Dr Freddy Foks

Junior Research Fellow, King's College
Freddy Foks
I am a historian of Britain's empire state from roughly 1880 to 1970. 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 PhD thesis was a study of imperialism and social science, specifically in relation to British social anthropology from the 1920s to the 1970s. Some findings from this research have been published in Comparative Studies in Society and History and in a forthcoming article in Isis. My dissertation was jointly awarded the Prince Consort & Thirlwall Prize and Seeley Medal for best thesis in the Faculty in 2020. I am now revising the manuscript for a book.

Alongside my research on the history of social anthropology, I have recently begun a new research project on British imperialism, white supremacy, emigration and settler colonialism in East and Central Africa between 1880 and 1960.
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. In Cambridge speak this translates as:

MPhil, Modern British History - 'Race and Empire in Modern British History'

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

‘Constructing the field in inter-war social anthropology: power, persona and paper technology’, Isis, forthcoming

‘Bronislaw Malinowski, ‘Indirect Rule’ and the Colonial Politics of Functionalist Anthropology, c. 1925-1940’, Comparative Studies in Society and History, 60/1 (Jan., 2018), 35-57

‘The Sociological Imagination of the British New Left: “Culture” and the “Managerial Society”, c. 1956-62’, Modern Intellectual History, 15/3 (Nov., 2018), 801-20

Other publications

‘Disrupting the disruptors: technology, politics and back-end morality’ Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 59 (2015), 78-85

‘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