Robert’s research centres on narratives of travel in the contexts of empire and slavery. Though a specialist in nineteenth-century studies, his work also examines these narratives’ postcolonial repercussions.
Robert’s AHRC-funded PhD thesis, which explores travellers’ eyewitness reports of atrocities committed by colonialists in the Congo, Angola, and the Putumayo, was published in revised form by Routledge in 2011 (paperback 2015).
In 2009, Robert completed a Leverhulme-Trust funded Early Career Fellowship on cultural dimensions of the Royal Navy’s suppression of the Atlantic slave trade. Among the outcomes of this project is the book The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade (Manchester University Press, 2015).
As a Main Partner in the NWO-funded European research network ‘The Congo Free State across Languages, Media and Culture’, Robert is currently examining the production of Congolese testimony in (and against) the Congo Free State.
Haunted Narratives (English, English and History); Victorian Novel (English, English and History); Atlantic Slavery: Nineteenth-Century Representations (English, English and History); Journeys and Discoveries: Travel, tourism and exploration 1768-1996 (MA English; MA Social History).
Current research interests include: participation as a Main Partner in the NWO-funded European research network ‘The Congo Free State across Languages, Media and Culture’; study of the sea in mid-Victorian fiction; and study of identity and violence on ships in the post-1808 Atlantic slave trade.