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Dr Zack White joins the Centre for Port Cities and Maritime Cultures this October on a three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship.

Dr White’s research focuses on Indian soldiers and sailors in colonial India. The award is testament to the Centre’s ability to attract funding and its fast-growing reputation for research excellence.

His research project is called Sepoys and Slave Seamen: Race, Empire and the Law in British India, 1795-1830. It fuses socio-cultural and military histories with digital-humanities techniques. The project examines how discipline was maintained amongst these men, exploring whether racial profiling resulted in harsher punishments, or if dependency on them as a labour force afforded them a degree of agency. This offers fresh perspectives on race’s interaction with Britain’s efforts to expand in India, uncovering this ethnic group’s forgotten voices. Dr White will be mentored by Professor Brad Beavan, Co-director of the new Centre for Port Cities and Maritime Cultures.

Dr White said: “The interaction between race, the armed forces and the law has been neglected as a factor within British military and imperial history. I will be able to conduct an in-depth study to help redress this imbalance. The next three years will be very exciting for me because of the academic guidance from colleagues at the new Centre for Port Cities and Maritime Cultures. It is great to see the Leverhulme Trust and the University of Portsmouth investing in exciting new areas of research within history.”

Dr White’s doctorate at the University of Southampton explored crime and punishment in the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars. He is the founder and inaugural chair of the Napoleonic and Revolutionary War Graves Charity, which honours the memory of those who served between 1775 and 1815 by restoring veterans’ graves and educating the public about the Napoleonic era.

The Leverhulme Trust supports scholarships and research in the UK. Its competitive and prestigious awards enable researchers to pursue their own interests and passions.