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Durham University

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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 in a series of research projects examining petitioning and popular politics.

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 our AHRC Research Network on petitioning.

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 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 Community

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 primary supervisor to the following current postgraduate students:

  • Margaret Armstrong (PhD student, 2017 - , "The New Poor Law in County Durham")
  • Carrie Long (AHRC CDP student, 2018 - , "The social agency of petitioning, c. 1789-1860")
  • Ciara Stewart (Leverhulme Research Project student, Durham University, 2016 - , "Irish Women's Petitions to the House of Commons")

I had the pleasure to supervise the doctoral research of the following graduates:

  • Dr. Nick Bubak (PhD, University of Liverpool, 2012 - 2016, "Hyper-Citizenship and the Experience of Youth in the Edwardian Scouting Movement")
  • Dr. Joe Kelly (ESRC CASE PhD, University of Liverpool, 2014 - 2017, "Supply Chains and Moral Responsibility: Slavery and Capitalism after British Emancipation")
  • Dr. Joe Mulhern (AHRC CDP student, 2014 - 2018, "After 1833: British entanglement in Brazilian Slavery, c. 1840-1888")
  • Dr. Jim Powell (Part-time PhD, University of Liverpool, 2014 - 2018, "King Cotton in Exile: The American Civil War and British Raw Cotton")

Professional Membership

  • Fellow, Royal Historical Society
  • Member, Historical Association
  • Senior Fellow, Higher Education Academy
  • Member, Study of Parliament Group

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Projects

Department of History

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

Selected Publications

Authored book

Book review

Chapter in book

Edited book

Journal Article

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • History & Archaeology: Slavery and Abolition in the British Empire
  • Modern History: Britain & Ireland: Slavery and Abolition in the British Empire
  • Politicial, cultural, social history: Slavery and Abolition in the British Empire
  • History & Archaeology: Petitions and popular politics
  • Modern History: Britain & Ireland: Petitions and popular politics
  • Politicial, cultural, social history: Petitions and popular politics
  • Politics & Society: Petitions and popular politics
  • Government: Petitions and popular politics


Selected Grants

  • 2017: RI220005: Petitioning and the (Re) making of political representation in Britain, ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, £3798.00, 2017-01-01 - 2017-12-20
  • 2016: Re-thinking Petitions, Parliament and People in the Long Nineteenth Century (£312745.00 from Leverhulme Trust)