Dr Mike Sewell

University Lecturer, Academic Director for History and International Relations


Mike Sewell read History at Cambridge (Christ's College) before undertaking a PhD on Anglo-American relations, 1870-1898. He was successively Mellon Research Fellow in US History in the Faculty of History and Keasbey Research Fellow in American Studies at Selwyn College before his appointment to his current post in 1990 at what was then called the Board of Extra-Mural Studies.

His main areas of academic interest are the history of  US foreign relations and the international history of the Cold War. He supervises both undergraduates and postgraduates for the Faculty of History and the department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), and he has been a Tutor to both undergraduates and postgraduates and a Director of Studies at Selwyn College since 1991.

Teaching and research supervision areas

Mike teaches on a wide variety of ICE courses as well as for POLIS and History. His main areas of activity for ICE are on the non-accredited programme, offering courses on American history and international relations. He has also taught extensively on the short course programme of strategic studies courses for the UK armed forces, on the pre-sessional PREP course on study skills for returners to learning.

His core teaching is also central to the delivery of the Master of Studies in International Relations, of which he has been co-Course Director since the course's inception in 2001. He teaches International History elements of the taught section of this degree as well as supervising dissertations on topics close to his areas of academic expertise and on contemporary American foreign relations. He also supervises Masters and PhD theses for the History Faculty and for POLIS in similar areas.


  • 'Understanding the Cold War', The Historical Journal, forthcoming.
  • 'President McKinley's two wars, the memory of the Civil War, 1898-1901', forthcoming.
  • M Sewell: 'Humanitarian Intervention, Democracy and Imperialism: The American War with Spain, 1898, and after' in Simms, B and Trim, D (eds): Humanitarian Intervention: A History, CUP, 2011.
  • M Sewell: 'Review of The Cambridge History of the Cold War', H-Diplo Roundtable Review of this volume, March 2011, eds. Maddux and Labrosse
  • M Sewell: The Cold War, CUP, 2002.

Mike has also published extensively on late-19th century Anglo-American relations and on the Civil Rights Movement as viewed from the UK.

Courses Taught

Research interests

  • The rhetoric of American wartime presidents and their efforts to mobilise support.
  • British perspectives on US race relations in international context.
  • The role of history and memory in US foreign relations.
  • US policy-making and presidential politics.

Professional activities

  • Faculty of History Degree Committee Sub-Committee on the MSt in Local History, Directors of Studies Committee.
  • POLIS Graduate Education Committee, Graduate Admissions Committee.
  • Admissions Tutor (Arts and Social Sciences) Selwyn College, Chair of the intercollegiate Admissions Forum, member of the Undergraduate¬† Admissions Committee.

How to get in touch


University of Cambridge
Institute of Continuing Education
Madingley Hall
Cambridge CB23 8AQ

Email: mjs1001@cam.ac.uk