Professor Robert Burroughs
Head of Subject
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. He has also published widely research on travel and tourism, particularly in marine environments.
In 2019-20 Rob is a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow, for which he is undertaking new research on African students in Victorian Britain.
Rob's most recent monograph is African Testimony in the Movement for Congo Reform: The Burden of Proof (Routledge 2018). It explores how Africans provided crucial testimony in the fight to reform King Leopold II's 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).
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).
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).
- Level 4: Narrative: A Short Introduction
- Level 5: Nineteenth-Century Contexts
- Level 6: Atlantic Slavery: Nineteenth-Century Representations
- Level 7: Journeys and Discoveries: Travel, tourism and exploration 1768-1996
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.
Ask Me About
Burroughs RM (2015) Slave-trade suppression and the culture of anti-slavery in nineteenth-century Britain. In: Burroughs R; Huzzey R ed. British Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Policies, Practices and Representations of Naval Coercion. Manchester: Manchester University Press,
Burroughs RM (2015) Suppression of the Atlantic slave trade: abolition from ship to shore. In: Burroughs R; Huzzey R ed. British Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Policies, Practices and Representations of Naval Coercion. Manchester: Manchester University Press,
Burroughs RM (2015) Gaskell on the Waterfront: Leisure, Labour and Maritime Space in the Mid-Nineteenth Century. In: Scholl L; Morris E ed. Place and Progress in the Works of Elizabeth Gaskell. Ashgate (Routledge), pp. 11-22.
eds. Burroughs R; Huzzey R (2015) The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade: British Policies, Practices and Representations of Naval Coercion. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Burroughs RM (2011) Travel Writing and Atrocities. Taylor & Francis.
Burroughs RM (2009) 'Race' and Anthropology'.
Burroughs RM (2016) ‘Savage times come again’ : Morel, Wells, and the African Soldier, c.1885-1920. English Studies in Africa: a journal of the humanities, 59 (1), pp. 40-51.
Burroughs RM (2016) The Nautical Melodrama of Mary Barton. Victorian Literature and Culture, 44 (1), pp. 77-95.
Burroughs RM (2015) ‘Weird Farang Thing: Dark Tourism in Alex Garland’s The Beach (1996)’. Postcolonial Studies: culture, politics, economy, 17 (3), pp. 320-333.
Burroughs R (2011) Sailors and Slaves: The ‘Poor Enslaved Tar’ in Naval Reform and Nautical Melodrama. Journal of Victorian Culture, 16 (3), pp. 305-322.
Burroughs R (2010) Eyes on the Prize: Journeys in Slave Ships Taken as Prizes by the Royal Navy. Slavery & Abolition, 31 (1), pp. 99-115.
Burroughs R (2010) The travelling apologist: May French Sheldon in the Congo Free State (1903-04). Studies in Travel Writing, 14 (2), pp. 135-157.
Burroughs R (2009) ‘[T]he true sailors of Western Africa’: Kru seafaring identity in British travellers’ accounts of the 1830s and 1840s. Journal for Maritime Research, 11 (1), pp. 51-67.
Burroughs R (2009) Imperial eyes or 'the eyes of another race'? roger casement's travels in west africa. Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 37 (3), pp. 383-397.
Burroughs RM (2006) In Conrad’s Footsteps: Critical Approaches to Africanist Travel Writing. Literature Compass, 3 (4), pp. 924-939.