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Dr Uta Balbier

Dr Uta Balbier


Balbier_Uta resizedEmail
Address C1, East Wing
Department of History
King's College London
London, WC2R 2LS





Uta Andrea Balbier joined the department as Senior Lecturer in Modern History in September 2015. Before joining the department, she was the director of the Institute of North American Studies at King’s, a research fellow at the German Historical Institute, Washington D.C., and taught at Jacobs University Bremen. She received her PhD in Modern European History from the University of Potsdam based on a dissertation in the field of sports history. Thereafter, her research interests shifted to U.S. and trans-national religious history. She is now completing her second monograph on Billy Graham’s revival campaigns in Europe and the United States in the 1950s and 1960s.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Twentieth Century American and European cultural and religious history
  • History of Sports
  • Transnational religious movements
  • US evangelicalism

Uta Balbier’s research interests are religion and sports in 20th century US, European and transnational history. Her current research focuses on the transnational dimension of US evangelicalism in the second half of the 20th century. She explores how evangelicalism affected, and was in turn changed by, the creation of an international consumer culture, the political framework of a Free World, and secularization processes in Europe and the United States. In her research, she compares the mass-revival meetings – the so-called crusades – that the American evangelist Billy Graham held in the 1950s and 1960s in London, Berlin and New York. Her work examines the unique ways in which expressions of religion and spirituality are transformed by intertwined secularization and modernization processes in Western societies.

For more details, please see her full research profile.

Uta Balbier would particularly welcome applications from students who wish to work on: 

  • Transnational religious movements in the twentieth century
  • The history of evangelicalism in the US and Europe
  • The cultural history of the Cold War
  • Religion and consumer culture in the US and Europe
  • The history of sports
Selected publications

“Selling Soap and Salvation: Billy Graham’s Consumer Styled Revival Meetings and the Reshaping of German Evangelicalism in the 1950s”, 20 pp., Amerikastudien/ American Studies Quarterly, 59.2, 2015.

 “Youth for Christ in England und Deutschland. Religiöser Transnationalismus und christliche Nachkriegsordnung 1945-1948”, (Youth for Christ in England and Germany: religious transnationalism,1945-1948), Archiv für Sozialgeschichte, 51 (2011), 209-224

 “Billy Graham in Berlin. German Protestantism between Americanization and Rechristianization” in: Zeithistorische Forschungen/Studies in Contemporary History, Online-Ausgabe, 7 (2010), H. 3

 “A Game, a Competition, an Instrument?” – high performance, cultural diplomacy, and German sport from 1950 to 1972, in: The International Journal of the History of Sport 26 (2009), 539-555

Kalter Krieg auf der Aschenbahn. Deutsch-deutscher Sport 1950-72, eine politische Geschichte. (Cold War in the Stadium: A Political History of West and East German Sports, 1950-1972). Paderborn: Schöningh, 2007

For a complete list of publications, please see Uta's full research profile.

Expertise and Public Engagement

Uta Balbier is a member of the executive board of the British American Studies Association and a peer-reviewer for the Association’s journal published by Cambridge University Press. She is a co-convenor of the IHR American Studies Seminar. Her current transnational research on Billy Graham has already been featured in a US documentary produced by Tim Frakes Productions and a 30-minute documentary on the evangelical Louis Zamperini (converted by Graham) on BBC4 (2014).

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