Ashley Jackson is Professor of Imperial and Military History at King’s College London and a Visiting Fellow at Kellogg College, Oxford. He has published widely on aspects of British imperial history, with a special interest in the Empire during times of war and with regional specialisms in the history of Africa and the Indian Ocean region. He has also written on the popular culture of the British Empire, the Empire’s built environment, and Winston Churchill, and has contributed entries to the Dictionary of National Biography. He joined the Defence Studies Department at King’s College London in 2004 after eight years as a Research Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford, and a brief spell as Lecturer in Imperial and Commonwealth History at Oxford Brookes University. He completed his British Academy-funded master’s (1993) and doctorate (1996) at New College, Oxford, where he also served as Junior Dean.
Jackson has lectured and presented conference and seminar papers at many British and overseas universities, colleges, schools, and museums. He has given talks at events such as the Oxford Literary Festival, the Blenheim/Woodstock Literary Festival, the Chalke Valley History Festival, and Intelligence Squared live debates. He regularly presents to societies and friends’ groups such as the Friends of the Bodleian Library, the Friends of the Oxfordshire Museum, the University of the Third Age, and the Prince’s Teaching Institute. He has been invited to address special lecture series such as the BBC History Magazine Lectures at the British Academy, the Royal Over-Seas League and The Round Table centenary lectures, and the Churchill War Rooms Churchill Lecture Series. He has lectured at the Irish, Kenyan, Nigerian, and Sri Lankan staff colleges, NATO Allied Joint Force Command Lisbon, and the Royal College of Defence Studies, as well as to numerous British military units including 3 (UK) Division, the Special Air Service, and the British Peace Support Team (East Africa).
Media work has included appearances and interviews on BBC One’s Empire presented by Jeremy Paxman (2011), BBC One’s Heir Hunters (2014), BBC Four’s Masterpieces of the East (2008), BBC Radio 3’s Night Waves (2009), BBC Radio Berkshire’s Mike Reed Show (2014), ARD German Radio (2014), BBC World Service’s Delivering the King’s Speech presented by Louise Minchin (2014), and BBC One’s Cue the Queen: Celebrating the Christmas Speech presented by Kirsty Young (2015). He has been consulted by media organizations such as the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, the Sunday Times, the Sunday Express, and BBC World Service, and programmes such as BBC Radio Four’s The Today Programme, BBC Two’s Newsnight, and BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are?. He was historical consultant for BBC Two’s Burma, My Father, and the Forgotten Army presented by Griff Rhys Jones (2013) and for the BBC Two series Black and British: A Forgotten History (2016). He advised the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company on the Suez Crisis when it staged John Osborne’s The Entertainer at the Garrick Theatre starring Sir Kenneth Branagh, Greta Scacchi, and Sophie McShera (2016). Forthcoming television work includes a BBC Timewatch documentary on the British Empire, and the Channel 4 series One Hundred Years of the Windsors.
Jackson is a regular contributor to BBC History Magazine and reviews manuscripts and book proposals for leading academic journals and publishers as well as funding bids submitted to the UK and international higher education research councils. Since 2000 he has been a regular contributor to Oxford University Department of Continuing Education courses and events, including the Postgraduate Certificate in Historical Studies and the weekly class programme, and has presented special lecture series on the British Empire and the built environment of the British Empire. He is on the editorial boards of the American journal Global War Studies and the British journal The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, published by Routledge Taylor & Francis, and the Editorial Advisory Board of the Helion book series ‘War and Military Culture in South Asia, 1757-1947’. Jackson served on the Development Group of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum and is the Founding Chair of its Advisory Panel and a member of the Bard of Trustees. He is a member of the Focus Group for the ‘Queen Victoria’s Journals’ project run by the Bodleian Library, ProQuest, and the Royal Archives.
Academic administration roles have included external examiner for BA programmes at Birmingham, Leeds, and Sheffield universities, and Jackson has examined numerous doctoral theses. He was Director of Research for King’s Defence Studies Department (2010-13) and a member of the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy Research Strategy Group. Between 2011 and 2013 he was the REF penholder for the Defence Studies Department as part of the King’s College submission to REF Sub Panel 21 (Politics and International Studies). From 2014 until 2016 he was Vice Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, and is currently a member of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Peer Review College.
Jackson convenes the British Empire at War Research Group (http://britishempireatwar.org), an international scholarly network. He co-convened the joint King’s College London–Oxford Brookes University ‘International and Military Studies’ seminar series (2009-2011) and the Oxford University ‘New Approaches to the History of the Second World War’ seminar series (1999). He is co-investigator with Dr Yasmin Khan on the AHRC-funded project ‘Home Fronts of the Empire–Commonwealth: Imperial Connections and Social Transformations during the Second World War’ (2012-14).
For online interviews with Ashley Jackson on working as an historian, see the ‘Featured Scholar’ interview with the British Scholar Society (http://britishscholar.org/publications/2011/06/01/june-july-2011-ashley-jackson/) and the ‘Research Focus’ profile on the King’s College School of Social Science & Public Policy website (http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/research/resfocus/ajackson.aspx).
For discussions of The British Empire: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2013), see the OUP videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvsYLE1j93Q on defining the British Empire
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVt690uXjwI on the legacies of the British Empire
For an introduction to Buildings of Empire (Oxford University Press, 2013), see:
For the Intelligence Squared live debate on the motion ‘Britain’s Former Colonies Should Stop Blaming the Empire for Their Ills’ (2011)