Axel joined UCL in 1996. He is founding Director of the UCL Centre for Transnational History (since 2008) and was appointed to a chair in 2012. His main fields of research are the intellectual and cultural history of Europe between the eighteenth and twentieth centuries, with a particular interest in transnational history and the history of European opera. He has worked on French, Italian, German and Habsburg history as well as trans-Atlantic history.
Axel currently supervises three PhD students working in the fields of European transnational and intellectual history. He is happy to receive enquiries from students interested in eighteenth- to twentieth-century Italian, French, German and Habsburg history, in comparative European history, and in the history of opera.
- America in Italy: The United States in the Political Thought and Imagination of the Italian Risorgimento, 1763-1865. Princeton/Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2017.
- Politics of Culture in Liberal Italy: From Unification to Fascism. New York: Routledge, 2009; 2nd ed. pb 2011.
- 'Transnational History: Identities, Structures, States', in Barbara Haider-Wilson, William D. Godsey, Wolfgang Mueller, eds, International History in Theory and Praxis. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2017, 265-290.
- 'The Experience of Time as Crisis: On Croce's and Benjamin's Concepts of History', Intellectual History Review, 21 (2) 2011, 151-169.
For a full list of publications, see Axel's Iris profile.
- 2016-2019, Leverhulme Trust, International Network Grant (IN-2015-045), Re-imagining italianità: Opera and Musical Culture in Trasnational Perspective
- 2015-2018, Leverhulme Trust, Major Research Award (MRF-2014-028), Transnational Monarchy: Rethinking the Habsburg Empire, 1804-1918
- 2014-2017, Centre for Humanities Interdisciplinary Research Projects (CHIRP), Passionate Politics
- 2005-2009, Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) four-year research grant, The American Way of Life: Images of the United States in Nineteenth-Century Europe and Latin America (with Nicola Miller and Adam Smith)
Axel makes regular media appearances in the UK and abroad.
On sabbatical 2017-18.