Dr Alexander Cook is a Lecturer in the School of History, Research School of Social Sciences, and is affiliated with the Centre for European Studies, the Centre of Early Modern Studies and the French Research Cluster.
Dr Cook is an intellectual and cultural historian whose interests centre upon Britain, France and their colonial worlds from the eighteenth century. He is interested in politics and political thought, empire, consumption and culture amongst other things. He studies and teaches the Enlightenment and the French Revolution. Much of his personal research is focused upon the social history of ideas. Dr Cook analyses the way in which ideas, texts and images are taken up, adapted and used in social situations. He also has a strong interest in the uses of history in both the past and the present.
He completed graduate study at the University of Cambridge. During this time he also participated in a range of historical projects with the BBC and worked on exhibitions at the National Library of Australia and the National Museum of Australia. After a brief period as a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Queensland, Dr Cook returned to ANU where he now teaches British and European history, as well as historical theory and method.
From 2013 to 2016, Dr Cook served as co-Editor of History Australia, the journal of the Australian Historical Association. From 2017 to 2020 he was President of the George Rude Society, the association for historians of France in Australia.
Dr Cook was a Chief Investigator on the ARC funded Discovery Project ‘Revolutionary Voyages’, a colloborative project involving historians from Australia, France and the United States, which explores the history of scientific expeditions and voyages of discovery during the era of the French Revolution.