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Dr Charlotte Lydia Riley 

Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History, Group Project Coordinator

Dr Charlotte Lydia Riley's photo

Dr Charlotte Riley is a Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History at the University of Southampton.

I am a historian of twentieth century Britain, especially the Labour Party, aid and development, and decolonization. I am also interested more broadly in the culture of British politics and society, especially issues around gender politics and the British state. I studied history at UCL and LSE, and completed my PhD at UCL in 2013. Before coming to Southampton, I taught modern British and imperial history at UCL, LSE and the University of York. 

I am currently working on a monograph exploring the Labour Party's aid and development policies from the 1920s to the 1970s. The book examines how Labour developed a specific political economy around overseas aid, which both informed and reflected Labour's wider attitudes to foreign policy and the development of its ideas about poverty, inequality and Britain's role in the wider role over this period. The book also explores the role of key actors within the Labour Party in developing these ideas, notably Arthur Creech Jones, Barbara Castle and Judith Hart.

This book is based in part on my PhD research. My thesis, entitled 'Monstrous Predatory Vampires and Beneficent Fairy-Godmothers: British Post-War Colonial Development in Africa', explored the Attlee government's approach to colonial development in the African empire in the transnational context of post-war reconstruction. 

More broadly, I am interested in exploring state provision of aid and development programmes through a gendered analysis; my work in this area has taken a transnational approach, including the work of USAID and the Population Council alongside British state and non-state actors. I am also interested in the broader history of the Labour Party, especially through the prism of gender and the cultural politics of the left; I have an on-going interest in collating and analysing the hate mail received by female politicians such as Barbara Castle. Overall, my work explores the intersections between foreign and domestic policy, state and non-state actors, and politics and popular culture in twentieth century Britain.

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Dr Charlotte Lydia Riley
Building 65 Faculty of Arts and Humanities University of Southampton Avenue Campus Highfield Southampton SO17 1BF United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/1047

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