Image of Dr Olivia Saunders

Dr Olivia Saunders

Humanities and Social Science

Faculty of Arts Professional and Social Studies

Olivia is History Programme Leader, with responsibility for the undergraduate history degrees within the School of Humanities and Social Science. Olivia joined LJMU as Senior Lecturer in History in September 2016. With a regional focus on Latin America, Olivia's research examines business-government relations, the history of commodities, revolutionary politics and society during the Cold War, Anglo-American relations with Latin America, and the political economy of Bolivia. She is currently working on a book project, on British business and government during an intense period of political change in Bolivia (c. 1946-1970). A second major research project examines mining regulation in Bolivia between 1870 and 1930. This research was supported by the Norwegian Research Council in conjunction with NTNU.

In 2018, Olivia took on the role of Teaching & Learning Coordinator for the School of Humanities and Social Science. She has a particular interest in embedding employability within humanities programmes. She overseas admissions to the history programme, and introduced a successful peer mentoring scheme. Olivia is module leader for 'A History of Modern Latin America' (L5), 'History Works' (L5), and 'Exploring History' (L4), and contributes to 'Lion Rampant, Lion Tamed' (L4). She supervises students on Research Paper (L5) and Dissertation (L6). She also developed a graduate-level seminar on Latin America and the Cold War (L7). Olivia currently supervises PhD candidates in history and ethnomusicology. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Prior to LJMU, Olivia worked at institutions across Wales, including the University of South Wales, its partner institution, Coleg y Cymoedd, and Swansea University, where she taught widely on Latin American history, European history, historical skills and methodologies. She also worked as a researcher at USW on a Leverhulme Trust-funded International Network scheme, 'A World of Copper: Globalising the Industrial Revolution, 1830-1870', which brought together a range of academic and heritage professionals from across the world. Olivia was awarded her AHRC-funded PhD from the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London, having received an MA from the same institution, and a BA from Trinity College, Dublin.

Olivia's professional experience extends to roles in the education sector more broadly. She has a particular interest in student development, having worked across the student life-cycle in youth mentoring, widening access and participation, and careers advice and guidance. Olivia is a long-standing member of the Anglo-Bolivian Society, which encourages social, cultural and commercial relations between Bolivia and the United Kingdom, and served on the society's Executive Council.


University of London, United Kingdom, PhD
University of London, United Kingdom, MA
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, BA


2019, Liverpool John Moores University, Certificate in Coaching and Mentoring

Academic appointments

Programme Leader in History, School of Humanities and Social Science, Liverpool John Moores University, 2021 - present
Senior Lecturer in History, School of Humanities and Social Science, Liverpool John Moores University, 2016 - present

Postgraduate training

MA in Academic Practice (in progress), United Kingdom, Liverpool John Moores University, 2020 - present


Saunders O. 2021. The United States and Latin America and the Caribbean, c.1898-1940 Reeder T. The Routledge History of U.S. Foreign Relations Routledge 9780367473235 DOI Publisher Url

Saunders O. 2020. Britain, the United States, and the Bolivian National Revolution, 1952-1956 Miller R, Mills TC. Britain and the Growth of US Hegemony in Twentieth-Century Latin America: Competition, Cooperation and Coexistence :251-273 Palgrave-Macmillan 978-3-030-48321-0 DOI Publisher Url Public Url

Journal article

Saunders OR, Evans C. 2017. El Mundo del Cobre en el siglo XIX: Una introducción Revista de Historia Social y de las Mentalidades, 21 :9-26

Saunders OR. 2016. Preserving the Status Quo: Britain, the United States, and Bolivian Tin, 1946-1956 The International History Review, 38 :551-572 DOI Publisher Url

Evans C, Saunders OR. 2015. A world of copper: globalizing the Industrial Revolution, 1830–70 Journal of Global History, 10 :3-26 DOI Author Url Publisher Url Public Url

Saunders O. Against the prevailing wind? The British-owned railways in revolutionary Bolivia, 1952-1968 Business History, Public Url


Fellow, Higher Education Academy. 2014

Membership of professional bodies:

Executive Council, Anglo-Bolivian Society.

Member, Association of Business Historians.

Member, Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations.

Member, Society of Latin American Studies.