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Robert Burroughs

Professor, School of Cultural Studies & Humanities, Leeds Beckett University

Rob Burroughs is a cultural historian and literary critic working on the nineteenth century. He specializes in the areas of empire, humanitarianism, slavery and race. He has also published widely research on travel and tourism, particularly in marine environments.

In 2019-20 Rob is a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellow, for which he is undertaking new research on African students in Victorian Britain.

Rob's most recent monograph is African Testimony in the Movement for Congo Reform: The Burden of Proof (Routledge 2018). It explores how Africans provided crucial testimony in the fight to reform King Leopold II's colonial regime in the Congo Free State. The book stems from Rob's involvement as a Co-Investigator in the NWO-funded European research network ‘The Congo Free State across Languages, Media and Culture’ (2014-17).

In 2009, Rob 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).

Rob’s AHRC-funded PhD thesis, which explores travellers’ eyewitness reports of colonial atrocities, was published under the title Travel Writing and Atrocities by Routledge in 2011 (paperback 2015).


  • –present
    Senior Lecturer in English Literature, Leeds Beckett University


  • 2007 
    Nottingham Trent University, PhD