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Dr Inge Dornan
Divisional Lead / Reader in the History of Race and Gender

Marie Jahoda 228


Inge Dornan is a teacher and scholar who focuses on histories of race and gender in Britain and the Americas. She joined Brunel University London in 2003, after completing her PhD at Cambridge University. She is currently Deputy Head of the Department of Social and Political Sciences, and Division Lead of Politics and History.

In 2009 she was appointed Senior Fellow and in 2010 Associate Fellow of the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford, where she worked on a research project on enslaved women in the British slave trade. In 2019 Inge became Visiting Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, where she worked on a research project on the education of enslaved children in the British West Indies.

Inge's research has a strong commitment to public engagement. In 2019 she led a series of public events in London on the theme of 'Unlocking the Secrets of Britain's Slave Past' as part of the UK Being Human Festival of the Humanities, sponsored by the London School of Advanced Study, the AHRC and British Academy. These included walking tours to uncover the hidden narratives of British slavery in the built landscape of Hillingdon and Uxbridge; a specially curated exhibition with Brunel University London Archives on the education of enslaved children in the British Caribbean; and an award-winning heritage production on the British slave trade, Breaking the Silence, which she co-wrote with theatre director and academic, Dr Holly Maples. These events culminated in a public lecture on the forgotten history of British slavery chaired by Inge and presented by Professor David Olusoga.

In 2020, Inge received Brunel University London's inaugural Research Impact Award for Public Engagement.  

In 2021, Breaking the Silence attracted considerable critical acclaim on a sell-out tour of the UK. A second tour is scheduled in 2022.

Inge is co-founder of the Association of British Historians of Women in the Americas, the journal History of Women in the Americas, and the Institute of Historical Research seminar series Gender in the Americas. Inge is a member of the History UK Steering Committee, and the UK's QAA History Subject Benchmark Statement panel (2021). 

Newest selected publications

Dornan, I. (2019) 'To ‘make a good Mistress to my servants’: unmasking the meaning of maternalism in colonial South Carolina.', in Aje, L. and Armstrong, C. (eds.) The Many Faces of Slavery: New Perspectives on Slave Ownership and Slave Experiences in the Americas.. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 88 - 110. ISBN 13: 9781350071421. Open Access Link

Book chapter

Dornan, I. (2018) 'The Politics of Women's Slave Management in the Colonial South'.New Approaches to Slave Management. University of Manchester. Slavery and Abolition. ISSN: 0144-039X Open Access Link

Conference paper
More publications(5)