About Me

I am a historian of modern Britain and the British Empire and an Associate Professor of History at Elizabeth City State University, an HBCU 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 second book project, An Empire of Justice: Race, Citizenship, and Belonging in Colonial South Africa, 1840-1923, explores how colonial subjects of color in southern Africa and their allies in Britain and the empire fought for an inclusive “empire of justice” against the assembled forces of white supremacy.  My first book Royal Tourists, Colonial Subjects, and the Making of a British World, 1860-1911, published in 2016 by Manchester University Press, examined the ways in which colonial subjects used their encounters with British royal to make claims on their rights as British subjects and on the empire itself.

At ECSU, I serve as the chair of the Department of English, History, and Interdisciplinary Studies and Director of General Education. I am also managing editor and review editor of H-Empire, the H-Net network on the history of empires and colonialism, 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 and H-Net.

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 and southern Africa, 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.

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