Thomas R. Bull


Ph.D. Student

Annenberg Graduate Fellow 2023–2024

Thomas R. Bull is a first-year doctoral student in History at the University of Pennsylvania. He studies the great "-isms" of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including Romanticism, Nationalism, and Liberalism, among their many offshoots. He explores the ways in which these intellectual movements intersected with conceptions of empire, democracy, and state-building in the Eastern Mediterranean. Thomas' primary focus is Greece as the crossroads of the British, French, Russian, and Ottoman Empires and the shifting balance of power in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries that is articulated as the "Eastern Question". He also aims to elucidate Greece's role as the crucible in which modern humanitarianism was forged by exploring the domestic and transnational dimensions of Philhellenism.

Thomas came to Penn from Athens, Greece, where he held a research assistantship in the Library and Archive of the British School at Athens. He holds a Master’s degree from the University of Oxford and a first-class Bachelor’s degree from the University of Bristol, where he received the Arnaldo Momigliano Prize for the best undergraduate performance in Ancient History. Outside of history, Thomas has interests in matters of government, especially foreign policy and international development strategy. To that end, he engages with the Eastern Mediterranean as a region of continued strategic importance in the present day.

Advisor: Prof. Warren Breckman


M.St., Classical Archaeology, University of Oxford

B.A., Ancient History, University of Bristol

Research Interests

Modern Greece; Eastern Mediterranean; Intellectual History; Transnational History; Humanitarianism; History of Empire; Slavery and Abolitionism.

Selected Publications

Bull, Thomas R. (2024, forthcoming) ‘History from the Margins: George Finlay, George Bancroft, and the Genesis of National History in the Nineteenth Century’, The Annual of the British School at Athens, Vol. 119.


The British School at Athens