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Dr Charlotte Lydia Riley 

Lecturer in Twentieth-Century British History, Equality and Diversity Officer, World Histories Convenor

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

I am a feminist historian of twentieth century Britain, with particular focus on the Labour Party, decolonization, and overseas aid and development programmes. More broadly, I am interested in the culture of British politics and society in the twentieth century.

I teach across a variety of topics in modern British social, cultural and political history, including women's history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the history and memory of the Second World War, the 1960s as a British cultural moment, and the long and tangled history of the Labour Party. I would be interested in supervising research students across these topics and my research interests more widely. I also convene our first year core course, World Histories: Contact, Conflict and Culture from Ancient to Modern.

I am one of the convenors of the Britain at Home and Abroad since 1800 seminar at the IHR, and I am one of the reviews editors for Journal of Contemporary History.

I am currently writing a book, Imperial Island, which tells an alternative history of Britain's relationship with its empire from the Second World War to present day. The book traces the ways that empire and decolonisation have left their mark on British history, society, politics and culture, and tells the story of how ordinary people's lives have been shaped by the messy, complex, brutal, and surprising history of British imperialism. I am writing this book for Bodley Head and it should be published in 2022.

More broadly, I am interested in the social, cultural and political histories of Britain in the twentieth century. I take a 'new imperial history' approach to this topic: I believe we can only write histories of Britain if we take the intersections between Britain and empire seriously.

My PhD 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. I have worked on the history of British aid and development programmes and am especially interested in exploring this history 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 a particular interest in the role of women on the British left, with an on-going project exploring 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, Southampton SO17 1BF, United Kingdom

Room Number: 65/1047

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