Lewis, Joanna

Dr Joanna Lewis  


Position held

Associate Professor


Experience keywords:

British Empire; British monarchy; David Livingstone; Harold Macmillan; History of the British Empire; Victorians; colonial rule in Africa; death of Diana, Princess of Wales; gender studies; governance in Africa; history of class and gender in Britain; history of emotions; media; popular culture; state funerals and commemorations; welfare and development.

Research summary > [Click to expand]

My research interests are currently focused on the intersection between Africa and Britain's experience of having an empire. My work shows the crucial importance of ideology in maintaining that empire. Broken down this includes the study of key figures such as David Livingstone, the press, and key rhetorical moments in the history of liberalism including Harold Macmillan's Wind of Change speech. I am also interested in the history of British working class sentimentality and the enduring appeal of the monarchy. I am currently working on 'great' deaths and national memorialisations and their role in the self-presentation and control of identity, belonging, gender. and hierarchy in times of volatility and threat.

Sectors and industries to which research relates:

Public Administration

Countries and regions to which research relates:

Africa; UK


French [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Intermediate]; Swahili [Spoken: Basic, Written: Basic]; Welsh [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Intermediate]

Media experience:

Has written for mainstream press; Radio; TV

Contact Points

LSE phone number:

+44 (0)20 7408 5611



Lewis, Joanna (2018) Empire of sentiment: the death of Livingstone and the myth of Victorian Imperialism Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9781107198517


Lewis, Joanna (2017) Book review: ivory: power and poaching in Africa by KeithSomerville Africa at LSE (27 Jan 2017) Blog entry


Lewis, J. E. (2015) Empires of sentiment; intimacies from death: David Livingstone and African slavery 'at the heart of the nation' Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 43 (2). 210-237. ISSN 0308-6534


Lewis, Joanna (2013) White man in a wood pile: race and the limits of macmillan's great 'wind of change' in Africa In: Butler, Larry and Stockwell, Sarah, (eds.) The Wind of Change. Cambridge Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies Series. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9780230361034

Lewis, Joanna (2013) Scholars explore #Livingstone’s legacy and memory in conference to mark his bicentenary Africa at LSE (19 Mar 2013) Blog entry

Lewis, Joanna (2013) Zambia conference celebrates the life and legacy of Scottish explorer David Livingstone Africa at LSE (18 Apr 2013) Blog entry

Lewis, Joanna (2013) Analysing Livingstone’s life and legacy through contradiction, complexity and controversy Africa at LSE (31 May 2013) Blog entry


Lewis, Joanna (2012) Harold MacMillan and the wind of change In: Louis, William Roger, (ed.) Resurgent Adventures With Britannia: Personalities, Politics and Culture in Britain. I.B. Tauris, London, UK. ISBN 9781780760575


Lewis, Joanna (2011) The British Empire and world history: welfare imperialism and ‘soft power’ in the rise and fall of British rule In: Midgeley, James and Piachaud, David, (eds.) Colonialism and Welfare, Social Policy and the British Imperial Legacy. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK. ISBN 9781849808484

Lewis, Joanna (2011) Livingstone and the 1955 white settler commemorations in the lost “Henley-upon-Thames” of central Africa In: Gewald, J. B. and Hinfelaar, M. and Macola, G., (eds.) Living the End of Empire: Politics and Society in Late Colonial Zambia. Afrika-Studiecentrum series (21). Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands. ISBN 9789004209862

Lewis, Joanna (2011) Rivers of white: David Livingstone and the 1955 commemorations in the lost 'Henley-upon-Thames of Central Africa' In: Gewald, J. B. and Hinfelaar, M. and Macola, G., (eds.) Living the End of Empire: Politics and Society in Late Colonial Zambia. Afrika-Studiecentrum series. Brill, Leiden, The Netherlands, 147-186. ISBN 978900420986


Lewis, Joanna (2007) Nasty, brutish and in shorts? British colonial rule, violence and the historians of Mau Mau Round Table Journal, 96 (389). 201-223. ISSN 0035-8533

Lewis, Joanna (2007) Southampton and the making of an imperial myth: David Livingstone's remains In: Taylor, Miles, (ed.) Southampton: Gateway to the British Empire. I B Tauris, London, UK, 31-48. ISBN 9781845110321


Lewis, Joanna and Murphy, Philip (2006) 'The old pal's protection society': the Colonial Office and the media on the eve of decolonisation In: Kaul, Chandrika, (ed.) The Press and Empire. Palgrave Macmillan, Basingstoke, UK. ISBN 9781403948823


Lewis, Joanna (2003) Daddy wouldn't buy me a Mau Mau: the British popular press and the demoralisation of empire In: Odhiambo, E. S. Atieno and Londsdale, John, (eds.) Mau Mau and Nationhood Arms, Authority and Narration. James Currey, Oxford, Ohio, 227-250. ISBN 9780821414842


Lewis, Joanna (2001) The ruling compassions of the late colonial state: welfare versus force, Kenya 1945-1952 Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 2 (2). ISSN 1532-5768


Lewis, Joanna (2000) Empire state-building: war & welfare in Kenya, 1925-52 James Currey Ltd., Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780821413999

Lewis, Joanna (2000) 'Tropical East Ends' and the Second World War: some contradictions in Colonial Office welfare initiatives Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 28 (2). 42-66. ISSN 0308-6534


Lewis, Joanna and Owens, Peggy and Pirouet, Lousie (1995) Human rights and the making of constitutions: Malawi, Kenya, Uganda - report of a workshop held at Trinity College, Cambridge, 11th February, 1995 Cambridge African Monograph Series, no. 18. University of Cambridge, African Studies Centre, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9780902993310

Hart, Keith and Lewis, Joanna (1995) Why Angola matters: report of a conference held at Pembroke College, Cambridge March 21-22, 1994 James Currey Ltd., Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780852553947

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AHRC Research Leave Scheme 2008-09

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