Dr Tom Villis

Position: Reader
Email: villist@regents.ac.uk
Faculty: Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences

Professional Biography

Dr Tom Villis studied at the universities of Edinburgh and Grenoble before completing his PhD at St John's College Cambridge in 2004. Since then he has lectured at the University of Cambridge, the Open University and Webster University. He became a full-time lecturer at Regent's University London in 2008, a senior lecturer in 2009 and a Reader in 2013. Tom teaches courses on modern history and politics Regent's American College London. He is chair of the HASS faculty research group and a member of the Senate Research Committee. Tom set up and is the head of ‘Networks of Power', a Regent's University London research centre which brings together scholars with interests in the construction of power relations on a national and international level.

Tom's research has focused on anti-parliamentary and elitist ideas in British culture and the intellectual origins of European fascism. At present he is working on the political ideas of British Catholics. He is the author of Reaction and the Avant-Garde: the revolt against liberal democracy in early twentieth century Britain (London: I.B. Tauris, 2005). His latest book, British Catholics and Fascism, is published by Palgave Macmillan.

Qualifications

  • PhD in history (St. John's College, University of Cambridge, 2004)
  • MPhil in European Studies (St. John's College, University of Cambridge, 2000)
  • MA in history, first class (University of Edinburgh, 1998)

Relevant Past Employment

  • Lecturer and supervisor, faculty of history, University of Cambridge 2004-2008
  • Associate Lecturer, Open University 2004

Professional Affiliation(s)/Accreditation

  • Member of the Institute of Historical Research
  • Member of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House

Teaching & Course Development

Over the past five years, Tom has designed and taught a graduate course on Comparative Politics and undergraduate modules on Modern Europe, Diplomatic History, British Politics, Political Ideologies, European Fascism, Modern British History, Comparative Politics, and Literature and Politics.

Research Supervision

Tom has supervised Master's dissertations on a variety of subjects for both Regent's University London and the Woolf Institute at the University of Cambridge. He is particularly keen to supervise graduate theses on political thought, especially that relating to religion and politics or the extreme Right.

Research Interests

Tom's research has focused on religion and politics, anti-parliamentary and elitist ideas in British culture, and the intellectual origins of fascism.

Publications

Books

  • Villis, T (2013). British Catholics and Fascism. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Villis, T (2006). Reaction and the Avant-Garde: The revolt against liberal democracy in early twentieth century Britain. London: I.B. Tauris.

Journal articles

  • T. Villis and M. Hebing (2014) ‘Islam and Englishness: Issues of Culture and identity in the Debates over Mosque Building in Cambridge’, Nationalism and Ethnic Politics 20, 4 (forthcoming).
  •  Villis, T (2006). ‘The radical soul of liberalism', Journal of Liberal History, 52, pp.46-48.
  • Villis, T (2005). ‘Elitism and the revolt of the masses: reactions to the “great labour unrest” of 1910-14 in the New Age and New Witness circles.' History of European Ideas, 31, pp. 85-102.
  • Villis, T (2003). ‘Early modernism and exclusion: the cultural politics of two Edwardian periodicals, The New Age and The New Witness.' The University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History, 5.

Chapters in edited collections

  • T. Villis (2014) ‘“I’ve written this very late at night and after some whisky – so forgive it’s [sic.] horrible balls.”: Methodological and moral problems in using letters to understand personal politics’ in S. Chen and A Kelley (eds), Approaching Letters and Letter Writing (Inter-Disciplinary Press, Oxford.)
  • Villis, T (2006). ‘Arthur Koestler' in S. Pons and R. Service (eds.), Dizionario del comunismo nel XX secolo (Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore).
  • Villis, T (2006). ‘George Orwell' in S. Pons and R. Service (eds.), Dizionario del comunismo nel XX secolo (Turin: Giulio Einaudi Editore).
  • Villis, T (2007). ‘The New Age circle, 1907-1918', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: OUP, online edition.
  • Villis, T (2007). ‘Philippe Mairet', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Oxford: OUP, online edition.

Conference Papers Given

  • ‘Catholicism, Modernism and Fascism: the politics of David Jones in the context of the interwar Catholic literary community’, David Jones: Christian Modernist? St Anne’s College and Regent’s Park College Oxford, 10-13 September, 2014.
  • ‘Re-shaping English national identity and the construction of mosques’, Association for the Study of Nationalities 19th Annual World Convention, 24-26 April 2014, Columbia University, New York.
  • ‘“I’ve written this very late at night and after some whisky – so forgive it’s [sic.] horrible balls.”: Methodological and moral problems in using letters to understand personal politics’, Global Conference on Letters and Letter-Writing, 18-20 March 2014, Prague.
  • ‘Discourses of Englishness in the construction of mosques: the experience of Cambridge, UK’, Resurrections: the 21st International Conference of Europeanists, 13-16 March 2014, Washington D.C.
  • Invited Delegate, United Nations Development Programme, 2013 Consultation on the Human Development Report: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Deepening Progress, London School of Economics, 11 July 2013, London.
  • ‘British Catholics and Fascism', John Carroll University, Cleveland, USA, March 2012.
  • The Chesterbelloc and Fascism', Durham Catholic Theology Research Seminar, University of Durham, January 2009.
  • Keynote speeches on British national identity for the Marymount College summer faculty and student programmes in 2007 and 2008.
  • ‘British Catholics and Fascism, 1922-1940', Conference on ‘Rethinking Britain, 1918-1959', Institute of Historical Research, London, April 2004.
  • ‘The New Age, The New Witness and the Jews'. AHRB Parkes Centre for the Study of Jewish / non-Jewish relations, Southampton, July 2003.
  • ‘Anti-feminism in Edwardian periodicals'. Colloquium on Edwardian feminist periodicals, King's College, Cambridge, May 2003.
  • ‘The New Age, The New Witness and the forging of a British anti-parliamentary tradition, 1910-14'. Seminar for British political and constitutional history, Cambridge, May 2003.
  • ‘Elitism and the revolt of the masses.' Seminar for the history of political thought, Cambridge, October 2001

Grants Awarded

  • 2011 HASS faculty research grant for project on British Catholics and Fascism

Last updated: 08 December 2017