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Cambridge Heritage Research Centre



I am a historian of empire & transnational connectivity across the Middle East, North Africa, Europe & South Asia. At Cambridge, my research focuses on the intersection of colonial violence, media disinformation, art & visual culture as connecting threads between these regions in the mid-twentieth century.

Before coming to Cambridge I lectured in International History at the University of Toronto and taught modern Middle Eastern History & Politics at Oxford, where I completed my DPhil. I also spent two years as an affiliate of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies at Stanford University.


In broad terms my research interests include the political, social, and military history of the global 20th century; the role of art, archaeology, ancient history, and mythology in modern projects of Empire and nation-state formation; and transnational connections between the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and South Asia across imperial, internationalist, and postcolonial frameworks.

My forthcoming book, East of Empire, explores the many levels of connection and interaction between Egypt and India as they both sought independence from Britain between the 1920s and 1940s.


Key publications: 


East of Empire: Egypt, India, and the World between the Wars (monograph)


In Print

From Imperial History to Global Histories of Empire: Writing in and for the 21st Century’, Past & Present (October 2022).

India, the Arabs, and Britain’s problem in Palestine, 1937-1939,’ International History Review (May 2020)

A Tempest in a British Teapot: The Silk Letters and the “Arab Question” in Cairo and Delhi,’ in Dal Lago, Healy, and Barry (Eds.) 1916 in Global Context: An Anti-Imperial Moment (Routledge, 2018)


Press & Public Engagement

With Ukraine invasion, the West has again missed the link between strife abroad and security at home’, Scroll, 13 March 2022

McDougall, O’Halloran, Omar, & Hill. ‘Ethics and Empire: an open letter from Oxford Scholars,’ The Conversation, 19 December 2017

Postdoctoral Member, Cambridge Heritage Research Centre
Postdoctoral Fellow
A profile photo of CHRC Postdoctoral Member, Dr Erin O'Halloran

Contact Details

Cambridge Heritage Research Centre, Downing Street
Not available for consultancy