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Liz Egan


My PhD research project is supervised by Professor David Lambert at the University of Warwick and Dr Sasha Auerbach at the University of Nottingham, and is kindly funded by Midlands4Cities Doctoral Training Partnership. My thesis is provisionally titled 'Constructing and Challenging Creole Whiteness in Jamaica, 1865-1938'.

At its heart, my PhD research asks what did it mean to be white in Jamaica in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries? Framed between the Morant Bay Rebellion and labour unrest of 1938, my research uses gender and class to interrogate representations and practices of creole whiteness across different spaces. I draw on critical whiteness studies to deploy creole whiteness as a privileged but porous category inextricable from the political, social and economic inequalities of post-emancipation Jamaica.

Reading newspapers and literature alongside archival study of letters, wills and court records, I ask how far did competing discourses of whiteness align with individual and group performances? How did whiteness and light skin function as social and cultural capital that coincided with political and economic power? How were actions and behaviours marked by whiteness, and what happened when expectations were unfulfilled? My thesis dissects concepts of belonging and collective identity to reflect on the categories of creole and colonial. In so doing, I question the relationship between whiteness, creolisation and Britishness. Uncovering the anxieties and messiness that characterised everyday experiences of race, colour and class, I situate the island within wider colonial geographies and offer new insight into peculiarities of how sytsems of race and colour took place in Jamaica. 

My wider research interests include: 

  • Caribbean history 
  • British Empire 
  • Migration 
  • Print Cultures 
  • Gender history 

Academic Profile

MA World History and Cultures - King's College London, 2017-2019

Dissertation: '"To Wield the Pen in Defence of Right and Justice": The Workman Newspaper and the British Caribbean Community in Panama, 1919-1930' 

Jinty Nelson Prize  

World History and Culture MA Prize 

BA History (International) - University of Leeds 2013-2017

Dissertation: ‘The “Contrarious Character” of Whiteness in Jamaica during the Age of Abolition’ 

John Le Patourel Prize for best dissertation 

Alice M Cooke Prize for best overall performance of female student in final year 


Society for Caribbean Studies Postgraduate Conference, 5 May 2021

  • '"Days of Terror": Retellings of the Morant Bay Rebellion'

Warwick History Postgraduate Conference, 28 May 2021

  • 'Remembering Morant Bay: Articulating codes of race and colour through the Morant Bay Rebellion'

Culture Things and Empire Research Seminar, 21 April 2021

  • ‘Reading Race in Black and White: Constructing Whiteness in Jamaican Newspapers’

'At Home in Empire: Colonial Experiences of Intimacy and Mobility', 13 March 2021​​

  • Warwick Humanities Resear​ch Centre Doctoral Fellowship, co-organised with Hannah Dennett

M4C Digital Festival 2020

  • ‘Archiv​al Journeys: Historians Navigating Covid-19’: collaborative Prezi as part of the M4C Digital Festival Virtual Gallery

Warwick Postgraduate Podcast Series Spring/Summer 2020​

  • Organising Committee
  • Pannellist: ‘Across the British Empire: Voices, Stories, and Representations’
  • Chair: ‘Latin America in a Transnational Perspective’
  • Chair: ‘International Organizations and Networks: Health and Disability in the late Twentieth Century'

​KIng's College London World History Student Conference May 2018

  • Organising Committee and Panel Chair

M4C Student Profile

Office Hour H243 Tuesdays 15.30-16.30pm