About Us

alanphotoProfessor Alan Lester
Professor of Historical Geography
Alan Lester’s first degree was from the University of Cambridge and his PhD from the University of London. He has been at the University of Sussex since 2000, becoming Professor of Historical Geography in 2006 and the University’s first Director of Interdisciplinary Research in 2013. He has held visiting lectureships at Rhodes University and the University of Fort Hare, an Erskine Fellowship at the University of Canterbury and an inaugural fellowship in humanities at La Trobe University.

katephoto1Dr. Kate Boehme
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Kate Boehme holds a PhD in History from the University of Cambridge, for which her thesis analysed the development of Indian business networks in and around Bombay in the mid-nineteenth century. Her article “Smuggling India: Deconstructing Western India’s Illicit Export Trade, 1818-1870” was published in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society in June 2015. She has been employed at the School of Global Studies of the University of Sussex since November 2015.

petephotoDr. Peter Mitchell
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Pete Mitchell received his PhD from Queen Mary University of London in 2014. His thesis studied early modern cultural logistics, imperialist historiography, and the formation of the historical collections of the India Office Records. He has worked in the museum sector with a specialism in nineteenth-century social history. His teaching to date has focused on medieval and early modern literatures and literary theory.

6 comments on “About Us
  1. Alexia says:

    With all due respect to your work.

    What are you doing to decolononise your department?

    Why are you all white?

    • Alan Lester says:

      Thanks Alexia
      We’re not all white, having intentionally recruited more BAME staff in recent years and we are working with BAME staff and students on a programme to decolonise the department. For examples of some school level work see http://www.sussex.ac.uk/global/internal/schoolgeneral/edi
      Much more to be done though, of course!

      • Alan Lester says:

        Sorry Alexia, only just realised you meant the three of us pictured for the specific Snapshots of Empire project rather than the larger department of which we are/were a part. I held a recruitment process for two postdoctoral researchers and Kate and Pete were selected from a shortlist that included BAME candidates for fixed term 15 month roles in the project. They have now moved on to other things.

  2. Marie Broderick says:

    I am so glad that there is an organisation to counter the gross inaccuracies being perpetrated by the National Trust with regard to racism.

    I am an amateur dabble in all thing historical and have not found a shred of evidence to support a single claim that the National Trust makes. Quite the reverse is the case.
    Members of historic houses were well known to rescue their black kinship network in times of strife. There has even been a recent exhibition highlighting the lives of 11 Black individuals who were taken in by the British Royal Family and brought up as their own. People like Natalia Grosvenor are direct line descendants of General Abraham Petrovich Gannibal a black African Prince from an empire to rival that of the Austro Hungarian Empire. The man had 11 children and all of them married into Europe’s aristocratic houses. If the National Trust cares to check they will find that virtually every one of their properties have familial and or kinship links to their black kin. Slavery is an emotive term but the reality was so far removed from what the public perceive slavery to be.

    Shame on the National Trust for failing to promote scholarly work. Promoting lies will soon backfire. The public are not as stupid as you think they are.

  3. As a Black British born woman of Jamaican descent, I find it annoying and futile to come across the issue that all of the History academics in a British University History Department are all white according to the photographs shown. So what if it is? The fact is the University has the crucial information that people like me need to be exposed to in order to understand The British Empire, England, Britain, and The U.K. respectively, its values, belief systems, culture and history, to dig into the foundation upon which racism as risen and still perpetuates British society. This type of information has been denied my people for decades and even centuries. I am currently in the thrones of reading a substantial amount of English and British History which is helping me enormously to plug many gaps in the history of my people, and to help me understand more clearly why my people have endured and suffered the way they have in the past, and which still continues today in various forms. I know I will be severely criticised for my ‘outrageous’ comment here. However, this IS my position. By the way, what the devil is meant by ‘decolonising’ a History Department? How is that supposed up be achieved? Keep up the good work!

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