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Dr Jean Smith

  • Research fellows


Research subject areas

  • Conflict and security
  • International development

Contact details



Jean Smith is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Research Fellow. She is currently working on Empire in Motion, a social history of migration and travel around the British Empire-Commonwealth during the Second World War. Prior to joining the department she was a research fellow at the University of Leeds. She earned her doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2013. Her previous work focused on British migration to southern Africa from the 1940s to the 1970s.

Research Interests

  • The History of the British Empire
  • The Second World War
  • Decolonisation
  • Migration
  • Settler Colonialism
  • African History


“From promising settler to undesirable immigrant: The deportation of British-born migrants from mental hospitals in interwar Australia and South Africa', The journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 46, no.3 (2018): 502-523. 

‘“The Women’s Branch of the Commonwealth Relations Office”: The Society for the Overseas Settlement of British Women and the long life of empire migration’, Women’s History Review, 25, no. 4 (2016) 520-535.    

‘“Transformation to paradise”: Wartime travel to southern Africa, race and the discourse of opportunity, 1939-1950’, Twentieth Century British History, 26, no.1 (2015): 52-73.

Book Chapters

‘“Young blood and the black out”: Love, sex and marriage on the South African home front’ in Home Fronts: Britain and the Empire at War, 1939-1945, Mark Crowley and Sandra Trudgen Dawson (eds.), Martlesham: Brewer & Boydell, 2017, 93-110. 

“I still don’t have a country”: The southern African settler diaspora after decolonisation’ in Cultures of Decolonisation, Transnational Productions and Practices, 1945-1970, Ruth Craggs and Claire Wintle (eds.), Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2016, 156-174.