Home > IDEAS > People > Individual Bios > Leslie James

Leslie James


Leslie James is Temporary Lecturer in World History at the University of Cambridge. She was the Pinto Post-Doctoral Fellow at LSE IDEAS for the academic year 2012/13.

Dr James completed her PhD, entitled 'What we put in black and white: George Padmore and the practice of anti-imperial politics', at the LSE's International History Department. She holds an MA in International History from the LSE and a BA in History from the University of Guelph, Canada.  Dr James has taught courses at the LSE and has lectured at Goldsmith's College.

Her thesis is a scholarly biography of George Padmore (1903-1959), whose life intersected some of the most important movements of the twentieth century, including: pan-africanism, anti-colonialism, and communism. As such, her thesis contributes to scholarship on the twentieth century by drawing together the fields of Cold War and Imperial history, with the history of the ‘black diaspora.’ This innovative approach applies recent critical literatures in an inter-disciplinary fashion in order to link several fields of study which are usually compartmentalized.  The thesis employs a range of archival sources from public and private collections in Trinidad, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and Ghana, in order to resurrect and enlarge the record on Padmore in new ways. Overall, it provides a fresh analysis of the contradictions and complexities of black intellectual thinkers, and of their contribution to the major political events of the twentieth century.

An abstract of Dr James' thesis can be accessed here.

Areas of Expertise

  • History of the African diaspora in the 19th and 20th Century
  • The British Empire and the Cold War
  • African and Caribbean history
  • Anti-imperial movements

Recent Publications

  • "Diaspora Intellectuals and the End of Colonial Rule" (Book Review). Journal of African History 51(1): 108-109.