Empire’s recent emergence as one of the most vibrant topics of historical study can be traced to developments such as the decline of Area Studies, growing interest in hybrid post-colonial identities, neo-conservative advocacy of empire as a model of uneven globalization and collaborative governance over troubled regions, and environmental and medical historians’ depiction of colonies as laboratories for wider developments. Throughout this process understandings of the historical evolution of race and racism in the colonial context have grown in complexity. But in 2011 the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s admission that it had illegally retained 8,800 files from Britain’s former colonies began a fundamental revision of the historical perception of race and empire. When the High Court ordered these files to be released they showed that the accepted view that Britain’s empire was systematically de-racialized in the middle decades of the twentieth century was misleading. The revelation last year that the FCO has a further illegal secret archive of 1.2 million files indicates that much remains unknown about the history of race and empire, and suggests that this is a theme that will attract increasing interest from historians in coming years, not just with regard to the British Empire, but on a comparative basis.
The University of Leeds has a strong tradition of studying the history and culture of empire, and the significance of race relations, not just in the School of History but also in other schools within the Arts and Social Studies Faculties. Relevant research groups within the University include the Centre for African Studies, the Centre for Ethnicity and Racism Studies, the Institute for Colonial and Post-Colonial Studies, the White Rose East Asian Centre, and the Yorkshire African Studies network.
A University Fellow in this field would be exceptionally well placed to make a significant contribution to knowledge, secure funding, and attract students.
You will have demonstrated research excellence, and teaching ability, in the broadly-defined field of the history of race and empire. You will not necessarily be limited to the history of the British Empire / Commonwealth alone, or to the history of race and empire in any one part of the globe. You will also demonstrate an awareness of, and aptitude for, maximising the advantages offered by the funding landscape.
University Grade 8 (£38,511 to £45,954)
For informal enquiries about the role please contact Professor Graham A. Loud, tel: +44 (0)113 343 3601, email: G.A.Loud@leeds.ac.uk or Professor William Gould, tel: +44 (0)113 343 3612, email W.R.Gould@leeds.ac.uk or Dr Shane Doyle, tel: +44 (0)113 343 3655, email S.D.Doyle@leeds.ac.uk.