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About Toby Harper

Toby Harper grew up in New Zealand, where he graduated BA/BSc in history and biological sciences and MA in New Zealand history at the University of Auckland. In 2014 he finished his PhD in modern British history from Columbia University in New York. His doctoral dissertation analyzed the political and social meaning of the British Crown honours system in Britain and the British Empire in the twentieth century. Since fall 2014 he is Assistant Professor of history at Providence College.

Harper is currently working on a book manuscript based on his dissertation that explores changing ideas about and manifestations of class in Britain and the British empire through the shifting priorities of and responses to the honours system in the modern era. He has published on the history of religion in New Zealand and the relationship between public honour and the voluntary sector in twentieth-century Britain. He is also currently working on articles about Harold Wilson’s infamous ‘Lavender List’ of 1976 and about the 1930s publicist Sydney Walton.


Present Assistant Professor of British History, 2014-, Providence College

Curriculum Vitae

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Honors and Awards

  • Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Fellow, Columbia University, 2013-2014
  • Howard and Nathalie Shawn Fellowship for New Directions in Historical Research, Columbia University, 2013
  • Robert McJimsey Prize, Western Conference on British Studies, 2011
  • Stern Travel Grant, North American Conference on British Studies, 2011
  • Mellon British History Summer Seminar, 2010

Contact Information

Assistant Professor of History
Ruane Center for the Humanities 124


British History (5)

New Zealand History (3)

History (1)

Honours (1)