Professor Clare Anderson

Clare Anderson 2013Professor of History

Contact Details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 229 7528
  • Email:
  • Twitter: @sysgak
  • Office: Room 101, 6 Salisbury Road
  • Office Hours: On Study Leave
  • Dissertation Office Hour: On Study Leave


I received an MA (hons) in History & Sociology (1993) and PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh (1997). I then joined the Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Leicester, moving to the Department of Sociology at the University of Warwick in 2007. I returned to the School of History in 2011, becoming part of the School of History, Politics and International Relations in 2016. My PhD and postdoctoral research centred on the history of prisons, penal settlements and penal colonies in Mauritius and South and Southeast Asia from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries. It also included studies of Asian indentured labour, the 1857 Indian Uprising, and the history of anthropology, photography, tattooing and the body. I held an ESRC Research Fellowship between 2002-6, for a project on Indian Ocean and Southeast Asian penal settlements, 1773-1906. Subsequently, I held the one-year Caird Senior Research Fellowship (2006) and then the two-year Sackler-Caird Research Fellowship at the National Maritime Museum (2007-9). I then developed research on subaltern experiences and biographies of Indian Ocean journeying, as well as mutiny and maritime radicalism. My next project involved in-depth work on the Andaman Islands - as Principal Investigator of the ESRC funded international collaborations Refugee Resettlement in the Andaman Islands (2008) and Integrated Histories of the Andamans (2009-13). I currently lead an ERC funded team that is working on a global history of penal colonies, 1415-1960 - The Carceral Archipelago (2013–18). During this project, I have undertaken research on Australia, the Cape Colony and the Caribbean, as well as the French penal colonies of Guiana and New Caledonia.

I am a member of the British Academy Area Panel for South Asia, I sit on the Advisory Council of the Institute for Historical Research, and I am External Fellow of the Global History and Culture Centre, University of Warwick. I have held visiting fellowships at CAIA, University of Tasmania (2001), and visiting professorships at the University of Technology Sydney (2009, 2011). I am on the editorial boards of the Journal of World History and Australian Historical Studies; and I am editor of the Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History.


PhD Supervision

I currently supervise students working on colonisation and penal confinement in Australian islands; convict transportation to Western Australia; gender and the convict colony of Sakahlin Island, Russia; British officers in the Indian army; British convict hulks in the nineteenth century; opium use amongst Indian indentured migrants; criminal justice in 1820s Britain; Wilberforce and abolition; and (with Sociology) the Palestinians of Syria since 2011.

I have previously supervised students working on the East India Company warehouses of London; lascars in the Indian Ocean; Indigenous-settler relations in colonial Canada; the making of history in post-colonial Bermuda; and extraterritoriality in treaty port China. I would be happy to take on postgraduates working across all areas of colonial and global history, as well as the history of punishment, the history of labour and migration, and the aftermaths and contemporary resonances of European empires.


My teaching is on the history of Empire, migration and historiography.

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