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Oceans of Feeling: An Emotional History of Caribbean Migrants in Postwar Britain

Tristram-Walmsley, Ryan (2023) Oceans of Feeling: An Emotional History of Caribbean Migrants in Postwar Britain. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent; Universidade do Porto. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100879) (KAR id:100879)


This thesis is set to analyse the emotional experiences and expressions of Caribbean migrants to Britain in the postwar period, from their motivations to emigrate through to the strategies of affective attainment, adjustment, and resistance which they practised once arrived. In so doing, it works within the paradigm of E. P. Thompson’s “history from below” and utilises the conceptual approaches and theoretical tools of the history of emotions. It has laboured under the belief that, in working on an extensively-researched topic in such a way, we can uncover novel and meaningful insights – insights into how feelings were at the core of historical change here, and how they shaped and transformed the historical narrative at every turn. This ranged from the ways in which emotions acted as the fundamental generative principle for motivations to migrate, resided at the core of the racist practices which they experienced upon arrival, and conditioned the spatial landscapes of refuge which they created in response to this. In accomplishing this, this thesis makes use of a wide range of different source material – including original oral history interviews conducted by the author – arguing that the cultural and artistic output of historical actors are critical in understanding their emotional experiences. Ultimately, this thesis presents an emotional history of Caribbean migrants in postwar by injecting emotions and felt experience, for the first time, into this historical narrative through five thematically-structured chapters.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Polónia, Amélia
Thesis advisor: Klein, Bernhard
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100879
Uncontrolled keywords: migration, Caribbean migrants, racism
Subjects: D History General and Old World
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of English
Funders: European Union (
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2023 07:34 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2023 09:43 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Tristram-Walmsley, Ryan.

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