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: By appointment
  • Dissertation Office Hour: N/A

Personal details

MA (Hons), PhD

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.


Office Hours: By appointment
Dissertation Office Hour: N/A

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


  • Anderson C (2016) Transnational histories of penal transportation: Punishment, labour and governance in the British Imperial World, 1788-1939. Australian Historical Studies, 47 (3), pp. 381-397 10.1080/1031461X.2016.1203962
  • Anderson C (2016) Convicts, Carcerality and Cape Colony Connections in the 19th Century. JOURNAL OF SOUTHERN AFRICAN STUDIES, 42 (3), pp. 429-442 10.1080/03057070.2016.1175128
  • Anderson C (2016) All the World's a Prison: When the European powers began exporting convicts to other continents, they did so to create a deterrent and to establish new settlements across the world. Clare Anderson traces the history of punitive passages. History Today, 66 (3)
  • Anderson C (2016) A global history of exile in Asia, c. 1700-1900. Exile in Colonial Asia: Kings, Convicts, Commemorationpp. 20-47 ISBN13: 9780824853754
  • Anderson C (2016) Empire and exile: Reflections on the ibis trilogy. American Historical Review, 121 (5), pp. 1523-1530
  • Anderson C, Crockett CM, De Vito CG, Miyamoto T, Moss K, Sakata M (2015) Locating penal transportation: punishment, space and place c. 1750-1900. In: Morin KM, Moran D (Eds.) Historical Geographies of Prisons: Unlocking the usable carceral past
  • Anderson C (2014) After emancipation: empires and imperial formations. In: Hall C, Draper N, McClelland K (Eds.) Emancipation and the remaking of the British imperial world pp. 113-127
  • Anderson C (2014) Sites of Provocation and Coalescence: Jails as Spaces of Rebellion in 1857-1858. Mutiny at the Margins: New Perspectives on the Indian Uprising of 1857, Volume 5: Muslim, Dalit and Subaltern Narratives pp. 49-62ISBN13: 978-81-321-1353-9
  • Frykman N, Anderson C, van Voss LH, Rediker M (2013) Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution: An Introduction. INTERNATIONAL REVIEW OF SOCIAL HISTORY, 58, pp. 1-14 10.1017/S0020859013000497
  • Anderson C (2013) 'The age of revolution in the Indian Ocean, Bay of Bengal and South China Sea: a maritime perspective'. In: Anderson C, Frkyman N, Voss LHV, Rediker M (Eds.) Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution: A Global Survey
  • Anderson C (2013) The power of words in nineteenth-century jails: British colonial Mauritius, 1835-87. In: Paisley F, Reid KM (Eds.) Critical perspectives on colonialism: writing the empire from below
  • Anderson C, Frkyman N, Voss LHV, Rediker M (2013) Introduction. In: Anderson C, Frkyman N, Voss LHV, Rediker M (Eds.) Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution: A Global Survey
  • Anderson C (2013) Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution: A Global Survey.
  • Anderson C, Maxwell-Stewart H (2013) 'Convict Labour and the Western Empires, 1415â€"1954'. In: Aldrich R, McKenzie K (Eds.) The Routledge History of Western Empires pp. 102-117
  • Anderson C (2013) 'Subaltern Lives: history, identity and memory in the Indian Ocean world'. History Compass,
  • Anderson C (2013) Mutiny and Maritime Radicalism in the Age of Revolution: A Global Survey.
  • Anderson C (2012) Subaltern Lives: biographies of colonialism in the Indian Ocean World, 1790-1920. ISBN10: 1107645441 ISBN13: 978-1107645448
  • Anderson C (2011) Writing indigenous women's lives in the Bay of Bengal: Cultures of empire in the Andaman Islands, 1789-1906. Journal of Social History, 45 (2), pp. 480-496 10.1093/jsh/shr054
  • Anderson C (2011) Marginal Centres: subaltern biographies of the Indian Ocean world. Journal of Social History, 45 (2)
  • Anderson C (2011) Colonization, Kidnap And Confinement In The Andamans Penal Colony, 1771-1864. Journal of Historical Geography, 37 (1), pp. 68-81
  • Anderson C (2010) The Transportation of Narain Singh: Punishment, Honour and Identity from the Anglo-Sikh Wars to the Great Revolt. Modern Asian Studies, 44 (5), pp. 1115-1145
  • Anderson C (2010) Empire, boundaries, and bodies: colonial tattooing practices. In: Sappol M (Eds.) A cultural history of the human body in the age of empire pp. 171-190
  • Anderson C (2010) (Post) Colonialism, Citizenship and Domesticity: Intersectionality in Feminist Histories'. Journal of Women's History, 22 (4), pp. 315-325
  • Anderson C (2009) Gender, identity, mobility: an introduction to the annual conference edition of the British Association for South Asian Studies. Contemporary South Asia, 17 (1), pp. 3-6
  • Anderson C (2009) "Weel about and turn about and do jis so, eb'ry time I weel about and jump Jim Crow": dancing on the margins of the Indian Ocean. In: Agha S, Kolsky E (Eds.) Fringes of empire: peoples, places, and spaces in colonial India pp. 169-187
  • Anderson C (2009) Image, object, text: representing the Andaman Islands. History Workshop Journal, 67 (1), pp. 147-151
  • Anderson C (2009) Oscar Mallitte's Andaman Photographs (1857-8). History Workshop Journal, 67 (1), pp. 152-172
  • Anderson C (2009) Convicts and coolies: rethinking indentured labour in the nineteenth century. Slavery and Abolition: a journal of slave and post-slave studies, 30 (1), pp. 93-109
  • Anderson C (2008) The Politics of Punishment in Colonial Mauritius, 1766-1887. Cultural and Social History, 5 (4), pp. 411-422
  • Anderson C, Alexander J (2008) Politics, penality and (post-)colonialism : an introduction. Cultural and Social History, 5 (4), pp. 391-394
  • Anderson C (2008) 'The wisdom of the barbarian': Rebellion, incarceration, and the Santal body politic. SOUTH ASIA-JOURNAL OF SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES, 31 (2), pp. 223-240 10.1080/00856400802192895
  • Anderson C (2007) The Indian Uprising of of 1857-58: Prisons, Prisoners and Rebellion. ISBN13: 978-1-84331-249-9
  • Anderson C (2007) 'Sepoys, Servants and Settlers: convict transportation in the Indian Ocean, 1787-1945'. In: Dikotter F, Brown I (Eds.) Cultures of Confinement: the prison in global perspective pp. 185-220
  • Anderson C (2007) Discourses of exclusion and the "convict stain" in the Indian Ocean (c. 1800-1850). In: Tambe A, Fisher-Tiné H (Eds.) The limits of British colonial control in South Asia: spaces of disorder in the Indian Ocean region pp. 105-120
  • Anderson C (2007) Convict Passages in the Indian Ocean, c. 1790-1860. In: Christopher E, Pybus C, Rediker M (Eds.) Many Middle Passages: forced migration and the making of the modern world pp. 129-149
  • Anderson C (2007) 'Process Geographies' of Mobility and Movement in the Indian Ocean. Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 8 (3)
  • Anderson C (2007) Gender, Subalternity and Silence: Recovering Women's Experiences from Histories of Transportation. In: Ghosh A (Eds.) Behind the Veil: Resistance, Women and the Everyday in Colonial South Asia pp. 145-166
  • Anderson C, Arnold D (2007) 'Envisioning the Colonial Prison'. In: Brown I, Dikotter F (Eds.) Cultures of Confinement: the prison in global perspective
  • Anderson C (2006) Creating the Creole Island: Slavery in eighteenth-century Mauritius. AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST, 108 (1), pp. 258-259 10.1525/aa.2006.108.1.258
  • Anderson C (2005) '"The Ferringees are Flying - the ship is ours!": the convict middle passage in colonial South and Southeast Asia, 1790-1860'. Indian Economic and Social History Review, 42 (2), pp. 143-18610.1177/001946460504200201
  • Anderson (2005) The Bel Ombre Rebellion: Indian convicts in Mauritius, 1815-53. In: Campbell G (Eds.) Abolition and its Aftermath in Indian Ocean Africa and Asia pp. 50-65
  • Anderson C (2005) Imprisonment, prison and punishment in Africa: from the 19th century to modern times. AFRICA, 75 (4), pp. 615-617 10.3366/afr.2005.75.4.615
  • Anderson C (2004) Legible Bodies: Race, Criminality and Colonialism in South Asia. ISBN10: 1859738559
  • Anderson C, Peerthum S (2004) Select documents on Indian convicts and vagrants. In: Teelock V, Allen RB, al CAE (Eds.) The Vagrant Depot of Grant River, its Surroundings and Vagrancy in British Mauritius pp. 142-162
  • Anderson C (2004) The Indian convicts in Mauritius, 1815-1853. In: Teelock V, Allen RB, al CAE (Eds.) The Vagrant Depot of Grant River, its Surroundings and Vagrancy in British Mauritius pp. 12-34
  • Teelock V (2004) The Vagrant Depot of Grant River, its Surroundings and Vagrancy in British Mauritius.
  • Anderson C (2004) Author's Note. In: Teelock V, Allen RB, al CAE (Eds.) The Vagrant Depot of Grant River, its Surroundings and Vagrancy in British Mauritius pp. 6-12
  • Anderson C (2003) The politics of convict space: Indian penal settlements and the Andaman Islands. pp. 37-5210.4324/9780203405222
  • Anderson C (2003) The Politics of Convict Space: Penal Settlements in Southeast Asia. In: Bashford A, Strange C (Eds.) Isolation: places and practices of exclusion pp. 40-55
  • Anderson C (2003) The Execution of Rughobursing: The Political Economy of Convict Transportation and Penal Labour in Early Colonial Mauritius. Studies in History, 19 (2), pp. 185-197
  • Anderson C (2002) Exile to paradise: savagery and civilization in Paris and the South Pacific, 1790-1900. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, 55 (2), pp. 386-387
  • Anderson C (2002) Space in the tropics: from convicts to rockets in French Guiana. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, 55 (2), pp. 386-387
  • Anderson C (2001) Servitude in modern times. ECONOMIC HISTORY REVIEW, 54 (3), pp. 585-586
  • Anderson C (2001) Fashioning Identity: the development of penal dress in nineteenth-century India. History Workshop Journal, 52, pp. 152-174
  • Anderson C (2001) 'Multiple Border Crossings; "Convicts and Other Persons Escaped from Botany Bay and Residing in Calcutta"'. Journal of Australian Colonial History, 3 (2), pp. 1-22
  • Anderson C (2000) Convicts in the Indian Ocean: transportation from South Asia to Mauritius, 1815-53. ISBN10: 0312227892 ISBN13: 9780312227890
  • Anderson C (2000) Godna: Inscribing Indian Convicts in the Nineteenth Century. In: Caplan J (Eds.) Written on the Body: the tattoo in European and American History pp. 102-117
  • Anderson C (1999) Science and power in colonial Mauritius. HISTORY, 84 (275), pp. 498-499
  • Anderson C (1997) The Genealogy of the Modern Subject: Indian Convicts in Mauritius, 1815-1852. In: Duffield I, Bradley J (Eds.) Representing Convicts; new perspectives on convict forced labour migration



I wrote my doctorate on the penal settlement established by the British in colonial Mauritius during the early nineteenth century. Subsequently, my research mapped the complex networks of convict transportation that cut across the British Empire, from and between the Caribbean, Cape of Good Hope, Mascerene Islands, India, Burma, Straits Settlements, the Andaman Islands, and Australia. My current research is a global history of convicts and penal colonies, in which I am researching Bermuda, Gibraltar and the French penal colonies of Guyane and New Caledonia, and managing a team working on a range of other geographical contexts. We are attempting to map, enumerate and analyse the movement of penal flows all over the world, from 1415 to the 1960s. In my work, I take a subaltern studies approach, to look at penal transportation from a convict perspective that is sensitive to the significance of race, gender and class in the making of colonial societies. I am also interested in subaltern life-history writing; the intersections between global and colonial history; the relationship between convictism, slavery and indenture; and popular memory of repressive colonial regimes. I am becoming increasingly fascinated by the implications of the Internet for historical research, especially the interface between 'academic' and 'family' history in the writing of histories of ordinary lives. I am also interested in bringing archival work into dialogue with ethnographic work to explore how people in ex-penal colonies think about and represent their history.

Current projects

I am principal investigator on a 5-year ERC funded project The Carceral Archipelago: transnational circulations in global perspective, 1415-1960.

I am principal investigator of the 3-year AHRC funded Collaborative Doctoral Partnership (with The National Maritime Museum), The History of Prison Hulks: 1776-1864. Anna McKay is the project's PhD student.

I have recently completed the ESRC UK-India interdisciplinary collaboration Integrated Histories of the Andaman Islands. This 3-year ESRC funded research project was a UK-India collaboration with the anthropologist Prof. Vishvajit Pandya and the historian of science, Dr Madhumita Mazumdar.


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.

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