drephal's research is driven by a curiosity about colonial presences in the modern world. His first book reconsiders decolonisation as a transformation of empire that ensured colonialism’s afterlives. It explores the colonial origins of Anglo-Afghan diplomatic relations between 1919 and 1947, capturing diplomacy as an imperial technology in South and Central Asia as well as the Indian Ocean. He is also interested in imperial medical practitioners in the colonial encounter as well as the construction of humanitarian intervention from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Afghanistan and the Coloniality of Diplomacy: The British Legation in Kabul, 1922-1948, Palgrave Macmillan, 2019.

“Contesting Independence: Colonial Cultures of Sport and Diplomacy in Afghanistan, 1919-1949”, Simon J. Rofe (ed.), Sport and Diplomacy: Games Within Games, Key Studies in Diplomacy, Manchester University Press, 2018

Corps Diplomatique: The Body, British Diplomacy, and Independent Afghanistan, 1922–47”, Modern Asian Studies 51, no. 4 (July 2017): 956–90

Public engagement

“Afghan Independence and the Violence of Imperial Peace” (2019), History Matters / Medium

Third Macaulay Lecture (2019)