Qualia's Qualms

Liminal confutations from a historian of race, science and empire


Literary Reviews

‘We Prefer their Company’, on David Olusoga, Black and British: A Forgotten History, London Review of Books, 15 June, 2017.

‘Star-Spangled Racism’, on Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, New Statesman, 14 August, 2017.

Short Articles and Blogs

I’ve written for many other sites, including those below.

‘Why are women of colour still so underrepresented in academia?’, Media Diversified, 17 January, 2018.

Exhibiting Foreigners: The Case of Performing ‘Prince’ Lobengula, Our Migration Story, Runnymede Trust. This website is an important new resource exploring the history of migration to the UK that was put together to support GCSE students. You can find out more about why the history of migration is so important from Malachi McIntosh, who worked on the project.

The Idea of Extinction, Species Remembrance Day blog, ONCA Gallery, Brighton.

Honouring Catherine Hall, Modern British Studies at Birmingham Blog.

Family Archives and History’s Custodians, Modern British Studies at Birmingham Blog.

Exhibit B Puts People on Display for Edinburgh International Festival, The Conversation.

Africans on Show, Scholarship of Blackness blog, University of Birmingham.

On Abdellatif Kechiche’s Black Venus, Darwin Correspondence Project Blog.

Tipu’s Tiger, Viewpoint 96, British Society for the History of Science newsletter. Tipu’s Tiger is my favourite object in any museum. It is an organ housed in  a life-sized model of a tiger mauling a soldier that belonged to Tipu Sultan and is now housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. You can hear the organ being played here.

The Exhibition of Living Foreign Peoples in 19th Century Britain, Ideas Lab podcast, University of Birmingham.

Displayed Peoples, Empire and Anthropology in the Metropole, Field Notes seminar series podcast, CRASSH, University of Cambridge.

Museums and Media

I’ve offered advice on displayed peoples for many museum exhibitions and television productions, including those below.

Black and British: A Forgotten History, a landmark series recapturing the history of Black Britons from the Roman era onwards (2016).

Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s The Future Rewound & The Cabinet of Lost Souls, Mosaic Rooms, London (2014). This exhibition featured performers from the ‘Savage South Africa‘ exhibition of 1899.

George Catlin: American Indian Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, London. Between 2012 and 2013, I was involved in a project with the National Portrait Gallery on George Catlin. A group of my students produced online content for the website and gave gallery talks in conjunction with the exhibition. To find out more view the students’ films.

The Human Zoo: Science’s Dirty Little Secret, for Channel 4’s season on ‘Race: Science’s Last Taboo‘  (2009).

Between Worlds: Voyagers to Britain, 1700–1850, National Portrait Gallery (2007). The exhibition featured images of Sara Baartman.