Dr. Andrew Denning

Andrew Dunning
  • Associate Professor, History
  • Director, Museum Studies Program
  • Twentieth-century Europe (Germany, France and Italy); Mobility; Environment; Technology; Leisure; Consumerism; Empire

Contact Info

Wescoe Hall, Room 2610
1445 Jayhawk Blvd
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594


Andrew Denning studies mobility in twentieth-century Europe and beyond. Using the tools of cultural, technological, and environmental history, he examines the movement of people, goods, ideas, and practices to reconstruct transnational and global relationships.

His new bookAutomotive Empire: How Cars and Roads Fueled European Colonialism in Africa is forthcoming with Cornell University Press in 2024. It argues that European powers used road infrastructure and motor vehicles to develop a distinct form of "automotive empire" in Africa between 1895 and 1940. The study's transimperial approach draws connections among Belgian, British, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese colonies to show that the technological and infrastructural imperatives of motor vehicles and roads in Africa shaped colonial governance and social relations, as well as the culture of the automobile in Europe.

His first book, Skiing into Modernity: A Cultural and Environmental History (University of California Press, 2015), examines the relationship between skiers and the Alpine environment since the late nineteenth century, showing how the sport of skiing modernized the Alps in material and cultural terms in the twentieth century.

He is also co-editor, with Heidi J.S. Tworek (University of British Columbia), of The Interwar World (Routledge, 2024), which offers the first comprehensive, global treatment of the tempestuous interwar decades.

Dr. Denning has also published articles in a wide range of publications, including American Historical Review(see also here)The AtlanticEnvironmental History, Journal of Modern History (forthcoming), Technology & Cultureand Central European History

Dr. Denning held a fellowship at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada before coming to KU, and his work has been supported by grants from the American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), International Olympic Committee, and Wolfsonian-FIU, as well as the Hall Center for the Humanities and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Research Excellence Initiative at the University of Kansas.

Dr. Denning encourages potential graduate applicants interested in working on twentieth-century western Europe, empire, mobility, and/or technology to contact him about graduate study at KU.


Twentieth-century Europe, particularly Germany, France, and Italy; mobility, environment, technology, leisure, consumerism, empire