I have been at Keele University since 2011 where I am currently the Director of the MA and MRes in History.

I earned my PhD from King’s College, London before securing a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of East Anglia, and lecturing at the London School of Economics and Goldsmith’s College, London.

I am also a committee member of the Social History Society, co-convene their Deviance: Inclusion and Exclusion strand, and jointly prepared the winning bid to host the SHC at Keele in 2018.  I regularly review for the Newton Fund Arts & Humanities Panel, British Council, am a charity trustee for the Keele Postgraduate Association, and have been a UK Higher Education Academy Fellow since 2017.  I recently completed the Aurora leadership programme for women.  I previously served on the History UK Steering Committee (2013-18).

Research and scholarship

I specialise in modern South African and Australian migration history and my publications include numerous articles and Chinese Labour in South Africa, 1902-10: Race, Violence, and Global Spectacle (Palgrave-Macmillan Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series, 2013). That book explored why Chinese indentured labour was imported into South Africa at the height of ‘yellow’ and ‘black’ perils within settler societies.

My research continues to explore migration, settler colonialism and nationhood. I am currently researching the creation of a migration system within South Africa and Australia, and how this connects to modern global systems of migration control. In 2019, I was a visiting research fellow at the Australian National University, thanks to an Australian Bicentennial Research Fellowship. I have also recently finished articles for a special edition on Gender and Empire in the Journal of World History, and a critique of the British World with Andrew Dilley in The Historical Journal. In 2019, I have given invited talks to the University of Sydney Law School Seminar, Australia National University School of History Seminar, and a British World Conference at Meiji University, Tokyo on Migration, naturalisation and the ‘British’ World, c.1900-1945. That talk will shortly be published in Japanese and English.


  • HIS-10029 Modern History
  • HIS-10030 Historical Research and Writing
  • HIS-20066 Imperialism
  • HIS-20067 Sources and Debates
  • HIS-20080 Race and the Body in Colonial Africa
  • HIS-30110/HIS-30113 The Making of Contemporary Africa I & II
  • HIS-40048 The Making of Contemporary Africa, I & II
  • MRes Approaches to Historical Research
  • MRes Humanities Reflective Practice


School of Humanities
Chancellor's Building
Keele University
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733109

Head of School
Dr Nick Seager
Room: CBB1.038 (Chancellor's Building, 'B' Extension)
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 733142

School and college outreach
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 734009