Andrew Denning

Andy Denning
  • Associate Professor
  • Twentieth-century Europe (Germany, France and Italy); Mobility; Environment; Technology; Leisure; Consumerism; Empire

Contact Info

Wescoe Hall, Room 2610
Office Hours:
On Leave for Spring 2023 Semester


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.

 Dr. Denning has published articles in a wide range of publications, including American Historical ReviewThe AtlanticEnvironmental HistoryJournal of Modern History (forthcoming), Technology & Cultureand Central European HistoryHis 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 

His current book manuscript, titled “Automotive Empire: How Cars and Roads Fueled European Colonialism in Africa,” argues that European powers used road infrastructure and motor vehicles to develop a distinct form of "automotive empire" in Africa. The study's trans-imperial 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 the administration of empire, social relations between colonizer and colonized, and the culture of the automobile in Europe. He is also co-editor, with Heidi J.S. Tworek (University of British Columbia), of the 40-chapter The Interwar World (forthcoming, Routledge, 2023), which offers the first comprehensive, global treatment of the tempestuous interwar decades.

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 and/or any of his thematic areas of expertise to contact him about graduate study at KU.




Ph.D. in History, University of California, Davis
M.A. in History, University of California, Davis
B.A. in History, University of Nevada, Reno


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


Selected Publications

Skiing into Modernity: A Cultural and Environmental History (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015).

"Unscrambling Africa: From Eurafrican Technopolitics to the Fascist New Order," Journal of Modern History (forthcoming, 2023).

“Deep Play? Video Games and the Historical Imaginary,” American Historical Review 126, no. 1 (2021), 180-198.

“Mobilizing Empire: The Citroën Central Africa Expedition and the Interwar Civilizing Mission,”  Technology and Culture 61, no. 1 (Jan. 2020), 42-70.

“Infrastructural Propaganda: The Visual Culture of Colonial Roads and the Domestication of Nature in Italian East Africa,” Environmental History 24, no. 2 (April 2019). 352-369.

“‘Life is Movement, Movement is Life!’: Mobility Politics and the Circulatory State in Nazi Germany,” American Historical Review 123, no. 5 (Dec. 2018), 1479-1503.