Contact Information

Biography & Research Interests

•British Empire

•Global History

•Race and Gender

•Imperialism/Colonialism

•Military, Diplomatic, and Maritime History

 John C. Mitcham is a historian of the British Empire, with a particular focus on settler colonialism in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. His first book, Race and Imperial Defence in the British World 1870-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2016), examines the cultural links between Britain and the self-governing Dominions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The book argues that a shared and highly racialized concept of "Britishness" gradually led to closer relations within the white portions of the empire, particularly in the realm of defense cooperation.

John is currently finishing a new book entitled The Empire Club: Imperial Politics, White Supremacy, and the Making of the Commonwealth (under contract with Oxford University Press). Based on archival research in seven countries, the book examines the origins of the Commonwealth as a joint project between Britain and the Dominions to create an Anglophone and racialized global order-one which strictly policed membership and worked to make the world safe for settler colonialism.

Mitcham is the General Editor of the peer-reviewed journal Britain and the World (published by Edinburgh University Press). He is active in a number of professional organizations, including the North American Conference on British Studies, the Society for Military History, the Southern Conference on British Studies, and the Royal Historical Society. He has delivered lectures and presentations throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Education

Ph.D. University of Alabama

Courses, Publicatons, Presentations & Honors/Awards

  • HIST 151: Shaping of the Modern World
  • HIST 214: Western Civilization II
  • HIST 266: Modern Britain
  • HIST 346 World War II
  • HIST 370: Empire in Modern History
  • HIST 428W/528: British Empire
  • HIST 458W/558 First World War in a Global Context
  • HIST 619: Nineteenth Century Europe
    EQ 100 what is Colonialism
  • HIST 209 Naval and Maritime History 

Publications

Monograph:
Race and Imperial Defence in the British World, 1870-1914 (Cambridge University Press, 2016)

Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters:
"The 1924 Empire Cruise and the Imagining of an Imperial Community." Britain and the World Vol. 12 No. 1 (March 2019)

"Of the Blood of Sea Peoples: Navalism and Greater Britain," in Maritime History and Identity: The Sea and Culture in the Modern World, ed. Duncan Redford
(London: I.B. Tauris, 2014)

"Patrolling the White Man's Grave: Disease and the Anglo-American Anti-Slavery Squadrons, 1841-1862." The Northern Mariner/Le marin du Nord Vol. XX
(January 2010)

Recent Presentations

"Jan Smuts, Settler Colonialism, and the Irish Question." North American Conference on British Studies. Atlanta, GA November 12, 2021

"The British Empire Delegation, Paris Peace Conference, and the Origins of the Commonwealth," Conference on Peacemaking After the First World War at the National Archives of the UK. London, UK June 27 2019

"The Imperial War Cabinet and Visions of a Postwar World Order," Society of Military History Conference. Columbus, OH May 10 2019

"Moderate Nationalists and the Indian Delegation at the Paris Peace Conference," Britain and the World Conference. Kansas City, MO April 11 2019

Plenary Address, "Jan Smuts, Imperial Statesmanship, and the First World War," Australian Defence Force Academy at the University of New South Wales. Canberra, AU August 2 2018

Keynote Address, Graduate History Conference, Brunel University. London, UK April 2018

"The 1924 Empire Cruise and the Imagining of an Imperial Community," Cultures in Imperialism Workshop at the North American Conference on British Studies. Denver, CO. November 4 2017

"Late Victorian Imperial Security and the Origins of the Anglosphere," Joint Services Command and Staff College. Shrivenham, UK May 17 2017

"The Imperial War Conferences and the Origins of the Modern Commonwealth," Institute of Historical Research International History Seminar. London, UK January 31 2017

"What to do with the Empire? The Cabinet, the Dominions, and the Outbreak of the First World War," Britain and the World Conference. Austin, TX April 7 2017

"Colonial Nationalism, Britishness, and the 1924 Empire Cruise," Southern Conference on British Studies. Tampa, FL November 4 2016

"Forging a ‘Britannic Alliance': The Dominions and Imperial Security, 1907-1918," North American Conference on British Studies. Little Rock, AR November 14 2015

"The Boy Scouts, Military Education, and Imperial Defense," The Symposium on Military Education and Empire at the Royal Military College of Canada. Kingston, CA November 6 2015

"The 1924 ‘Empire Cruise' and Naval Defense in the Pacific," McMullen Symposium, United States Naval Academy. Annapolis, MD September 19 2015

"The Admiralty, the Dominions, and International Maritime Law," Society of Military History Conference. Montgomery, AL April 11 2015

"'Brother Britons': Robert Baden-Powell, the Boy Scouts, and the British World, 1907-1918," American Historical Association Annual Meeting. New York, NY January 3 2015

Honors/Awards

Academic Honors:
Elected Fellow, Royal Historical Society, 2018
Finalist, Templer Medal Book Prize. Given by the Society for Army Research of the United Kingdom for Race and Imperial Defence in the British World, 2017
Outstanding Dissertation of the Year, Graduate School, University of Alabama, 2013
Clark F. Reynolds Prize for Best Graduate Paper, North American Society for Oceanic History Conference, 2008
Albert Burton Moore Award for Outstanding Work in European History, University of Alabama, 2008
Grants:
Presidential Scholarship Award, Duquesne University, 2019
Research Fellowship, Australian Army Historical Unit, 2018
Faculty Development Fund, Duquesne University, 2017
Severino A. Russo Endowed Faculty Development Award, Duquesne University, 2016
Wimmer Family Foundation, Faculty Development Award, Duquesne University, 2016
NEH Faculty Endowment Grant, Duquesne University, 2015
International Travel Assistance, National Museum of the Royal Navy, 2014
Visiting Research Fellowship, Australian Army Historical Unit, 2013
International Enrichment Travel Fund, University of Alabama, 2010
Graduate Council Dissertation Fellowship, University of Alabama, 2010
Department of History European Research Grant, University of Alabama, 2009
Department of History Dissertation Fellowship, University of Alabama, 2009
Russell F. Weigley Travel Grant, Society of Military History, 2009D