Jennifer Luff

Jennifer Luff

Associate Teaching Professor

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Jennifer Luff is a historian of politics and labour in the US and the UK, with special interests in the history of civil liberties and state repression, political organizing, and working-class conservatism. Her 2012 book Commonsense Anticommunism (University of North Carolina Press) showed how American trade unionists led the anticommunist movement in the interwar years and helped drive the creation of federal and state countersubversive policies and policing regimes. She has also published on the history of American detectives, workplace surveillance, and German and British espionage during World War I. Her research articles have been published in Diplomatic History, American Historical Review, and Journal of Contemporary History.

Previously she was Associate Professor of History at Durham University, and Research Director at Georgetown University’s Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor. She has held research fellowships at New York University, University of California, Los Angeles, and the Newberry Library.

Her current book project investigates the history of Britain’s secret program to bar Communists from the interwar civil service. From the early 1920s through World War II, the British government operated a large-scale initiative to identify suspected Communists and prevent their employment or effect their dismissal from government dockyards, ordnance factories, and scientific establishments. More information about this project can be found in her article "Covert and Overt Operations: Interwar Political Policing in the United States and the United Kingdom" (2017).