Junior Research Fellow, Durham University

Dr. James Kirby is a CoFund Junior Research Fellow in History at Durham University in the United Kingdom. He completed his PhD at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, under the supervision of Dr. Roland Burke. His doctoral dissertation was a history of human rights and decolonisation in Botswana, from 1960 to 1980. This study included research trips to archives in Botswana, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He has published peer-reviewed articles in several international journals, including The International History Review, The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, and law&history. He also has a forthcoming chapter in The Routledge History of Human Rights, edited by Jean Quataert and Lora Wildenthal. James’ research reveals the importance of African actors within the global history of human rights. He has a passion for teaching histories of Africa and southern Africa, especially in the context of decolonisation, the Cold War, and the anti-apartheid movement. His work has won major competitive awards, such as the 2015 Francis Forbes Society for Legal History Prize and Best Peer Reviewed Article at the 2016 Victorian Community History Awards.


  • 2013–present
    Tutor, La Trobe University


  • 2017 
    La Trobe University, Doctor of Philosophy (History)
  • 2012 
    La Trobe University, History with Honours