Dr Sadiah Qureshi

Department of History
Senior Lecturer in Modern History

Contact details

Arts Building, History 354
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

At the broadest level, I am a cultural and social historian of race, science and empire in the modern world.


  • BA Hons, M.Phil and PhD, University of Cambridge


I joined the School of History of Cultures as a Lecturer in Modern History in September 2011. This followed on from a postdoctoral research fellowship with the Cambridge Victorian Studies Group on a five-year Leverhulme funded project entitled ‘Past versus Present: Abandoning the Past in an Age of Progress’ which explored Victorian notions of the past. Before this, I studied as both an undergraduate and postgraduate at Christ’s College, Cambridge.


I am currently on leave until 2017. Below is a list of modules I have taught in the past.


First Year

  • 'The Making of the Contemporary World,(1800-present day)'
  • 'War, Armed Forces and Society'
  • Practising History 1: ‘Representing Race in Modern Britain: Exhibitions, Empire and Entertainment in Modern Britain, 1886-1936’
  • Practising History 2: 'Empires in Perspective' on writing the history of British imperialism

Second Year

  • 'Empire on Display', Group Research Module
  • Research Methods (Dissertation Preparation)

Third Year

  • 'Genocide: An Interdisciplinary Perspective', Advanced Option Module
  • Forthcoming Special Subject relating to my interests in settler colonialism, genocide and interethnic conflict
  • Dissertations. I'm happy to discuss possible topics with students. Please email me to arrange a meeting or drop by in my office hours.


  • Global Histories: Comparisons and Connections (Convenor and tutor)
  • Making Sense of the World: Themes in Global History (Convenor and tutor)
  • Historical Methods (tutor)

Postgraduate supervision

Global History

In 2013, the School of History and Cultures I helped launch a new MA in Global History. Whilst I am on leave, it will be convened by Dr Lucie Ryzova. If you have any questions about the course, please contact her on l.ryzova@bham.ac.uk. For more information you can also see the  MA Global History coursefinder entry.

Possible supervision topics

I am happy to discuss offering postgraduate supervision in any topic relating to nineteenth-century notions of race, science and empire in world history. I would be especially interested in working with students interested in histories of exhibitions or world fairs, anthropolgy, racial theory, genocide and settler colonialism.


My research explores the ways in which racialized knowledge is produced, circulated and mobilised in the modern world. I’m most interested in how such knowledge is used to inform and transform political policies. I'm also concerned by the ways in which histories of race, science and empire are relevant to contemporary debates on issues as diverse as the handling of human remains and the restitution of land rights to formerly colonised peoples.

My first book, Peoples on Parade, explored the commercial exhibition of displayed peoples in nineteenth-century Britain and the importance of such shows for intercultural encounter and notions of racial difference. The book was joint winner of the Sonya Rudikoff Award for the best first book in Victorian Studies published in 2011 awarded by the Northeast Victorian Studies Association.

I am currently working on notions of human extinction and interethnic conflict for my second book, provisionally entitled ‘Exterminate all the Brutes’: Modern Settler Colonialism and the Future of Endangered Races.

In 2012, my research was awared a Philip Leverhulme Prize in Medieval, Early Modern and Modern History by the Leverhulme Trust.

Birmingham Heroes: Recovering the Past to Improve Humanity's Future

Other activities

'George Catlin: American Indian Portraits', National Portrait Gallery, London

Between 2012 and 2013, I was involved in a project with the National Portrait Gallery. A group of my students online content for the NPG's website and gave gallery talks in conjunction with the George Catlin: American Indian Portraits. To find out more about the exhibition see the exhibition's microsite where you can also find the students' films. You can also read blog posts about the project by Sophie Edwards and Shahmima Akhtar.

Editorial and Advisory

I am on the editorial board for the journal of the History of the Human Sciences.

I am on the advisory panel for the UK Medical Heritage Library.



Articles and essays

Reference works

  • 'Great Exposition of 1851 (Crystal Palace)' in R. Jon McGee and Richard L. Warms, eds, 'Theory in Social and Cultural Anthropology' (Sage, 2013).
  • 'Ethnological Exhibitions' in Patrick L. Mason, ed., 'Encyclopaedia of Race and Racism', 2nd edn (Macmillan USA, 2013).