Dr Imaobong Umoren

Dr Imaobong Umoren

Assistant Professor

Department of International History

+44 (0)20 7849 4974
Room No
Office Hours
Tuesday, 10am to 12am
Key Expertise
Race and Gender in the Caribbean

About me

Dr Imaobong Umoren studied a BA in History and MA in World History and Cultures at King’s College London before moving to the University of Oxford where she gained her DPhil and spent a year serving as a Fulbright scholar at Harvard University. She subsequently took up a Career Development Fellowship jointly held with Pembroke College and the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities research programme Women in the Humanities.

Dr Umoren's research interests include the intersecting history of race, gender, migration, and religion in the nineteenth and twentieth century Caribbean, US and global African diaspora.

Her research has been supported by numerous bodies including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Library of Congress, and the British Academy.

Dr Umoren's first book Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles (University of California Press) was published in 2018 and won the 2019 Women’s History Network Book Prize.

She is currently at work on a new book project about the life and politics of Dominica's Eugenia Charles, the first female Prime Minister in the Anglophone Caribbean and LSE Alumna.

Recently, Dr Umoren has won funding as a Co-Investigator on an AHRC Network Grant on Black Female Intellectuals in Historical and Contemporary Context. The project will facilitate interdisciplinary and cross-national dialogue among scholars and activist in the fields of literary studies, history, politics, and visual culture from the UK, US, Australia, Europe, the Caribbean and Africa working on transatlantic black female intellectuals (both from an historical and contemporary perspective) in the black diaspora. The project will also work with race equality ThinkTank, the Runnymede Trust and the partnership project, History and Policy. Dr Umoren will be working with Dr Becky Fraser from UEA who is the PI.

Other titles: Cumberland Lodge Weekent Event Organiser; Student Experience Enhancement Coordinator

Expertise Details

Race and Gender in the Caribbean; 19th and 20th Century Wider African Diaspora

Teaching & supervision

Dr Imaobong Umoren usually teaches the following courses in the Department:

At undergraduate level:

HY246: The Global Caribbean: Colonialism, Race and Revolutions 1780s-1980s

At postgraduate level:

HY477: Race, Gender and Reproduction in the Caribbean 1860-1960

Watch Dr Imaobong Umoren talk about her courses, how they are structured and how students can benefit from taking them in order to better understand the world we live in today.

She also supervises the following PhD students:

Research student  Provisional thesis title
Caroline Cox Interracial-Intimacy and Imperialism: A Comparison of German and British Colonies in Africa, 1860-1920



News & media


Book prize for Dr Imaobong Umoren

Congratulations to Dr Imaobong Umoren who has received the 2019 Women’s History Network Book Prize for best first book on women and gender history. The judges thought "was an original concept, largely through its intersectional lens - the book is about the history of race, global freedom struggles and transnational history looked at through the perspective of gender". They also said the research was "breathtaking, ranging widely across geographical space – including both the Anglophone and Francophone African diaspora and which used sources in both languages". Read more here.


Race Women Internationalists shortlisted for prize

Dr Umoren'sRace Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom has been shortlisted for a Pauli Murray Book Prize in Black Intellectual History by the African American Intellectual History Society. Released in May 2018 with University of California Press, the book explores how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century traveled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism, and racism.


Katrina Honeyman Memorial Lecture at Leeds

Dr Umoren delivered the Katrina Honeyman Memorial Lecture at the University of Leeds on 19 November. Her lecture, “In Search of Race Women Internationalists: Activist-Intellectuals and Global Freedom Struggles” explored how a group of Caribbean and African American women in the early and mid-twentieth century travelled the world to fight colonialism, fascism, sexism and racism. Read more.


BBC Radio 3 Programme Essays

On 5 November, Dr Umoren contributed to one of the episodes of the latest run of BBC Radio 3 Essays, "Minds at War", which explores the impact of the First World War on individual artists through the prism of a single great work. She told the story of W.E.B. Dubois’ ground-breaking editorial, “Returning Soldiers” (1919). Today, Dubois is heralded as the father of African American intellectualism and continues to inspire a generation of new activists who, like him, demand that black lives matter. Catch up with the episode on BBC iPlayer (UK only).


BBC One's "Fake or Fortune"

Dr Imaobong Umoren appeared in an episode of BBC One’s "Fake or Fortune", entitled “A Double Whodunnit”, which aired on 2 September. Enjoy the whole episode or skip ahead to 0h 43m to watch Dr Umoren’s contribution to the historical mystery.
In the episode, Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould investigate two rare portraits of black British subjects from the 18th and 19th centuries. Painted with extraordinary skill and sophistication, both pictures are highly unusual in their positive depiction of black sitters at a time when Britain was still heavily engaged in slavery. But this is also an intriguing double whodunnit.


Watch the episode free on BBC iPlayer (UK residents only).

My research