Frank is Professor of History at Birkbeck. He was the principal investigator of the AHRC project ‘Material Cultures of Energy’ (2014-17), and also a member of the multidisciplinary EPSRC – ESRC research centre DEMAND (Dynamics of Energy, Mobility and Demand). He has received numerous fellowships and grants. He was the director of the Cultures of Consumption research programme, co-funded by the ESRC and the AHRC. In 2017, he was awarded the Humboldt Prize for Research (Humboldt-Forschungspreis) by the Alexander-von-Humboldt Foundation. He is the author of several books, including Free Trade Nation: Consumption, Civil Society and Commerce in Modern Britain (Oxford University Press, 2008). His most recent book, Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First (Allan Lane/ Penguin 2016), was voted ‘Book of the Year’ by The Times, The Sunday Times, The Times Literary Supplement and BBC History Magazine.
Frank’s recent work has been on consumption, materiality, energy and everyday life. He has also published on political culture, political economy, and civil society in modern history. He is now working on a new book project, The Germans: A Moral History, 1943-2020, which tells the story of the German people from the Second World War to the present in order to understand their moral transformation.