Current Projects

Professor Ian Beckett’s current British Empire at War project is:

The Politics of Command in the Late Victorian Army, 1872-1902. Monograph commissioned by University of Oklahoma Press for publication in 2014-15.

Dr Larry Butler‘s current British Empire at War project is:

  • The impact of the Cold War on British decolonization in Africa, focussing on British perceptions of a Chinese ‘threat’ to British interests in Africa during the late 1950s and early 1960s.

Dr Gilly Carr‘s current Britain at War projects are:

  • Legacies of Occupation focuses on the archaeology, heritage and memory of the German occupation.
  • Protest, Defiance and Resistance during the German Occupation is a joint project with Louise Willmot and Paul Sanders.
  • Materialities of Internment considers the material culture made from recycled Red Cross parcels in civilian internment camps in Germany, and how this gives and insight into the experiences of deportation and internment.
  • Lost in the Landscape: Nazi camps on British soil examines the archaeology of a forced labour camp in Jersey

Professor Bruce Collins‘ current British Empire at War projects are:

  • ‘The Limits of British Power: Intervention in Portugal, 1820-1830’ International History Review 2013 forthcoming.
  • ‘Britain and the Wars of 1793-1815’, Wellington Studies V forthcoming – includes colonial material.
  • ‘Defining Victory in Victorian Warfare 1860-1882’
  • British siege warfare 1779-1900, a book that will include colonial conflicts, notably in India (including Delhi and Lucknow in 1857-58) and in the South African war in 1899-1900.
  • British wars of empire 1830-1902, a book commissioned at 135,000 words
  • British preparations to confront mutiny-disaffection in the Bombay presidency, whose army did not mutiny, in 1857 – with focus on the mobilization of ‘reliable’ ethnic, religious and tribal groups and the politics of colonial law and order.

Dr Kristian Coates-Ulrichsen‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • A general history of the First World War in the Middle East, setting the British, French, Russian, German, and Ottoman campaigns in comparative perspective.
  • The impact of wartime mobilisation on the political economy of British rule in India.
  • The reformulation of regional politics in the Arabian Peninsula/Persian Gulf during the war.

Professor Mark Connelly‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The reception of the British Instructional Films’ series of 1920s Great War reconstructions and their reception across the Empire.
  • The image of the Royal Navy in South Africa, particularly the impact of the HMS Vanguard visit during the Royal Tour of 1947.

Dr John Connor‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The British Empire in the First World War –  a book-length study using selected issues such as recruitment, shipping and trade and dissent to argue that the countries that were part of the British Empire in 1914-18 experienced the Great War as an imperial experience. This experience has been forgotten in parts of the former Empire such as India and Ireland where the war was considered irrelevant to the path to independence, and mis-remembered in parts of the former Empire such as Canada and New Zealand as being a narrowly national experience.
  • Army Centenary History of Australia and the Great War Project – a five volume history of Australia in the First World War to be published by Oxford University Press in 2014-16. I will be a one of the three co-authors for the volume on Australia during the war. I will provide an account of wartime politics, Dr Peter Stanley, Head, Centre for Historical Research, National Museum of Australia, will write the sections on social aspects and Dr Peter Yule of Melbourne University will write on wartime economics. For more information visit this site.
  • Queensland Aboriginal men and the First World War focusing on how the enlistment of white men in the Australian Imperial Force in 1915 led to a labour shortage in rural Queensland, providing opportunities to Aboriginal rural workers to better their conditions and leading Queensland government officials to forcibly remove about 2.5% of the Aboriginal population to state reserves in order to force compliance on the Aboriginal work force.
  • El Nino and colonial warfare focusing on the role El Nino droughts in South East Australia played in exacerbating frontier warfare between Aboriginal warriors and British soldiers and settlers using the 1837-40 drought as a case study.

Dr Santanu Das‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Editor of the South Asian’ section of ‘1914-1918-Online International Encyclopaedia of the First World War’, the largest encyclopaedia of its kind to be launched in 2014 (
  • Cambridge Companion to British and Commonwealth Poetry of the First World War (has chapters on ‘Archipelagic War Poetry’ and ‘Commonwealth war Poetry’)
  • India, Empire and First World War Culture (monograph in progress)

Gregor Davey‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  •  British decolonisation and the development of an Imperial intelligence system in the late colonial period 1944-1966.

Vipul Duttas current British Empire at War project is:

  • The Impact of Partition on the Indian Armed Forces, 1947-1962.

Professor Brian Farrell‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The Commonwealth Confrontation with Indonesia from 1962 to 1966
  • The formation of Far East Command in 1962
  • Collective security in Southeast Asia from 1954 to 1975

Dr Kent Fedorowichs current British Empire at War projects are:

Robert Fleming‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • British colonial forces and garrison defences including coastal batteries
  • Pacific conflicts including the New Zealand Land Wars, the Australian Frontier Wars and The Black War in Tasmania
  • The Imperial Defence System and Empire forces in the World Wars, decolonisation conflicts
  • British soldier-archaeologist-spies, and the conflict archaeology of urban environments, such as the effect of the Blitz on London. 

Dr Francis Gooding‘s current British Empire at War project is:

  • Amateur and professional film documents of the British Empire

Professor Jeffrey Greys current British Empire at War project is:

  •  Editing the five-volume series The Centenary History of Australia and the Great War, funded by the Australian Army and to be published by Oxford University Press in 2014-16. The volumes deal with:
  • The war with the Ottoman empire; The war with the German empire; The Australian Flying Corps; Australia at war: society, politics and economy; and The Australian Imperial Force: a social and institutional study
  • Professor Grey is also author of the volume on the war with the Ottomans.

Dr Karl Hack‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Violence and its Limits in British counterinsurgency: The Malayan Emergency as a case-study.
  • A book analysing broad empire research themes.
  • A comprehensive new history of Malayan/Malaysian emergencies.

Professor Ashley Jackson‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Iran and Iraq during the Second World War: A book project resulting from Jackson’s status as co-investigator with Dr Yasmin Khan on the major AHRC-funded project ‘Home Fronts of the Empire-Commonwealth: Imperial Interconnections and Wartime Social Transformations during the Second World War’. Research in British and German archives is in progress.
  • The British Empire at War, 1939-1945: A chapter for the forthcoming Cambridge History of the Second World War, the chapter concentrates on themes of occupation, resistance, collaboration, and political change.
  • The Commonwealth as a Strategic Alliance: A chapter for the forthcoming companion volume on the Commonwealth in the Oxford History of the British Empire series, the chapter concentrates on the Empire-Commonwealth as a military-strategic alliance in the twentieth century.
  • The Commonwealth at War, 1914-1918: Is a Special Issue of the journal Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, co-edited by Terry Barringer and Ashley Jackson and due for publication in spring 2014.
  • Suez to Sumatra: The Second World War in the Indian Ocean Region: Is an ongoing book project under contract with Harvard University Press.
  • The Second World War and empire: a 6000 word entry for Wiley-Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Empire.

Alan Jeffrey‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Approach to Battle: Training the Indian Army, 1939-1945
  • Burma and Beyond: The Indian Army Officer Experience during the Second World War

Dr Rob Johnson‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Rob Johnson recently co-convened a conference on the Indian Army (c.1750-1948) and is compiling an edited volume with Cambridge. He is open to offers of chapter submissions.
  • Rob is also writing on Auxiliary forces in the British Empire and a history of the First World War in the Middle East.

Professor Greg Kennedys current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Anglo-American inter-war strategic relations in the Far East: This monograph will take into account the questions of diplomatic and political relations in the strategic decision-making cycle, the role of economics at the national level, the role of finance (looking at the relationship between British and American banks in the region), and the impact of dependencies (Australian/New Zealand vs Philippines) in the defence planning and deterrence process. At the heart of this work is a main thesis which explores the clash between the British imperial presence in the Far East and its relationship with a growing American imperial presence in that region.
  • Anglo-American-Canadian relations in the First World War and the blockade: A monograph examining the question of belligerent vs neutral rights, centred around the blockade issue and its constituent parts such as shipping, financial blockade, munitioning, and strategic resource management in areas such as key foodstuffs, minerals, and manufactured goods. The heart of the study is a look at how each strategic policy-making elite viewed the other’s strategic position. Was the United States truly neutral or a sympathetic neutral, and what impact on the strategic prosecution of the war, with regard to blockade measures, did the US position have on Britain’s management of its imperial resources? Again, the role of the America in this bi-polar dynamic is crucial for a new understanding of the First World War and how it was fought. American political/economic ambitions guided its attempt to benefit from vulnerable parts of the British Empire, creating a unique dynamic in early 20th century international relations as a status quo empire becomes more dependent on a rising imperial power for key aspects of its national security.

Professor David Killingray‘s current British Empire at War project is:

  • War in the Empire and English Localities

Dr James Kitchen‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Demobilization experiences of British imperial forces in Egypt after the First World War. The research seeks to explore the transition from large-scale combat operations to imperial policing in the aftermath of war, the nature of the resulting demobilization protests, and the cultures of violence that existed among troops serving in Egypt.

Dr David Macri‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The Allied war effort in Papua New Guinea during the Second World War
  • A comparative study of American and British war dead memorialization and its geopolitical impact

Dr Jatinder Mann‘s current British Empire at War project is:

  • Australia in War and Peace, 1914-1919, a major collaborative research project between the Menzies Centre for Australian Studies (MCAS), KCL and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra, Australia. The ultimate goal of the project is to produce a volume on Documents on Australian Foreign Policy on War and Peace, 1914-19. The publication will follow the model of the previous volume MCAS worked on: Australia and the United Kingdom, 1960-1975; which consisted of painstakingly selected historically significant Australian and British documents.

Ouleye Ndoye‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Database compilation of the contribution of the British colonies to the First and Second World Wars for the British Council and Imperial War Museum.
  • An analysis of the role of religion in military recruitment within West Africa for the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF).

Professor Timothy H. Parsons‘ current British Empire at War projects are:

  • ‘Mobilization’ in East Africa during the First World War
  • Disabled Kenyan veterans in the Second World War
  • Re-centering Africa in the History of the Second World War co-edited with Judi Byfield, Carolyn Brown, and Ahmad Sikainga.

Dr Catriona Pennell‘s current British Empire at War projects include:

  • The British war effort in Mesopotamia and Palestine (1914-1918) and the resultant expansion of the British Empire into the Middle East at the end of the First World War.

Professor Ian Phimister‘s current British Empire at War project is:

  • The violent making of Southern Africa, 1884-1914

Dr Christopher Prior‘s current British Empire at War projects include:

  • Postwar British society and the impact of decolonization upon British civic identity, including a consideration of the effects of the conflicts in Kenya, Cyprus, and Malaya on conceptions of Commonweath in the 1950s.

Dr Anne Samsons current British Empire at War projects are:

  • World War 1 in South, East and Central Africa (various aspects)
    Lord Kitchener covering Egypt, Sudan, South Africa, India and World War 1

Dr Chandar Sundara’s current British Empire at War project is:

The “Forgotten” Forgotten Army: British Intelligence Documents on the Indian National Army, 1942-1945, foe publication as part of Helion Books’ India at War series.

Mark Seddon‘s current British Empire at War project is:

  • A case study of the tensions in the Anglo-US wartime alliance generated by rivalry over oil and exacerbated by the actions of private oil corporations. His thesis conceptualises the relationship between the state and private-sector and analyses how such ties shaped the mechanics of foreign relations. Mark analyses the means by which the British and US Governments sought to exercise imperial power throughout the 1940s as the Second World War gave way to an emerging Cold War.

Dr Gajendra Singh‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The Ghadar Movement which arose among the Punjabi diaspora on the Pacific coast and in North America. The Ghadar Party attempted an armed revolt in colonial India in 1915 and shaped the construction of revolutionary radicalism in Punjab through to the 1940s. It is a study of testimony, migration, and the politics of creating an anti-colonial nationalism in a non-colonial space.

Professor Adrian Smith‘s current British Empire ar War projects are:

  • Southampton as a wartime ‘gateway to empire’.
  • Cinema and the Great War a collaboration with the University of Kent.
  • The Royal Navy in two world wars with Southampton’s Maritime and Marine Institute and the Royal Navy Museum.

Dr Richard Smith‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • Imperial propaganda in the West Indies during and after the First World War.
  • Paramilitary and political violence among Caribbean ex-servicemen.
  • Pan-Africanism and the First World War.
  • Moving images of black and Asian soldiers in the world wars.
  • History documentaries of black participation in the world wars and changing British identity.

Dr Daniel Owen Spence’s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The ideological development and application of ‘seafaring race’ theory, a distinctly maritime variation on martial race theory that emerged during the first half of the twentieth century and influenced British colonial naval recruitment and organisation in the years leading up to the Second World War.
  • African, Asia, and Caribbean naval experience during the twentieth century, developing his thesis into a monograph, under consideration by Manchester University Press, by examining the African colonial naval dimension alongside the Asian and Caribbean case studies.
  • The Royal Navy and the British Empire, a book project for I.B. Taurus and the National Museum of the Royal Navy, to be published in 2014.

Professor Tim Stapleton’s current British Empire at War projects are:

  •  A three volume Military History of Africa to be published by Praeger Security International and is researching.
  • A history of tracking in Southern Africa that looks at how this form of indigenous knowledge has been applied in hunting, conservation, law enforcement and warfare.

Dr Andrew Stewart‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The East Africa campaign during the Second World War
  • British defence planning against invasion in 1940

Antonia Strachey‘s current British Empire at War project is:

  • The development of the wartime economy in India in the 1940s. This was a decade in which a small number of Indians made their fortunes while some regions, most notably Bengal, experienced widespread famine. My DPhil thesis focuses on the effect that the Indian administration had on living standards in the subcontinent. Aspects addressed include food rationing, procurement and administrative efficiency.

Charles Thomas’ current projects include:

“’Disgraceful Disturbances’: TANU, the Tanganyika Rifles, and the 1964 Mutiny,”  a historical analysis of the numerous contemporary and modern British and African theories regarding the 1964 East African mutinies and the British intervention in Dar es Salaam.

“Friends and Labor: Britain and the King’s Africa Rifles,” a project looking at political and social issues involved in the maintenance and demobilization of the King’s African Rifles formations in the later Imperial period.

Professor Richard Toye‘s current research projects include:

  • The Rhetoric of Empire: Managing Imperial Conflict between Britain and France, a Leverhulme Trust project with Professor Martin Thomas.

Alexander Wilson‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  •  ‘The Indian Army in Africa and the Mediterranean, 1939-45’
  • The development of administration, warfare and culture in Buner (a region of the Indian North-West Frontier) between 1863 and 1915.

Dr Tim Winegard‘s current British Empire at War projects are:

  • The Haudenosaunee Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy during both world wars: An ongoing project, with Dr. P. Whitney Lackenbauer.
  • British oil policy in the Middle East and the Caucuses between 1917 and 1919: including numerous clandestine operations.  One such operation was “Dunsterforce” (made up of select Dominion soldiers) and its 1918 mission to protect British strategic interests in the Caucuses—primarily Baku oil—and to deny the Turks and Germans entrance to India through Persia and Afghanistan.
  • Dr Winegard is also writing numerous journal articles relating to a variety of aspects of the Great War.

A propaganda image shown by British political officers in the Gulf during the Second World War. British forces are pounding Nazi-dominated Europe. Thanks to Dr Chris Tripodi