Dr Boswell’s research focuses on the representation of the Holocaust and other atrocities across a range of media and art forms. He recently held an AHRC Leadership Fellowship for a project entitled 'Virtual Holocaust Memory', which considers the changing shape of Holocaust memory in the digital age.


In his monograph Holocaust Impiety in Literature, Popular Music and Film (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) he discusses provocative responses to the Holocaust by non-victims, arguing that while such works are often shocking, the value of shock should not be lightly dismissed. Drawing on the philosopher Gillian Rose's criticisms of what she terms 'Holocaust piety' and its claim that the only possible response to the Holocaust is a respectful silence, the book considers how irreverent works of fiction play an important role in shaping our contemporary understanding of the Holocaust and also ourselves.


Other research interests include the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the globalisation of Holocaust memory, and the ways in which difficult pasts are remembered around the world. He is part of the Transnational Holocaust Memory research cluster, which leads an ongoing collaboration with the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation. In their work they consider the relationship between the Holocaust and traumatic histories such as apartheid. This collaboration has led to a range of knowledge exchange and public engagement activities, including a touring exhibition on coming to terms with difficult pasts and a public event programme at the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre entitled Remembering Holocaust and Genocide in the Digital Age.


He is an enthusiastic champion of public engagement and collaborates with a range of arts and heritage organisations in his work, from Holocaust museums to Opera North. He is a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the National Holocaust Centre and Museum and the Editorial Board of the journal Studies in Testimony.