Jayne Gifford
  • 3.28 Arts

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Personal profile


I was awarded a BA, MA and PhD in History from the University of the West of England and I was appointed Lecturer in Modern History at UEA in 2011.

My research focuses upon the nature of British imperial rule on the peripheries of Empire, specifically knowledge networks and how imperial policy formulation was influenced by inter-personal relationships between politicians, military personnel and diplomats.

Research projects

My first monograph Britain in Egypt: Egyptian Nationalism and Strategic Choices, 1919-1931 (Bloomsbury/I.B. Taurus, 2019) examined the genesis of Egyptian nationalism and British appeasement of Egyptian politicians to maintain its geo-strategic imperial network. Professor Greg Kennedy, Director, Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies, Defence Studies Department, King’s College London asserted: ‘Jayne Gifford has produced an important and timely work. Meticulously research, well-written and deeply insightful, her book is an important contribution to our understanding of British imperialism overall and in the Middle East in particular: what it was and what it was supposed to achieve.’

With Dr Kent Fedorowich, I have recently published the diary of Sir Earle Page’s wartime mission to Britain between 1941 and 1942 Sir Earle Page’s British War Cabinet Diary, 1941-1942 (Cambridge University Press Camden Fifth Series, 2021). This account provides crucial insights into Anglo-Australian, Anglo-dominion and American-Australian wartime relations during a critical phase of the Second World War.

Continuing the theme of imperial peripheries, a journal article examining the abduction and rescue of Mollie Ellis on the North-West Frontier, India in 1923 was published in January 2023 in the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. This article argues that through instruments of nineteenth century legislation, a brutalisation of imperial rule on this contested frontier was normalised and extended through a combination of military force and political coercion.

I am currently working on a biography of John Loader Maffey, an imperial administrator who was instrumental in policy-making at the strategic nodes of empire – the North-West Frontier of India, the Sudan and as Britain’s first ambassador to Ireland upon the outbreak of the Second World War..

I would welcome applications from students wishing to work on the above areas or topics related to British imperial history.

Teaching Interests

I teach both undergraduate and postgraduate modern British history. I convene the second-year module Between East and West: International History since 1890a third-year module From Victory to Defeat: Britain’s Interwar Empire, 1919 – 1942 and a specialist tutorial at postgraduate level titled Crisis of Empire.  

External positions

Committee member, British International Historians Group

Editor-in-Chief, History: The Journal of the Historical Association

Member of the UK Editorial Board, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society