Dr Simon Layton
Lecturer in Early Global History
Email: email@example.comTelephone: +44 (0)20 7882 2898Room Number: ArtsTwo 2.10
I am a historian of European imperialism, specialising in global and oceanic approaches to the past. I am interested in the influence of sea-power in the age of empire, particularly at the chokepoints of global trade in the early modern world. I completed my doctorate at the University of Cambridge in 2013, where I lectured in World History for two years before joining Queen Mary. I have also taught at Lingnan University in Hong Kong, and at the University of Otago in New Zealand.
HST5224 – Piracy and Civilisation
HST6386 – Sea Power and Empire
HST6752 – Pacific Encounters
My research delves into the global history of ‘piracy’ as a concept and practice, focusing particularly on the period of British imperialism in the Indian and Pacific oceans. I explore various discourses of sovereignty, law and criminality in world history, especially as they pertain to empire-building and maritime violence in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
British Imperial History, 1600-1857
Early-modern empires in Asia and the Pacific
Histories of maritime violence
Cultures of maritime radicalism and resistance
- Piratical States: British Imperialism in the Indian Ocean world.
- Simon Layton and Hana Qugana, 'Primitive Liberals and Pirate Tribes: Black-Flag Radicalism and the Kibbo Kift', The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 46, no. 5 (2018), 984-1008.
- ‘Hydras and Leviathans in the Indian Ocean world (link is external),’ International Journal of Maritime History 25, no. 2 (2013), 213-25.
- ‘The “Moghul’s Admiral”: Angrian “Piracy” and the Rise of British Bombay (link is external),’ Journal of Early Modern History 17, no. 1 (2013), 1-19.
- ‘Discourses of Piracy in an Age of Revolutions (link is external),’ Itinerario 35, no.2 (2011), 81-97.
I welcome applications from candidates wishing to undertake doctoral research in the following areas:
Maritime/Oceanic history (esp. Indian and Pacific oceans)
European imperialism, 1500-1914
Pirates, privateers and navies
Illicit trades, smuggling and border control