Dean Pavlakis

Associate Professor - History | History
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Portrait of Dean Pavlakis, Assistant Professor - History


Dr. Pavlakis received his Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo (State University of New York at Buffalo), completing fields in Modern European History, Modern British History, and Atlantic History, with additional work in the Atlantic Slave Trade, and colonial Africa. His research focuses on the how European humanitarianism dealt with colonial rule, especially as it pertained to Africa. With an undergraduate degree in History and Economics from Harvard and a previous career in banking, he is a resource for students interested in exploring how to use a history major in a corporate career.

In addition to his enthusiasm for the study of history, Dr. Pavlakis tries to take advantage of the outdoors (not strenuously!) as well as sharing his indoor interests in music of all kinds, theater, strategy games (Diplomacy, Risk, military strategy), archival research, and Tolkien. He has done several leisurely biking tours in Europe and is always hoping to do one more.

Fields: Modern European History, Modern African History.


  • “Ambivalent Advocates: Race, Representation, and the British Humanitarians,” Chapter 11 of The First Universal Races Congress of 1911: Empires, Civilizations, Encounters, edited by Mansour Bonakdarian, Ian Christopher Fletcher, and Yaël Simpson Fletcher (pending).
  • "Responses to Genocide" in A Cultural History of Genocide: The Long Nineteenth Century, edited by David Meola. To be published by Bloomsbury, 2019.
  • “To Reform an Imagined Congo: Novelists Tackle the Congo Rubber Scandals,” English Studies in Africa 59, no. 1 (May 2016), 29-39.
  • Review: Colonization and the Origins of Humanitarian Governance: Protecting Aborigines across the Nineteenth-Century British Empire, by Alan Lester and Fae Dussart in Journal of British Studies 54, no. 2 (April 2015), 533-534.
  • British Humanitarianism and the Congo Reform Movement, 1896-1913 (Ashgate, 2015)
  • “Reputation and the Sexual Abuse of Boys: Changing Norms in Late Nineteenth-century Britain” Men and Masculinities 17, no. 3 (Summer 2014), 325-346.
  • “The Development of British Overseas Humanitarianism and the Congo Reform Campaign,” Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 2010).
  • Review: Selling the Congo: A History of European Pro-Empire Propaganda and the Making of Belgian Imperialism, by Matthew G. Stanard in Contemporary French Civilization 38, no. 1 (2013), 129-130.
  • Review: Freedom’s Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention, by Gary Bass, Journal of British Studies 38, no. 3 (July 2009), 794-795.

“It’s interaction with students that makes abstract history into something real and learnable. In the process we all – students and faculty alike – develop our understanding of the past and become better able to make sense of the present.”


Ph.D. from the University at Buffalo (State University of New York at Buffalo) fields in Modern European History, Modern British History, and Atlantic History

undergraduate degree in History and Economics from Harvard