Dr Freddy Foks

Junior Research Fellow, King's College
Freddy Foks
On leave 2021-22
I am a historian of Britain's empire state in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I have particular interests in the history of the human sciences, political economy, racism, migration and the politics of expertise. I studied history at King's College, London and did my graduate training at Cambridge and at Princeton, where I was a Jane Eliza Procter Fellow.
My first book is a study of imperialism and social science, specifically in relation to British social anthropology between the 1920s to the 1970s. Some findings from this research have been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History and in Isis. This work draws on my PhD dissertation which was jointly awarded the Prince Consort & Thirlwall Prize and Seeley Medal for best thesis in the Faculty in 2019.

Alongside my research on the history of social anthropology, I have recently begun a new project on migration, imperialism, white supremacy and settler colonialism in the British Empire between 1850 and 1970.
I mainly teach modern British history, focusing especially on the politics of racism and multiculturalism, economic policy, social change and other related topics. I have also taught on broader themes in historiography and in modern political theory. In 2019 I designed and co-taught a new graduate class with Dr. Chika Tonooka on race and empire in modern British history. I am teaching this course again in 2021. In Cambridge speak this translates as:

MPhil, Modern British History - 'Race and Empire in Modern British History, c. 1830-1980'

Part 2, Paper 1 - 'Historical Arguments and Practice': 'intellectual history' and 'race'

Part 1, Paper 11 - 'British Economic and Social History since 1880'

Part 2, Paper 5/POL 11 - 'The History of Political Thought From c. 1890 to the Present and Political Philosophy'
Editor (reviews), History of Anthropology Review


Tags & Themes


King's College Cambridge CB2 1ST


Key publications

Social Anthropology, Colonial Development, and The Reinvention of Society in Britain (University of California Press, 2023) [forthcoming in the Berkeley Series in British Studies]

Other publications

Raymond Firth, Between Economics and AnthropologyBerose: Encyclopédie Internationale des Histoires de lAnthropologie, 2020

‘Review of Erik Linstrum, Ruling Minds – Psychology in the British Empire’, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 52/3 (July, 2016), 306-8
‘Disrupting the disruptors: technology, politics and back-end morality’ Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 59 (2015), 78-85