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Dr Laura Channing

Assistant Professor in Economic History (since 1750)

Assistant Professor in Economic History (since 1750) in the Department of History
Department Representative in the Durham Research Methods Centre
Fellow of the Durham Research Methods Centre


I’m an economic historian of West Africa in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. My research focuses on African economic development in historical perspective, particularly taxation, labour, and living standards. I am currently working on my first monograph, based on my PhD, which examines the relationship between taxation and representation in colonies in West Africa. Other research focuses on household income, labour, and wages in West African port cities and on the role of Africa and Africans in the development of humanitarian organisations. In all my work, I am especially interested in combining qualitative source material with newly digitised and previously under-utilised quantitative sources from both British and African archives.

I grew up in south London and studied History at King’s College London. I then moved to Cambridge where I received an MPhil in Economic and Social History in 2017 and a PhD in History in 2021. During 2019-20 I was the Jane Eliza Procter Fellow at Princeton University. Before joining Durham, I was the Economic History Society Anniversary Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research and a Visiting Fellow in the Department of Economic History at the LSE, where I taught African and Economic History.