Tamson Pietsch
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Building institutions
Localising ‘universal’ learning
in Empire of scholars
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This chapter examines the foundation of universities in the settler colonies in the mid-nineteenth century and considers their early development. It argues that these universities were initially local affairs, founded by self-confident settler elites who saw them as situated agents of ‘universal’ culture and symbols of colonial maturity. But it contends that in the 1870s a variety of changes began to reshape the global relationship between culture and power, pushing settler universities to find new ways of asserting their position as institutions that credentialised universal knowledge.

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Empire of scholars

Universities, networks and the British academic world 1850–1939


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