Norry LaPorte

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Biography

Norry LaPorte is Lecturer in History and Humanities. He holds a PhD from the University of Stirling (which was funded by the Scottish Education Department and the German Academic Exchange Service, DAAD) and has taught at the universities of Stirling, London Metropolitan, Wolverhampton and the University of South Wales where he was Reader in Modern European History. He is a board member of Twentieth Century Communism: a journal of international history and Arbeiter-Bewegung-Geschichte: Zeitschrift für Historische Studien. His research interests centre on German communism and relations between Britain and the former German Democratic Republic; he has published widely on these topics. Of his most recent publications is Weimar Communism as Mass Movement (Lawrence and Wishart, 2017; ed. with Ralf Hoffhogge) which received funding from the Amiel Melburn Trust. His supervisions include the PhD (2016) by Rhian Thomas, ‘Wales and the German Democratic Republic: Expressions and perceptions of Welsh identity during the Cold War’, awarded 2016.

Profile

Research Interests

Norry’s research interests centre on German communism and relations between the British left and the former German Democratic Republic. Most recently, he has published on German communism as a mass movement during the Weimar Republic and the Communist leader, Ernst Thälmann, as well as how the GDR’s Institute of Marxism-Leninism wrote Thälmann’s biography. The research on Thälmann was funded by the British Academy and the Amiel Melburn Trust.

Teaching

Norry teaches on History’s team-taught decolonised curriculum at Levels 4 and 5, contributing aspects of modern German and British history. He will teach the Level 6 module ‘Revolution and Counterrevolution’ from the autumn of 2021, which covers the period 2017 to the present and covers communism, nazism, fascism and populism. He is keen to supervise any of these areas at any level of study.

Membership of Professional Organisations

Norry is a member of the academic boards of:

Twentieth Century Communism: a journal of international history.

Arbeiter-Bewegung-Geschichte: Zeitschrift für Historische Studien.

Research Supervision

Rhian Thomas, PhD ‘Wales and the German Democratic Republic: Expressions and perceptions of Welsh identity during the Cold War’, awarded 2016. First supervisor.

Other Activities

Publications

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

(2001) ‘“Stalinization” and its limits in the Saxon KPD, 1925-8’, European History Quarterly 31/4.

(2002) ‘“Social Fascism”, “Stalinisation” and the Case of the Saxon Communist Party, 1928-29’, Labour History Review 67/1.

(2004) ‘John Peet: An Englishman in the German Democratic Republic’, History, 89/1 (with Stefan Berger).

(2005) ‘Britische Parliamentarierkontakte nach Osteuropa 1945-1989. Zwischen fellow travelling und ostpolitischer Erneuerung’, Archiv für Sozialgeschichte (with Stefan Berger)

(2006) ‘Ostpolitik before Ostpolitik: The British Labour Party and the German Democratic Republic (GDR), 1955 – 1964’, European History Quarterly 36/3 (with Stefan Berger)

(2007) ‘Being Friendly with the ‘other’ Germany: Dorothy Diamond and British Support for the German Democratic Republic, 1949-1961’, Socialist History 30 (with Stefan Berger)

(2008) ‘Der Rote Frontkämpfer und der militante Gewerkschaftler: Konstruktionen der proletarischen Führerfigur in Deutschland und Großbritannien’, Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung (with Kevin Morgan)

(2008) ‘Towards a Comparative History of Communism: A Survey of the British and German Communist parties to 1933’, Contemporary British History, 22/2 (with Matthew Worley)

(2008) ‘In Search of Antifascism: The British Left’s Response to the German Democratic Republic during the Cold War’, German History 26/4 (with Stefan Berger)

(2011) ‘Die Macht des Faktischen: britische Labourabgeordnete und der Mauerbau 1961’, Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung (with Stefan Berger)

(2011) ‘The Labour Party in Wales and the Cold War’, Llafur 10/4 (with Stefan Berger)

(2012) ‘Learning from the future? Begegnungen deutscher und britischer Gewerkschafter mit Amerika in den Zwanzigerjahren’, Jahrbuch für Historische Kommunismusforschung (with Kevin Morgan).

(2014) ‘Isaac Deutscher and the Biographer’s Dilemma’, Journal of Social Movements, 51.

(2014) ‘Ernst Thälmann: The Making of a German Communist’ (1886-c.1921), Journal of Social Movements 51.

(2016) ‘Between Scylla and Charybdis: END and its Attempt to Overcome the Bipolar World Order in the 1980s’, Labour History, 11 (with Stefan Berger).

(2019) ‘“Legends have a tenacious life”: Ernst Thälmann, the First World War and Memory in the German Democratic Republic, Twentieth Century Communism, 17.

Books

(2003) The German Communist Party (KPD) in Saxony, 1924-33: Factionalism, Fratricide and Political Failure (Bern: Peter Lang).

(2010) Friendly Enemies: Britain and the German Democratic Republic, 1949-90 (Oxford: Berghahn) (with Stefan Berger)

Edited Books

(2005) Stefan Berger and Norman LaPorte (eds.) The Other Germany. Perceptions and Influences in British-East German Relations, 1945-1990 (Augsburg: Wißner-Verlag)

(2005) Stefan Berger, Andy Croll and Norman LaPorte (eds.) Towards a Comparative History of Coalfield Societies (Franham: Ashgate) (with Stefan Berger and Andy Croll).

(2008) Norman LaPorte, Matthew Worley and Kevin Morgan (eds.) Bolshevism, Stalinism and the Comintern. Perspectives on Stalinization, 1917-53 (Basingstoke: Macmillan)

(2011) Mike Dennis and Norman LaPorte (eds.) State and Minorities in Communist East Germany (Oxford: Berghahn)

(2017) Ralf Hoffrogge and Norman LaPorte (eds.) Weimar Communism as Mass Movement (London: Lawrence and Wishart) (with Ralf Hoffrogge)

Chapters in Books

(2004) ‘Presenting a Crisis as an Opportunity: The German Communist Party in the “Third Period”’, in Mathew Worley (ed.), In Search of Revolution. International Communist Parties in the Third Period (London I.B. Tauris)

(2005) ‘Official Anti-Communism and What Lay Beneath: The British Trade Unions and the ‘Other’ Germany, 1949-1989’in: Stefan Berger/Norman LaPorte (eds.) The Other Germany (Augsburg: Wissner).

(2007) ‘Ein zweiter Kalter Krieg? Die Beziehungen zwischen der DDR und Großbritannien, 1979-1989’, in P. Barker, M.-D. Ohse and D. Tate (eds.), Views from Abroad. Die DDR aus britischer Perspektive (Munich: Bertelsmann) (with Stefan Berger)

(2008) ‘Kings among the subjects’? Ernst Thälmann, Harry Pollitt and the Leadership Cult as Stalinization’, Norman LaPorte, Kevin Morgan and Matthew Worley (eds.) Stalinisation and Beyond (Basingstoke: Palgrave) (with Kevin Morgan)

(2010) ‘Great Britain: Between Avoiding the Cold War and Supporting Free Trade Unionism’, in I. Goddeeris (ed) Solidarity? Western European Trade Unions and the Polish Crisis 1980-1982 (New York: Lexington Books), (with Stefan Berger)

(2011) ‘Zwischen ostdautschem Marxismus-Leninismus und dem britischen Weg zum Sozialismus. Die Beziehungen zwischen der SED und der Communist Party of Great Britain (1968-1989), in A. Bauerkämper/Francesco Di Palma (eds.), Bruderparteien jenseits des Eisernen Vorhangs. Die Beziehungen der SED zu den kommunistischen Parteien West- und Südeuropas 1968-1989 (Berlin: Ch.-Links-Verlag) (with Stefan Berger).

(2011) ‘Sub-cultures: Punks, Goths and Heavy Metallers’, M. Dennis/N. LaPorte, State and Minorities in Communist East Germany (Oxford: Berghahn).

(2011) ‘Skinheads and Right Extremism in an Anti-fascist State’, in M. Dennis/N. LaPorte, State and Minorities in Communist East Germany (Oxford: Berghahn).

(2017) ‘Weimar Communism as Mass Movement: An Introduction’, Ralf Hoffrogge and Norman LaPorte (eds.) Weimar Communism as Mass Movement (London: Lawrence and Wishart)

(2017) ‘The Rise of Ernst Thälmann and the Hamburg Left, 1921-1923’, in Ralf Hoffrogge and Norman LaPorte (eds.) Weimar Communism as Mass Movement (London: Lawrence and Wishart)

(2019) ‘A Dialogue of Deaf: The Communist Party of Great Britain and Socialist Unity Party (SED) during the Gorbachev Era, 1985-90’, in Francesco Di Palma (ed.), Perestroika and Communist Parties in Europe (1985-1990/91). Reception, Reactions and Consequences (London: Berghahn (with Stefan Berger).

(2021) ‘Legende haben ein zähes Leben: Ernst Thälmann, der erste Weltkreig und Errinerungskultur in der DDR’, in Emmanuel Droit and Nicolas Offenstadt (eds.), Das Rote Erbe der Front. Der Erste Weltkrieg in der DDR (Berlin: Christoph Links-Verlag)