My research explores textual, visual and audio-visual representations of African and colonial violence during the Emergency, to examine how Kenya’s iconography of violence shaped British visual culture from the 1950s to 2020. My interdisciplinary project utilises visual methodologies and methods from history and film studies to interrogate British colonial archives, propaganda, newspaper archives, newsreels and mainstream cinema to examine British public discourse of the Kenya Emergency from 1952-2020.
My thesis studies how the imagery of violence in the Kenya Emergency was used by the press, politicians, activists and other non-state actors to shape public opinion in Britain from 1952 to 1960. My research also highlights the role of violent imagery in cultivating public memory in Britain revealing which types of violence in the colonial context are remembered or suppressed.
My research interests include colonial and post-colonial history, histories of violence and colonial photography. I am also interested in public history and memory.
I completed a research placement with the National Trust at their Kingston Lacy property which unearthed new historical insights into the colonial connections and legacies at this country house. The research highlighted the material legacies of imperialism at the property, as archival records strongly pointed to a marriage dowry stemming from colonial exploitation having paid for renovations to the house in the 1780s. Furthermore, indivuals connected to the Bankes family living at the property in the 1700s were discovered to have been slave owners and members of the colonial government who oversaw the death of the plotters of the thwarted Montserrat Slave rebellion. This placement was funded by the SWW DTP. Research from this project informed a paper presented at the National Portrait Gallery in October 2023.
External impact and engagement
I am the editor of African history at the Scottish Centre for Global History at the University of Dundee and also host the centre's podcast series.