Meet the Team: Peter Banks

Hi, my name is Peter, and I’m a new PhD student at the University of Hamburg, as part of the ITN’s “Knowing Vaccines” Project. Originally coming from England, I’m new to Hamburg and I’ve been enjoying exploring the city so far. I received my Master’s degree in Modern History at the University of Kent in 2021, focusing on the history of propaganda and its reflection in the spatial environment. For my Masters dissertation, I examined the Berlin 1936 and Munich 1972 Olympics, highlighting the ways in which both Games utilised the spatial environment as a means of propaganda. Such research involved analysis of landscape, architecture, images, and design.

Exploring this theme further, for my PhD thesis I am applying propaganda and spatial theories to study the German Democratic Republic’s (GDR) poliomyelitis vaccination campaign in the 1960s. I am particularly interested in the propaganda significance of vaccination to the GDR and its cultural experience by the state’s citizens.

In my free time I like to watch and play football. Whilst still supporting Chelsea abroad, I’m enjoying Hamburg’s football culture and getting the chance to go and watch St Pauli and Hamburger SV games. I also enjoy playing guitar and listening to music, especially funk and soul. Since moving to Hamburg I’ve been getting my whereabouts by going to live music events in the city.

If you would like to know any more information about my project, feel free to email me.