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Dr Robert Burroughs


About Dr Robert Burroughs

Rob Burroughs is a cultural historian and literary critic working on the nineteenth century. He specializes in the areas of empire, humanitarianism, slavery and race.

Rob's latest monograph is African Testimony in the Movement for Congo Reform: The Burden of Proof (Routledge 2018). It explores how African people provided crucial testimony in the fight to reform King Leopold II's violent colonial regime in the Congo Free State. The book stems from Rob's involvement as a Co-Investigator in the NWO-funded European research network ‘The Congo Free State across Languages, Media and Culture’ (2014-17).

Rob’s AHRC-funded PhD thesis, which explores travellers’ eyewitness reports of colonial atrocities, was published under the title Travel Writing and Atrocities by Routledge in 2011 (paperback 2015).

In 2009, Rob completed a Leverhulme-Trust funded Early Career Fellowship on cultural dimensions of the Royal Navy’s suppression of the Atlantic slave trade. Among the outcomes of this project is the book The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Manchester University Press, 2015).

Current Teaching

  • Level 4: Narrative: A Short Introduction
  • Level 5: Victorian Novel
  • Level 6: Atlantic Slavery: Nineteenth-Century Representations
  • Level 7: Journeys and Discoveries: Travel, tourism and exploration 1768-1996

Research Interests

Rob's recent and current research interests include the following:

  • colonial history and literature, especially in Africa;
  • humanitarian history and literature;
  • slavery and the slave trade in the nineteenth century;
  • theories of race in the nineteenth century;
  • writing by African and Caribbean people in Britain in the nineteenth century;
  • travel writing;
  • water (the sea and rivers).

Rob welcomes inquiries from prospective postgraduate students.

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