Theo Williams (KCL) - 2015-16 Students
Pan-Africanism and Socialism in Britain, c.1928-1945
My research explores how the international movements of socialism and pan-Africanism intersected in Britain. It seeks to understand the reasons for both conflict and cooperation between black activists and socialist organisations, and to examine how the politics of class interacted with the politics of race and anti-colonialism. This serves as a corrective to histories of socialism which have overlooked the range of left-wing ideas about imperialism and the influence that black activists such as George Padmore and C.L.R. James had on the white Left, as well as to histories of pan-Africanism which have obscured or downplayed the Marxist or radical class politics of leading pan-Africanist figures. My thesis will also examine how transnational movements of people and ideas impacted the arenas of politics and activism in Britain as a case study of internationalism from below in the era of the League of Nations and the Comintern.