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Making Britain people

Making Britain was divided into two chronological strands: 1870–1918 and 1919–1950. While these strands reflected the particular interests and expertise of the researchers, as well as facilitating focus and efficiency, the research was fluid, with strong collaboration across the whole period.

Core Research Team

  • Principal Investigator and Director of Strand 2
    Professor Susheila Nasta holds a Chair in Modern Literature at the Open University and is Fellow of the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies. She is founder and editor of Wasafiri: The International Magazine of Contemporary Writing, and author and editor of numerous articles and books in the field of postcolonial literature. Her publications include Home Truths: Fictions of the South Asian Diaspora in Britain (Palgrave, 2002) and Writing Across Worlds (Routledge, 2004).
  • Co-Investigator and Director of Strand 1
    Professor Elleke Boehmer holds a Chair in World Literature in English at the University of Oxford and is Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College. She is General Editor of the series, Oxford Studies in Postcolonial Literatures, and has written widely on colonial and postcolonial literature. Her publications include Colonial and Postcolonial Literature: Migrant Metaphors (Oxford University Press, 1995) and Empire, The National and the Postcolonial, 1890–1920 (Oxford University Press, 2002).
  • Co-Investigator on Strand 2
    Dr Ruvani Ranasinha is Senior Lecturer in the English Department at King’s College London, and consultant editor of Interventions: International Journal of Postcolonial Studies. Her most recent book is South Asian Writers in Twentieth-Century Britain: Culture in Translation (Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Research Associate on Strand 1
    Dr Sumita Mukherjee was based in the English Faculty at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral thesis is titled ‘The Experience of the “England-Returned”: The Education of Indians in Britain in the Early Twentieth Century and its Long-Term Impact’.
  • Research Associate on Strand 2
    Dr Florian Stadtler is based in the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies and the English Department at the Open University. His doctoral thesis is titled ‘Filmi Fictions: Cinematic Strategies in Salman Rushdie’s Novels’.
  • Research Associate on Strand 2
    Dr Rehana Ahmed was based at the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies and the Literature Department at the Open University. Her doctoral thesis is titled ‘Locating Class in Multicultural Britain: A Materialist Reading of Some Contemporary British Asian and South Asian Texts’.

Advisory Committee

  • Dr Richard Bingle is a board member of SALIDAA. He was an archivist at the India Office Library and Records (now part of Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections, British Library) for 30 years, as Curator of European Manuscripts (private papers).
  • Penny Brook has been Head of India Office Records at the British Library since 1996. She has been involved in a range of externally funded projects, and was on the Programme Board of the ‘Moving Here’ project.
  • Professor Lyn Innes is Emeritus Professor of Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent. Her publications include A History of Black and Asian Writing in Britain, 1700–2000 (Cambridge University Press, 2002).
  • Professor Partha Mitter is Emeritus Professor of Art History at the University of Sussex, a member of Wolfson College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. His most recent book is The Triumph of Modernism, 1922–1947 (Reaktion Books, 2007).
  • Graham Shaw is Head of the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections at the British Library. He directed the British Library’s digitization project ‘Collect Britain’, and has published numerous articles and books on the history of the book in South Asia.
  • Dr Deborah Swallow is Director of the Courtauld Institute of Art, Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and an Executive Trustee for the Nehru Trust of the Indian Collections at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
  • Dr Sarah V. Turner is an art historian based at the University of York who works on cultural networks in late Victorian and Edwardian Britain, exploring issues of artistic identity and affiliation in particular.
  • Rozina Visram is a historian and educationalist. Her publications include Asians in Britain: 400 Years of History (Pluto, 2002) and Ayahs, Lascars, and Princes: Indians in Britain, 1700–1947 (Pluto, 1986). In 2006 she was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Open University.


Making Britain worked in partnership with the British Library, the Courtauld Institute of Art and the South Asian Diaspora Literature & Arts Archive (SALIDAA).

Project Coordinator

Heather Scott is Research Centre Secretary at the Ferguson Centre for African and Asian Studies, Open University.

Database Assistant

Ole Birk Laursen is a PhD student in the English Department at the Open University. His doctoral thesis focuses on contemporary black and Asian British women's writing and autobiography.

The Open Univerisity
The University of Oxford
King's College London

Making Britain: South Asian Visions of Home and Abroad, 1870–1950 supported by

The Arts & Humanities Research Council

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