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Senior Research Fellow, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Research interests:
Civil Rights, Colonies & Colonization, emigration & immigration, Communications, Communities, Classes, Races, Contemporary History, Cultural memory, Gender studies, Globalization & Development, Human rights, International Relations, Metropolitan history, Modern History , Political Institutions
Africa, Europe, North America, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:
Dr Williams is a historian with a particular interest in the strands of the past that have been neglected or concealed and in the voices that have not been heard, such as those of the colonised. Her research draws heavily on archives and also a range of other sources, including oral testimonies and media. Her research takes her to many different nations.
Areas of expertise include: the history of sub-Saharan Africa; espionage and intelligence; the history of the United Nations; British, French and Lusophone colonialism and neocolonialism; decolonisation; the Modern Commonwealth; and the global impact of nuclear weapons development.
She is frequently invited to act as a historical advisor to the media (television, radio and print). She also serves as historical consultant to the production of films (see below) and has been advisor to the work of independent and official inquiries (for example see below).


  • –present
    Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies