Dr Akil Awan
What do you do here at Royal Holloway?
I'm a Senior Lecturer in Modern History, Political Violence and Terrorism.
What is your main area of research specialism?
My primary research interests are focused around the history of terrorism; processes of radicalisation; and social movements and new media.
My recent work has explored youth radicalism with the United Nations; freedom of expression with the Council of Europe; and post-conflict resolution in Syria with the Carter Center. However, my primary research looks at al-Qaeda and the Islamic State phenomenon and I have a new book on this out in a few months with Hurst and Oxford University Press.
How do you use this in your teaching?
I try to help students make sense of the frightening and violent world they see around them by placing current events in a broader historical and political perspective. I'm also a firm believer in research-led teaching, and not only do I use my current research in my teaching, but my students often also end up informing my avenues of research.
What inspired you about Royal Holloway?
Royal Holloway is a top research university in the UK, and has an inspiring history of being ahead of its time in many ways, particularly with its role in the women's rights movements. Plus, it's also nice to be able to 'wow' visitors with your very own castle!