I am a historian of modern Britain and the British Empire and an Associate Professor of History at Elizabeth City State University, a historically black college and constituent institution of the University of North Carolina. I earned my Ph.D. (2010) from the University of Maryland, College Park, where I studied with Richard Price.
My work so far has examined the development of a British-imperial culture in nineteenth-century Britain, New Zealand, India, and — above all — southern Africa. My first book Royal Tourists, Colonial Subjects, and the Making of a British World, 1860-1911, published in 2016 by Manchester University Press, examines the ways in which colonial subjects made sense of their encounters with British royalty. I am presently working on two research projects: one about respectability and loyalty in nineteenth-century New Zealand and South Africa, focusing on how indigenous people and other colonial subjects of color made sense of their place in the empire through idioms of “home-grown” Britishness, imperial citizenship, and human rights and by appealing to British constitutionalism and supremacy; the second will examine the politics of loyalism across the British Empire during the nineteenth century.
I am also editor and review editor of H-Empire, the H-Net network on the history of empires and colonialism, the President-Elect of H-Net, an associate editor at Itinerario: International Journal on the History of European Expansion and Global Interaction (Cambridge), and a past president of the North Carolina Association of Historians.
A native of southwestern Pennsylvania, I became fascinated with the social history of industrial Britain as an undergraduate and Master’s student. While my interests turned rapidly toward the Victorian empire, I like to think that I bring along the sensibilities of a social historian to my work on the intellectual and cultural history of the nineteenth-century British Empire.