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Department of History

Staff Profile

Dr Richard Huzzey

Associate Professor (Reader) (Modern British History) in the Department of History
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 41063

Contact Dr Richard Huzzey (email at


My principal research and teaching interests lie in modern British and imperial history. I am currently researching a new history of the aboilition of the slave trade and slavery within the British Empire. I am also collaborating with colleagues at Leiden University, NYU, and the University of Sao Paulo in a project examining the circulation of abolitionist "technologies" across the world.

Alongside Henry Miller, I lead a research project on 'Re-thinking petitions, Parliament, and people in the long nineteenth century', which is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust. In the period 1780-1918 petitions to Parliament - but also other bodies of authority - provided one of the principal channels for popular political expression. Our project offers unprecedent scrutiny of this phenomenon by looking at the totality - and variety - of petitions to MPs from men and women, humble or haughty, across Britain and the British Empire. We also keep in touch with a growing number of scholars examining petitions from other times and places through our Humble Petitioners network.

I have previously examined the descent of British anti-slavery politics after emancipation, charting the ways in which abolitionist ideas thrived in Victorian Britain and encouraged new vectors of imperial expansion. I co-edited a volume on The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Manchester University Press, 2015), and my first book was Freedom Burning: Anti-Slavery and Empire in Victorian Britain (Cornell University Press, 2012). I am co-editor of the Liverpool Studies in International Slavery book series.

I was previously a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool and led the Centre for the Study of International Slavery, an interdisciplinary collaboration between researchers and the International Slavery Museum. Before that, I held a lectureship at Plymouth University and a post-doctoral research fellowship at Yale University. I researched my doctorate at St. Catherine's and St. Anne's colleges, University of Oxford, and studied for my BA and Master's degrees at St. Anne's.

Research Supervision

Durham offers fantastic resources for research into modern British and imperial history. I welcome inquiries from potential postgraduate research students, especially where your interests touch on political culture, social movements, or slavery and abolition.

I am currently supervising the following current postgraduate students:

  • Joe Kelly (ESRC CASE studentship, University of Liverpool, 2014 - , "Supply Chains and Moral Responsibility: Slavery and Capitalism after British Emancipation")
  • Joe Mulhern (AHRC CDP studentship, Durham University, 2014 - , "Slavery, Independence, and Empire: Britain and labour in Latin America, c. 1840-1888")
  • Jim Powell (Part-time PhD student, University of Liverpool, 2014 - , "King Cotton in Exile: The American Civil War and British Raw Cotton")
  • Ciara Stewart (Leverhulme Research Project Grant studentship, Durham University, 2016 -, "Irish Women's Petitions to the House of Commons")

I am a secondary supervisor to Gary Blank (Leverhulme Research Project studentship, Warwick University, 2016 - ), who is undertaking research as part of the 'Re-thinking Petitions, Parliament, and People in the long nineteenth century' project. I am also secondary supervisor for two further students at the University of Liverpool, Lee Atkins and Lucy Kilyfoyle.

I have been a member of the supervisory team for the following graduates:

  • Dr. Nick Bubak (PhD student, University of Liverpool, 2012 - 2016, "Imperial identity and the early Scouting Movement")
  • Dr. Jim Hinks (ESRC PhD studentship, 2011 - 15, "Other people’s children: Narratives of paid childcare in Britain 1860 – 1910")

Professional Membership

  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society
  • Member, Historical Association
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy

Research Groups

Research Projects

Research Interests

  • Modern Britain and the British Empire
  • Popular Politics and Social Movements
  • Slavery and Abolition
  • Petitions in the United Kingdom, c. 1780-1918

Indicators of Esteem

  • 2013: Whitfield Prize, proxime accessit: Royal Historical Society
  • 2011: Alexander Prize: Royal Historical Society

Related Links

Selected Publications

Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

  • 2017 'Manifest Dominion: The British Empire and the 1860s Crises of the Americas', in Doyle, Don (ed.), American Civil Wars: The United States, Latin America, Europe, and the Crisis of the 1860s, University of North Carolina Press, pp. 82-106
  • 2015 (co-authored with McAleer, John) 'History, memory, and commemoration of Atlantic slave-trade suppression', in Burroughs, Robert & Huzzey, Richard (eds.), The suppression of the Atlantic slave trade: British policies, practices and representations of naval coercion, Manchester University Press, pp. 166-187
  • 2015 'The politics of slave trade suppression', in Burroughs, Robert & Huzzey, Richard (eds.), The suppression of the Atlantic slave trade: British policies, practices and representations of naval coercion, Manchester University Press, pp. 17-52
  • 2014 'Concepts of liberty: Freedom, laissez faire and the state after Britain’s abolition of slavery', in Hall, Catherine, Draper, Nicholas & McClelland, Keith (eds.), Emancipation and the Re-making of the British World, Manchester University Press, pp. 149-71
  • 2013 'British Liberties, American Slavery, and the Democracy of Race', in Dzelzainis, Ella & Livesey, Ruth (eds.), The American Experiment and the Idea of Democracy in British Culture, 1776–1914, Ashgate, pp. 121-134
  • 2012 'Gladstone and the Suppression of the Slave Trade in the Mid-Nineteenth Century', in Windscheffel, Ruth Clayton, Quinault, Roland & Swift, Roger (eds.), William Gladstone: New Studies and Perspectives, Ashgate, pp. 253-266

Edited book

Journal Article

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2016: Re-thinking Petitions, Parliament and People in the Long Nineteenth Century (£312745.00 from Leverhulme Trust)