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Personal profile


HU11001: Human Futures

HU12001: The Globalising World (convener: 2012-14 & 2015-17)

EU11001:  Europe: Space, Time, and People

HY21003:  The Great War and History. Debates and perspectives (2013-2017)

HY21004:   Imperialism and decolonisation, 1850-2000 (co-convener)

HY32035:   Contemporary African History (convener)

HY31029:  Making History: Issues in the study of the past

HY41053:  Modern South Africa: Apartheid, African Liberation Struggles, and democracy (convener)           

HY42049:  Film and History          

HY40001:  History Research Dissertation supervisor

HY52006:  Mlitt: History Skills and Sources

HY51027:  Mlitt: Global Empires (convener)

HY51018:  Mlitt: Directed reading

HY51045:  Mlitt: Public History

HY52031:  Mlitt: Documenting dissent 



A core part of my most recent research was completing a single-authored book on the African continent: Contemporary Africa. This book was written for those wanting to learn more about the continent, and to help explain one of the most misunderstood regions in the world. In an engaging and accessible fashion, through the use of multiple examples and case-studies from across the continent, the book provides a short and clear introduction into contemporary Africa’s social, economic, political, and cultural composition. The book offers a lively assessment of key issues regarding the continent addressing themes such as African nationalism, decolonisation, the causes of conflict, and economic progress, as well as providing informative insights and analysis into topics including social movements, film, literature, and the diaspora. The book offers a concise, informative and fascinating account of this vibrant continent.


The next core research project will be on South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy, in which I seek to explore further (based on previous research) the events and activities of the process and some of its political and societal outcomes. In doing so, I wish to provide further insights into this previously neglected period and to also chart the ways in which the transition continues to affect post-apartheid South Africa in a number of spheres. One way of contextualising these themes is through that of a long-transition, and moving away from the narrow, traditionally defined confines of the 1990-1994 period.   


Past research projects have included a focus on Southern Africa’s former national liberation movements, and the ways in which the concept of a collective, regional solidarity in the struggle against white minority rule was created and perpetuated. With a particular focus on the African National Congress (ANC), this research explored the role of ‘liberation solidarity’ and the ways in which the historical record and the realities of exile have been subsumed to serve current political demands. I aimed to look beyond the collective amnesia of the regions’ movements, by exploring how the ‘official’ narrative has been constructed and trying to delve into the self-serving ‘myths’ propagated by these parties. Moreover, I have also published on the collective efforts of South Africa’s liberation movements to establish a unified opposition to apartheid in the early 1960s, with a particular focus on South Africa’s role within the Commonwealth. This research demonstrated the various initiatives that were pursued through the South Africa United Front from 1960-62, and how these were closely intertwined the rise of the British Anti-Apartheid Movement. 


I have also carried out previous research on the foreign policy of the ANC and its foreign policy, charting the continuities and discontinuities of its policies from exiled liberation movement to governing political party, 1960-2007. The core pivot of this project revolved around the transition process by exploring the opportunities and constraints this process had not only on the ANC, but also the post-apartheid government. In doing so, I sought to convey how the ANC created and developed its foreign policy ideals, not only against the experiences of exile, its hopes for the future, but also the constraints and influences of the transition process itself, as well as actors such as the apartheid era civil service and western governments.


Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sheffield

Master of Arts, University of Sheffield

Bachelor of Arts, University of Sheffield

External positions

Research Associate , University of The Free State

2012 → …


  • DT Africa
  • post-colonialism
  • national liberation struggles
  • Cold War
  • African National Congress
  • South Africa
  • foreign policy
  • democratic transitions
  • apartheid
  • Southern Africa
  • Africa

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 13 Similar Profiles
foreign policy Social Sciences
ANC Social Sciences
apartheid Social Sciences
united front Social Sciences
reintegration Social Sciences
diplomacy Social Sciences
social media Social Sciences
civil war Social Sciences

Projects 2013 2020

Research Output 2009 2018

united front
Commonwealth of Nations

Contemporary Africa

Graham, M., 20 Oct 2018, 291 p. (Contemporary States and Societies)

Research output: Book/ReportBook

‘Through the arts, a luta continua’

Graham, M., 22 Nov 2018, In : Times Higher Education. 2384, p. 44 1 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


CASS Early Career Lecture Award

Matt Graham (Recipient), 23 Mar 2015

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

DUSA Teaching Led Student Awards: Best Teacher for Assessment and Feedback

Matt Graham (Recipient), 2014

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

The Hodson Memorial Prize (2012)

Matt Graham (Recipient), 2012

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2009 2017

‘The ANC and the politics of history’

Matt Graham (Participant)
16 Mar 2017

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

‘There is no place like ‘home'?’

Matt Graham (Member)
24 Aug 2017

Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - festival/exhibition

‘The internationalisation of apartheid: The South African United Front, the Commonwealth and the British Anti-Apartheid Movement’

Matt Graham (Participant)
30 Nov 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Centre for African Studies Seminar, Edinburgh

Matt Graham (Participant)
27 Jan 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Women's History Network Annual Conference

Matt Graham (Participant)
4 Sep 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Press / Media

Winnie Madikizela-Mandela death

Matt Graham


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

The forgotten legacy of Steve Biko

Matt Graham


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research

Why is Steve Biko’s remarkable legacy often overlooked?

Matt Graham


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Research


"Injustice on Their Backs and Justice on Their Minds": Political Activism and the Policing of London's Afro-Caribbean Community, 1945-1993

Author: Fevre, C., 2019

Supervisor: Colley, Z. (Supervisor), Johansen, A. (Supervisor) & Graham, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy