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Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies

Visiting Fellows

Our visiting fellows include experts in Zimbabwean decolonisation.

Mr Hugh Pattenden

Hugh Pattenden is a historian who specialises in the politics and diplomacy of Zimbabwean decolonisation. His research falls into two broad subject areas. The first is the relationship between Britain and (the then) Rhodesia during the UDI period (1965-80), including the political and legal ramifications of UDI, and the development of British public opinion. His other area of study is Zimbabwean nationalist propaganda. In this, he looks at the ways in which ZANU and ZAPU used their media output to criticise opponents and build support during the 1960s and 1970s. Next, he intends to investigate in further detail how British attitudes towards colonial Rhodesia and post-independence Zimbabwe have developed since the Second World War. He has a degree in history from the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Email:  

Research interests: 

  • UDI and the decolonisation of Zimbabwe 
  • Zimbabwean nationalism 
  • British-Zimbabwean relations 
  • The Cold War in Africa 

Hugh is the author of (selected publications):  

(2021) ‘Britain and the Rhodesian Mercenary Issue, c.1970-1980’, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 49, 4, 777-804. 

(2021) ‘Britain, Rhodesia, and the Law of Treason, 1964-1980’, Journal of Legal History 42, 3, 304-27. 

(2022) ‘British Public Opinion on the Rhodesian Issue, 1963-1980’, International History Review 44, 2, 335-56. 

(2022) ‘The Representation of the Rhodesian Security Forces in the Propaganda of ZANU and ZAPU, 1965–1980’, War in History (published online first view). 

(2023) ‘The Representation of the British Government in Zimbabwean Nationalist Propaganda, 1965-80’, Journal of Contemporary History 58, 1, 152-76.  

I'm a historian specialising in the politics and diplomacy of Zimbabwean decolonisation.
Mr Hugh Pattenden