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Dr. Madge Dresser

Dr. Madge Dresser

TV Expert - Academic Historian - Speaker

Dr. Madge Dresser F.R.H.S., R.S.A is Honorary Professor in Historical Studies at the University of Bristol and was awarded Senior Research Fellow status at the University of the West of England after retiring as Associate Professor of History there in 2016. An internationally recognised expert on the impact and legacy of Atlantic slavery in Britain, she has served as academic advisor to the National Archives at Kew, was seconded to advise UNESCO on slavery archives in the Gambia in 2005 and has been awarded teaching and research fellowships at Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, the Gilder Lehrman Institute in New York and the Clarke Library at UCLA. She has taught at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia and worked closely with Historic England. Between 2005-2007, she led a Heritage Lottery Fund History Project on the history of ethnic minorities in Bristol, and is presently advisor to both the Colonial Countryside Project (University of Leicester/National Trust, HLF and Arts Council) and the British Slave Ownership Project at UCL.

Her academic publications centre mainly around the issues around race, immigration ethnicity, gender, religion and memorialisation. A committed public historian and experienced public speaker she has appeared in international, national and local broadcasts and in the print media, and has been a keynote speaker at many conferences. She has hosted public panels and participated in debates on race, hidden histories, feminism and national identity and recently delivered a TedXBristol talk on slavery and statues in the USA and Britain.

As a trustee and Bristol coordinator of the national charity human rights charity Journey to Justice, she has led many initiatives using the Arts and History to tell untold stories about social justice campaigners past and present.

2020 - Madge’s reactions to the recent BLM protests in Bristol and the removal of the Edward Colston statue: link

Broadcasts since 2013 include:


BBC 1 ‘The One Show’ interview on Race Relations

BBC Radio 3 Freethinking


BBC4 Shipwrecks (programme 2) (January 2014) (repeated February 2016)

ITV Regional News (January and February 2014)

‘America Tonight’-Aljazeera America (Slavery and the British Country House) (March 2014)

BBC Radio 4-The Food Programme (Jamaican Food Culture) June 2014

BBC Radio 4 Great Lives (on Ida B.Wells African American activist) August 2014

BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine Programme (25 May 2016)

BBC Radio 4 Britain’s Black Past ( 5 October 2016)


BBC Radio 4 The Today Programme (18/2/17)-Renaming of Colston Hall

Talk Radio (London) (20/2/17) -Renaming of Colston Hall

BBC Radio Wales (Sunday Supplement) Violence in Virginia and Statues (20 August 2017 Statues

BBC Radio 4 Archive on 4 on the panel of ‘As the Statues Fall’ 16 September 2017

BBC The One Show


Indusdotnews, episode 263, 12:50 onwards


- Black and White on the Buses: the campaign against the colour bar in Bristol in 1963 (1987, 2007,2016)

– Slavery Obscured: the Social History of the Slave Trade in Bristol (2001, 2007, 2016)

– Set in Stone? Statues and Slavery in London’, History Workshop Journal (Autumn 2007)

– Ethnic Minorities and the City: Bristol 1000-2000 (with Peter Fleming), (2007, 2009)

– Remembering Slavery and Abolition in Bristol’, Slavery & Abolition, (June 2009)

– Slavery and the British Country House (co-edited with Andrew Hann, English Heritage) (2013)

– Women and the City: Bristol 1373-2000 (Redcliffe Press, 2016)

– The elusive Lady Apsley: rethinking a post war M.P.” in Women’s History Review (2018)

– Pero’s afterlife in Britain’s Black Past (edited by Gretchen Gerzina, Liverpool University Press) 2019

– Entries on” Thomas Daniel” and “Sarah Guppy” for Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2016)

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