Corpus Christi College Oxford

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Dr Alex Middleton



I arrived at Corpus as the M.G. Brock Junior Research Fellow in 2015, following College Lectureships at Wadham College and Lady Margaret Hall here in Oxford. I studied for my BA at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where I received an inspiring introduction to Victorian political history: so inspiring that I stayed put for my MPhil and PhD, both supervised by Jonathan Parry.

Research interests

My research deals with the relationship between politics and intellectual life in nineteenth-century Britain. So far it has focused on the place of imperial issues in British politics in the period between about 1820 and 1870, and on the forces which drove dramatic shifts over these years in ideas about imperial administrative and constitutional structures. Future work in this area will deal with British responses to other European imperialisms in the later nineteenth century. I am also interested more abstractly in the structures of nineteenth-century political analysis and rhetoric, especially in relation to later-Victorian Whiggism and Liberalism. The questions which underpin all my work are about how party politics and partisanship affect public engagement with political ideas; about why particular issues and concepts rise and fall as subjects of public concern; about the sources of authority political writers claim, and how this affects the styles of analysis they adopt; and about how all this bears upon what politicians actually do.

Teaching and supervision

I teach and lecture on all three of the main undergraduate modern British history papers, covering the period since 1685. My teaching also covers the history of nineteenth-century Europe, modern imperial history, parts of Oxford’s various courses on historical methods and historiography, and the supervision of theses lying in these areas.

Key publications

 - ‘French Algeria in British imperial thought, 1830-1870’, Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, 16:1(2015): special issue on ‘Imperial History and Connected Histories of Empire’, eds. Simon Potter and Jonathan Saha.

 - ‘Rajah Brooke and the Victorians’, Historical Journal, 53:2 (2010).


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