Dr Prior is a historian researching the British Empire and legacies of empire, with a particular interest in the history of modern sub-Saharan Africa. His research has tended to concentrate on the intellectual and socio-political networks that created and underpinned Britain’s colonial and post-colonial actions and sensibilities in the modern era. This work touches on topics such as race and identity, decolonisation and nationalism, the Cold War and military intervention, humanitarianism and aid, and communism and democracy.
- Imperial history and the legacies of empire
- The history of modern sub-Saharan Africa
- Socio-political and intellectual networks in foreign policy
Dr Prior is currently researching British foreign policy in sub-Saharan Africa in the wake of decolonisation, considering the roles that the British government tried to create for itself in this newly emerging postcolonial context. The resultant monograph will address key policy aims such as the management of external emerging actors such as the United States, key thematic concerns such as democracy and communism, and key policy actions such as military intervention and counter-espionage MI6 intelligence.
Current PhD Students
Dr Prior currently teach on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate modules on the histories of empire and Africa from 1850 to the present day, as well as on broader global histories:
Dr Prior has been keenly interested in the history of modern Africa since his time at the University of Durham, where he studied for a PhD and also held his first lecturership. Chris has also worked at the University of Leeds and University College Dublin, from where he joined the University of Southampton in 2012.