Photo of Dr Rachel Pistol

Dr Rachel Pistol

Honorary Research Fellow

I am currently working on the ESRC project The Rowntree Business Lectures and the Interwar British Management Movement with Alan Booth, Gareth Shaw, Morgen Witzel, and Mairi Maclean.

My first book - Internment during the Second World War: A comparative study of Great Britain and the USA - was recently published by Bloomsbury. I have given seminars across the country on internment history, including the keynote talk at the Italian Cultural Institute at the Italian Embassy in London in 2015, for the 75th anniversary of the tragedy of the Arandora Star.

I appeared on BBC1 show ‘Heir Hunters’ in 2014, where I discussed the likely circumstances surrounding a soldier captured in Hong Kong and held in a Japanese POW camp during the Second World War.

In December 2016, I appeared on Sky News discussing the signficance of Shinzo Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor. Articles discussing the significance of Abe's visit and the links to Japanese American internment and the possible creation of a Muslim registry during Trump's presidency can be found here in The Independent, Newsweek and The Conversation. I discuss the effect of US Executive Orders on children here. I have also published in The Independent and The Conversation about child refugees in the British media.

I blog for The Huffington Post. Check for my latest posts here.

My research interests include immigration and minority history, the history of philanthropy, Second World War in Great Britain and the United States of America, historical memory, commemoration and the preservation of historical sites, information systems, information management, and technology in education.

I have taught History at Royal Holloway, University of London, where I received the College Postgraduate Teaching Prize in 2016, and have also lectured in Business at Kingston University.



I completed my BA (2006), MA (2009) and studied part-time for my doctorate (2009-2016) at Royal Holloway, University of London, under the supervision of Professor David Cesarani OBE. I was the recipient of two grants from the Friendly Hand Charitable Trust in 2010 and 2011, which enabled me to visit archives and sites of former internment camps in the United States of America and on the Isle of Man.

From 2014 to 2016 I taught Modern British, Modern American, and British Economic history to undergraduates at Royal Holloway. I was also a Lecturer in Informatics at Kingston University from 2011 to 2016.


Internment during the Second World War: A Comparative Study of Great Britain and the USA (London: Bloomsbury, 2017)

'Heavy Is the Responsibility for All the Lives That Might Have Been Saved in the Pre-war Years': British Perceptions of Refugees 1933-1940, European Judaism, 50, 2 (2017), pp. 42-49.

“Enemy alien and refugee: Conflicting identities in Great Britain during the Second World War”, University of Sussex Journal of Contemporary History, 16 (2015), pp. 37-52

Review of Inside America’s Concentration Camps: Two Centuries of Internment and Torture, (review no. 1078), Reviews in History (Apr., 2011)

‘History and the Environment’ in Bringing the Outside In: Enriching Student Learning in the Humanities through Environmental Engagement, (The Higher Education Academy, 2010), pp. 31-2.

Review of A Tragedy of Democracy: Japanese Confinement in North America, (review no. 983), Reviews in History (Oct., 2010)