History at Leicester

Convicts Creolization and Cosmopolitanism in the British and French Empires

From the 17th to mid-20th centuries, the British and French empires transported c.475,000 convicts to the colonies. About one third were of Asian, African, Indigenous or Creole (mixed) heritage; after release many became settlers. This project is the first interdisciplinary and comparative study of descent and descendants among these non-Europeans, during the period since the 1780s when individual record-keeping emerged. It will pioneer integrated analysis of archives, databases, genealogy, focus groups, and interviews, to explore cultural transfers and transformations; specify economic and social outcomes; revise theories of coloniality and diaspora; and enable work in other disciplines and penal colony contexts.

The project is led by Professor Clare Anderson, working with postdoctoral research associate Dr Lorraine Paterson

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