Dr Manuela Williams

Senior Teaching Fellow


Personal statement

I joined Strathclyde in September 2002. My research and teaching interests lie in the field of international history, and in particular the history of the Middle East (the interwar period, the history of the mandates, Arab nationalism and the emergence of nation states, pan-Arabism and post war conflicts), propaganda and political communication, twentieth century Europe (Italian Fascism and post-war European political history), widening access in higher education. I currently lead a project that investigates widening access students' transition from undergraduate to postgraduate studies.

I am Director of Teaching in the School of Humanities

I am Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

I am Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

I was awarded the Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award 2015.

I am a member of the steering committee of HistoryUK.


Has expertise in:


    • The political history of the Middle East
    • The history of propaganda and information
    • Twentieth-century Europe
    • Widening Access in Higher Education
    • Employability in Higher Education

    Postgraduate supervision

    I welcome postgraduate applications in any areas of 20th Century history of the Middle East, history of propaganda and 19th and 20th century Italian history.

    I have supervised, and currently supervise

    Gianluca Fantoni, ‘Red Screens: the cinematographic and television production of the Italian Communist Party’, Ph.D. (completed)

    Ben Quail, ‘The Great Society and War: The Propaganda of Lyndon B Johnson’s Presidency’, Ph.D. (completed)

    Alessandra Magrin, ‘The Buffalo Bill Wild West tours of Italy in the 1890s and 1900s’, Ph.D. (completed)

    Rebecca Lupton, 'Japan's decision to join the Axis Powers and the possibility that World War II began in the Far East', MRes

    Gabriella Gillies, ‘Gertrude Bell and Zionism’, MRes

    Jordan Zanchetta, ‘British sympathies and Italian exiles: London as a home for Italian Radicals and Nationalists in the 19th Century’, MRes

    Grants and awards

    QAA Scotland - Resilient Learning Communities Enhancement Theme (2021)

    QAA Scotland - Student Transition Enhancement Theme (2015)

    The Carnegie Trust Research Grant (2007)

    British Academy Small Research Grant (2006)

    British Academy Small Research Grant (2003)


Prizes and awards

Senior Fellowship of HEA
Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
The Carnegie Trust Research Grant
British Academy Small Research Grant
British Academy Small Research Grant

More prizes and awards


Very qualified for the future : history graduates' employability and earnings
Williams Manuela
Trends in History in UK Higher Education
Pringle Yolana, Barker Sara, Holland Sarah, Laqua Daniel, Sennis Antonio, Tingle Elizabeth, Williams Manuela, Wood Jamie, Brown Gareth, Harvie David
Between Arab nationalism and Zionism : fascist politics and propaganda in the Middle East in the 1930s
Williams Manuela
Eunomia Vol 2, pp. 85-122 (2013)
Mussolini's war of words : Italian propaganda and subversion in Egypt and Palestine, 1934-1939
Williams Manuela
Eunomia Vol 1, pp. 49-78 (2012)
Mussolini's secret war: Italian and British intelligence in the Mediterranean and Middle East
Williams M
Intelligence and National Security Vol 22, pp. 881-904 (2007)
Mussolini's propaganda abroad
Williams M

More publications



  • Modern Europe
  • Propaganda and War in the Twentieth Century
  • Conflict in the Middle East 1900-1973
  • Living under a Dictator: Politics and Society in Fascist Italy
  • History Work Placement
  • The Scramble for the Middle East: Arab Nationalism, Zionism and European Colonial Powers, 1914-1939
  • The Power of Persuasion: Media, Propaganda and the State during 20th-Century Conflicts


  • Nationalism and nation-states in the Arab Middle East: 1900-1945
  • Transatlantic Influences: The US and Europe after 1958 
  • Work Placement in History
  • Research Skills, Sources and Methods for Historians

Professional activities

QAA Scotland’s 5th International Enhancement Conference ‘Shaping the Student Experience Together: 20 Years of Enhancement’
Using reflective assessment to embed employability in History
External Assessor
The Pandemic Pedagogy Handbook
External Assessor

More professional activities


Teaching and scholarship seminars of the School of Humanities
Lefever, Joan-Emilie (Co-investigator) Williams, Manuela (Principal Investigator) Sabala, Vanesa (Co-investigator) Acosta, Lidia (Co-investigator) Turner, Angela (Co-investigator)
For several years prior to the COVID pandemic, the Modern Languages department organised the LATE (Language and teaching) seminars. In 20222/2023, I am a core member of the organising committee of the Teaching and Scholarship seminars in Humanities. The first guest in December 2022 was Dr Amparo of the Women’s legacy project, a European project creating a depository of resources of women’s work in art and literature. In 2023, the speakers , mostly internal, will present workshops and gave seminars on topics ranging from the technology of interactive lectures to pedagogical reflections on different types of feedback.
14-Jan-2022 - 23-Jan-2023
Analysis of the Institutional Employability Audit
Willison, Debra (Principal Investigator) Williams, Manuela (Principal Investigator)
£2901.60 internal funding to support employment of a student intern to analyze the results of the institutional employability audit.
07-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
Widening Access student transition into Postgraduate Education - implementation phase
Williams, Manuela (Principal Investigator)
Funded by QAA Resilient Learning Communities Enhancement Theme, this project will implement the findings of the 2019 research into Widening Access students transition into postgraduate studies. It will create online repositories of information on services and facilities, and academic skills.
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2022
Widening Access students transition into Postgraduate Education
Williams, Manuela (Principal Investigator)
This project explores and assesses HaSS (Humanities and Social Sciences) Widening Access students’ transition from undergraduate to postgraduate studies and their perceptions of existing or potential barriers
01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2019
Widening Participation students through their undergraduate years.
Williams, Manuela (Principal Investigator)
Funded by QAA Transition Enhancement theme, this project examines the experiences of Widening Access undergraduate students of History at Strathclyde University
02-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2016

More projects