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Dr Theo Williams

Lecturer (Modern British History)

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Lecturer (Modern British History) in the Department of History  


I am a historian of modern Britain, with particular expertise in the histories of race, political thought, and colonialism and anti-colonialism. I am especially interested in the ways in which the transnational movements of people and ideas have impacted political culture in Britain. I completed my PhD at King's College London in 2019, before joining the Department of History at Durham in 2020.

I am currently working on my first monograph, which examines black radical politics in Britain during the 1930s and 1940s. The book makes the case that the Pan-Africanist and anti-colonial ideas promoted by black activists significantly reconfigured the politics of the wider British socialist movement in this period.

Research interests
  • Modern British history
  • Black British history
  • Black radical thought and movements
  • Imperialism and anti-imperialism
  • Socialist and Marxist thought and movements


Book review

Journal Article

  • Williams, Theo (2021). Collective Security or Colonial Revolution? The 1938 Conference on Peace and Empire, Anticolonialism, and the Popular Front. Twentieth Century British History 32(3): 325-349.
  • Williams, Theo (2019). George Padmore and the Soviet Model of the British Commonwealth. Modern Intellectual History 16(02): 531-559.