Cherry Leonardi
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The power of culture and the cultures of power
John MacKenzie and the study of imperialism
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This chapter explores the connections, circuits and contradictions of imperial culture, beginning with a book, The Scots in South Africa, which parallels aspects of John MacKenzie's own links to southern Africa and represents the culmination of his long advocacy of a four nations approach to British imperial history. It discusses John MacKenzie's contribution to understandings of imperialism and colonialism as culture, and goes on to the relationship of knowledge and power, through his studies of popular culture and imperial heroes, museums and missionaries, hunting, conservation, science and the environment. These studies demonstrate the significance of his work far beyond the traditional boundaries of imperial history that he has contributed so much to breaching. The chapter suggests that some of the criticism that MacKenzie's work has attracted over the decades has arisen from his determination to avoid binary, structural or moralistic analysis of dominance and subordination in imperial contexts.

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