REAG Steering Committee
Dr Christina de Bellaigue is Associate Professor of Modern History. Her research focuses on the social and cultural history of nineteenth-century France and Britain. She is interested in the history of education, the history of childhood and adolescence and is currently working on a new project on middle class family strategies and social mobility. Her publications include a Special Issue of Cultural and Social History (2019) edited with Eve Worth and Helena Mills entitled ‘Rags to Riches? New histories of social mobility in Modern Britain’ and an edited collection entitled Home Education in Historical Perspective (2016). In 2013 she received funding from TORCH to set up “Rags to Riches?” an interdisciplinary research network exploring qualitative approaches to the history of social mobility. She is currently Vice-Chair of the History Faculty.
Dr Faridah Zaman (Co-Convenor of Steering Committee, Faculty Member) is Associate Professor of the History of Britain and the World. She currently has two main areas of research. The first is a study of Muslim political activists, religious scholars, journalists and poets in early twentieth-century British India, situating developments in their thought within a history of worldwide war, political revolution, and imperial decline. The second research area concerns history as an academic discipline in Britain from the late eighteenth century, and its relationship to the expansion and legitimisation of empire. She also written on British socialism, memory and nostalgia, heritage and imperial visual culture, and political visions of the future in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has been chair of the Faculty’s Race Equality Working Group since 2019
Nadia Awad is a Second-year historian at Somerville and the JCR’s ethnic minorities officer. She won the Oxford University Student Union’s ‘Student Voice’ Award in 2020 for her efforts to raise awareness of racial inequality within student life. Nadia is particularly interested in postcolonial histories and the politics of museum practices. She has worked with London’s Migration Museum Project and has appeared on Sky News and Gal-dem magazine. She is excited to help create meaningful and tangible changes within Oxford’s History curriculum.
Dr Fanny Bessard is Associate Professor in Medieval Eurasian History. She is a historian of early and Classical Islam with expertise in Arabic historiography, as well as a practicing archaeologist with a decade of field experience in the Middle East and Central Asia. Before joining Oxford, she held a Newton fellowship at SOAS, a Leverhulme ECF at the University of St Andrews, and a Lecturership in the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Bristol. Her research interests lie in the social and economic transformations of the Middle East, 700-1000. Transcending the ‘Long Late Antiquity’ model that perceives the Arab-Muslim conquests and the birth of the caliphate as symptomatic of a world in transition, she puts the emphasis on the period of assertion of the Islamic world’s identity and authority.
Ciara Garcha is a First Year History student at Hertford College. She is from Manchester. Her passion for history began with attempting to understand her mixed Punjabi-Irish-English heritage. Inspired by this personal interest, she hosted an online exhibition on the South Asian diaspora, as part of South Asian Heritage Month. In addition to this, she is a member of the Our Shared Cultural Heritage Young Collective at Manchester Museum, consulting on and participating in projects to engage young members of the South Asian diaspora and our peers in South Asian heritage. She is excited by the work the Race Equality Action Group is doing and looks forward to a history, in which we are all represented.
Professor Steven Gunn is Professor of Early Modern History and Fellow and Tutor in History at Merton College. He teaches and researches the history of later medieval and early modern Britain and Europe. His current research concerns accidental death and everyday life in sixteenth-century England. He has also published in the wider fields of Tudor government, warfare, foreign policy and political culture and the comparison of the English state in this period with others in Europe. He writes for BBC History Magazine and History Today, has contributed to radio and television programmes such as In Our Time and Time Team, and speaks regularly to Historical Association branches and sixth-form conferences.
Dr Michael Joseph is currently the M.G. Brock Junior Research Fellow at Corpus Christi College. A historian of the Caribbean and its diaspora in Britain and France, my current book project is a study of political economy and anti-colonial thought in six islands – Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, Grenada, Martinique, and Guadeloupe – from the 1880s to the 1930s.
Naomi Kellman joined Rare in 2011, where she founded Target Oxbridge, a programme that has helped over 200 Black African and Caribbean students secure Oxbridge offers, and currently supports 160 students a year. Naomi spent 2012 – 2015 working on education policy at the Department for Education and the Treasury, and has served as a secondary school governor. Naomi co-founded the BAME Fast Stream Network and the Oxford Black Alumni Network, and has made appearances on Sky News, BBC News, BBC Radio and Channel 5 News to discuss Oxbridge access and diversity in recruitment. She is currently Rare’s Senior Manager for Schools and Universities, a Trustee for Ebony Horse Club, a member of the Foundation Oxford Advisory Group, and a member of the University of Oxford’s History Faculty Advisory Panel.
Dr Alexander Morrison is Fellow and Tutor in History at New College, Oxford. He was previously Professor of History at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan, Lecturer in Imperial History at the University of Liverpool, and a Prize Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He is the author of Russian Rule in Samarkand, 1868-1910. A Comparison with British India (2008) and of The Russian Conquest of Central Asia. A Study in Imperial Expansion, 1814 - 1914 (2020). In 2012 he was awarded a Philip Leverhulme prize for his work on the history of Russian rule in Central Asia and the comparative history of empires.
Gracie Oddie-James is a First Year at Christ Church College reading History. She strives to create spaces where BAME students can not only exist but thrive. After co-founding the ACS at her secondary school, she motivated the implementation of a blind casting policy for drama projects and went on to write an anti-racism manifesto for schools taken up by staff and students at over 30 institutions including Westminster, Eton and Harrow. She is passionate about expanding the curriculum to discuss not only BAME people in the context of persecution, but also as independent and complex agents who had the capacity to create, lead and challenge.
Dr Sadiah Qureshi is Senior lecturer in Modern History at the University of Birmingham. At the broadest level, her research interests focus on modern histories of racism, science and empire. Her ﬁrst book, Peoples on Parade: Exhibitions, Empire and Anthropology in Nineteenth-Century Britain (Chicago, 2011) explored the importance of displayed peoples for histories of race and the emergence of anthropology. She is currently writing her next book, provisionally entitled Vanished: Episodes in the History of Extinction, for Allen Lane. This research is currently supported by a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship. She is also Co-Chair of the Royal Historical Society’s Race, Ethnicity & Equality Working Group. With this group, she co-authored the society’s first report on racial inequalities in UK HE Race, Ethnicity & Equality in UK History: A Report and Resource for Change (RHS, 2018).
Professor Richard Reid is Professor of African History. His research centres on modern Africa, with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is particularly interested in the culture and practice of warfare in the
modern period, and has focused on the transformations in violence in the late precolonial period (the nineteenth century), as well as on more recent armed insurgencies, especially those between the 1950s and the 1980s. He also
works on historical culture and memory, especially around trauma and upheaval, and one strand of his research involves an exploration of how the ‘precolonial’ is perceived and understood in modern Africa (as well as in modern Europe. While some of his published work spans the continent as a whole, his primary research is on East and Northeast Africa, including Uganda and the Great Lakes region, Ethiopia, and Eritrea.
Dr Jonathan Saha is Associate Professor (South Asian History) at the University of Durham. His research focuses on the history of British imperialism in Myanmar (Burma) during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. He is currently writing a book on the history of animals in the colony. His first book, Law, Disorder and the Colonial State (2013) looked at the history of corruption in the Ayeyarwady delta. He has just finished an Independent Social Research Foundation mid-career fellowship on the topic of "Accumulation and Empire". The project explored the utility of the conception of accumulation for better interrogating the imperial past.
Professor Barbara D. Savage is an historian and the Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought in the Department of Africana Studies of the University of Pennsylvania. She specializes in twentieth century African American history. She was the Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford in 2018-2019. At Penn, she has assumed several administrative positions, including department chair. She has published two books: Your Spirits Walk Beside Us: The Politics of Black Religion (2008) and Broadcasting Freedom: Radio, War, and the Politics of Race, 1938-1948 (1999). Her co-edited works are: Toward an Intellectual History of Black Women (2015) and Women and Religion in the African Diaspora (2004).
Professor Stephen Tuck is Professor of Modern History. His research interests include modern race equality struggles in Britain and America, the relationship between religion and racism, and the writing of national history. His most recent book is The Night Malcolm X Spoke at the Oxford Union: A Transatlantic Story of Antiracist Protest (2014). Other recent books (with Robin Kelley) The other special relationship: race and rights in Britain and America (2014). Previous books include an interpretative synthesis of the long struggle for civil rights in the United States, We Ain't What We Ought To Be: the black freedom struggle from emancipation to Obama (2010) (a companion website with audiovisual materials is weaintwhatweoughttobe.com).