Dr. Lorena De Vita

Dr. Lorena De Vita

History of International Relations
Assistant Professor

Lorena De Vita (PhD, FRHistS) is a historian of international relations. Many, understandably, view the global political realm as one of conflict and violence. Instead, De Vita’s research focuses on international histories of reconciliation and repair. But what does it mean, in international politics, to repair for past harm?

Research Profile. At Utrecht University, Lorena De Vita is leading the Wording Repair project, an international NWO-funded team effort to digitize, transcribe, and analyze recently unearthed historical sources relative to the history of reparations after the Second World War and the Holocaust. This research is embedded in her Holocaust Diplomacy: The Global Politics of Memory and Forgetting project. Supported by the Alfred Landecker Foundation Lecturer Programme (2021-2026), her work involves academics, museum and research institution staff, and policy-makers, in the attempt to map how a global memory of collective atrocities, and forms of reparation and atonement, emerge and change over time.

Her first book, Israelpolitik: German-Israeli Relations 1949-1969 (Manchester University Press, 2020; pbk, 2022), reassessed one of the most improbable processes of international reconciliation, between Germany and Israel after the Holocaust, and at the outset of the global Cold War. Based on extensive archival and oral history research in the Middle East, Europe, and the USA, reviewers praised the book's ‘great detail and splendid conceptual clarity’ (G. Palmer, The European Legacy). 


Scientific Outlook and International Network. Lorena De Vita completed her PhD at Aberystwyth University – where the first Chair in International Politics was founded, after the First World War – having studied history and international relations at Roma Tre and the London School of Economics. She held competitive research and visiting fellowships at the Center for Twentieth Century History at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the Memorial House of the Wannsee Conference in Berlin, the R. Koebner Minerva Center at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, and the Department of International Relations at Oxford University

At Utrecht University, she co-founded the Utrecht Global Cold War Group, and she is a member of the Utrecht Forum for Memory Studies, the Security History Network, and the interdisciplinary research cluster Institutions for Open Societies. In 2021, she was selected as a Utrecht Young Academy member (2021-2026). 

Commitment to Teaching and Learning. Lorena De Vita is an award-winning teacher, with (inter)national teaching experience at BA, MA, RMA, and Ph.D. levels on diplomatic history, methodological interdisciplinarity, and theoretical approaches to international history and politics. She teaches at Utrecht University and is passionate about training the next generation of researchers at the Onderzoekschool Politieke Geschiedenis in Amsterdam.

A past recipient of the prestigious University-wide ‘Teacher Talent Award’, Lorena served for over three years as a member of the board of the Utrecht University Teaching Academy (TAUU-Council). She co-led the coordination of the MA in International Relations in Historical Perspective between 2018 and 2020 and served as the programme coordinator at the height of the pandemic, between 2020 and 2023. She regularly serves as a 'Role Model' figure in the UU Start-to-Teach trajectory and is a coach ('meta-teacher') for new lecturers at the Faculty of Humanities in her capacity as core member of the bilingual Leergang Universitair Onderwijs – University Teaching Qualification Trajectory.

Fostering Debate and Critical Exchange. Lorena De Vita's interviews with Deutschlandfunk, Tagesspiegel, BNNVARA, the BBC, and NOS, showcase her commitment to public debate. Her recent research grants include the Alfred Landecker Foundation Lecturer grant and an NWO-XS-SSH Open Competition grant. Lorena De Vita also won the LNVH Distinguished Women Scientists Award (2018), the KNAW Early Career Partnership (2021), and, in 2020, the Teacher Talent Prize for, among other things, 'creating a learning environment where debate and exchange are central'. 



Dr. Lorena De Vita joins US diplomat Maryum Saifee, former Maldives Ambassador and High Commissioner Farah Faizal, Australian former diplomat Paul McAuliffe and US Deputy Chief of Mission to the UK Matthew Palment to discuss diplomacy in contemporary and historical perspective on the BBC World Service.


UHSK Historical Student Society video-nomination of Lorena De Vita for the University-wide 'Teacher Talent' Award.