Mary Elisabeth Cox
Dr. Mary Elisabeth Cox is a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution; a William Golding Junior Research Fellow in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at Brasenose College, Oxford; and a British Academy postdoctoral fellow.
Cox’s research focuses on food insecurity as well as the health, hunger, and inequality of civilians during and following the First World War. Her first book, Hunger in War and Peace, was published in 2019 by Oxford University Press. Cox’s book assesses the nutritional status of civilians in Germany from 1914 to 1924 using a variety of original source materials, including old anthropometric measurements from schoolchildren, scientific studies, maps, institutional reports, internal international aid documents, personal letters, legal reports, newspapers, diaries, and children’s drawings and paintings. Her work shows that deprivation was severe for some civilians in Germany, but that it varied greatly depending on status: age, gender, social class, and even stratum within families impacted how much people suffered during the war.
Along with Dr. Claire Morelon and Professor Sir Hew Strachan, Cox is leading a Leverhulme Trust–funded international network called Hunger Draws the Map. This major project brings scholars together from around the world to trace hunger across Europe and the Ottoman Empire from 1914 to 1923. Cox and Morelon are currently editing the book manuscript for this project, with chapters written by members of the network.
Cox also studies the creation of multinational institutions focused on international aid in the early 20th century.