Josh Doble
Liam J. Liburd
Emma Parker
Samran Rathore
, and
Tajpal Rathore

Tribe Arts is a philosophically inspired, radical-political theatre company based in Leeds. Founded by Tajpal Rathore and Samran Rathore, it aims to amplify the stories and voices of second- and third-generation black and Asian people in Britain, interrogating themes and issues such as race, belonging and identity. Tribe Arts’s previous shows have included Darokhand, a reimagining of six Shakespeare plays, amalgamated into an original story set in a striking Gothic-Mughal world – stylistically a gothic landscape evoking Mughal India; and Tribe Talks, a radical format of participatory theatre in which a panel of speakers motivate the audience to discuss important topics around the history of black and Asian people. In 2020, Tribe Arts launched Off/Stage, the only e-zine currently dedicated to black and Asian theatre and culture in the UK. This interview sees editors Josh, Liam and Emma reconvene with Thaj and Sam, both of whom presented on decolonial theatre practice at the original 2018 ‘After Empire?’ conference. In this conversation, held during the autumn of 2020, Thaj and Sam reflect on their origins as an organisation, exploring why decolonial theatre is necessary in modern Britain and how their work confronts the legacies of empire across British society.

in British culture after empire
Regulation and reputation
Margaret Brazier

Chapter 3 addresses the tripartite division of labour and the regulation of physicians, surgeons and apothecaries, from c. 1511–1858. It focuses on the battles between the three groups of orthodox practitioners, battles often fought out in the law courts. The Crown, Parliament and the courts were all involved in addressing the claims of the medical corporations to regulate their own members, and in the case of the College of Physicians to regulate the whole domain of medicine. The extensive powers of self-regulation granted to the College are considered, as is the anomaly that the College’s writ ran only in London and its environs. It highlights the role of the criminal process regulating healers and examines the series of challenges to the ‘mighty’ College. The chapter addresses the physicians’ unsuccessful efforts to enhance their social status, to be regarded as gentlemen, the equal of lawyers and the clergymen. Nor for the most part did the judges accord deference to the medical men. Sir Edward Coke declared that any university-educated judge could determine if a medical case had been handled correctly. The chapter charts the skirmishes between physicians, surgeons and apothecaries evaluating the impact of dramatic conflict between physicians and apothecaries in Rose v College of Physicians heard in 1703. Finally, Chapter 3 outlines how in the light of developments in surgery the tripartite division made no sense, regulation in the provinces had more or less broken down entirely and pressure for reform grew.

in Law and healing
Immigration, decolonisation and Britain’s radical right, 1954– 1967
Liam J. Liburd

Inspired by other studies that analyse the politics of Enoch Powell in light of the legacy of the British Empire, this chapter examines the British radical right’s response to Commonwealth immigration and decolonisation. In both challenging and building on these studies, this chapter argues that the British radical right drew deeply on the vast ideological and experiential reservoir of British imperialism in formulating and articulating their political vision. Drawing mostly on the published output of several of the groups that merged together to become the National Front in 1967, the chapter demonstrates that the activists within these groups experienced decolonisation and Commonwealth immigration as interlinked civilisational crises.  In doing so, it considers their presence and activism around the Notting Hill racist riots in 1958 and at their response to Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965. Against what they termed the ‘coloured invasion’ in Britain and the perceived surrender of ‘white rule’ abroad, they looked longingly at the renegade settler states of South Africa and Rhodesia, eventually reimagining Britain as the metropolitan equivalent of a besieged white-settler colony and white Britons as a variety of endangered white settler. This saw them reject the imperial remnants of the Commonwealth and advocate an imperial solution of a different order: a white alliance of Britain, its Dominions, South Africa and Rhodesia.

in British culture after empire
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‘Temple of the soul’
Margaret Brazier

Chapter 7 examines the attitude of the common law and canon law to the living body. It asks how far your body was truly yours to do as you chose with. The answer proved to be – ‘not wholly yours’. Were you a married woman, the several legal incapacities imposed on married women effectively granted sovereignty over your body to your husband. While the courts developed trespass against the person to affirm patients’ rights to say no to their doctor, common and canon law placed limits on what any individual could choose to do or have done to their body. The law set its face against any notion that men or women owned their bodies prohibiting many but not all forms of self-mutilation. The antique crime of maim which limited what any subject of the Crown could have done, or do, to their bodies is considered. And it will be shown that even if maim is obsolete its ghost lives on. Re-attired as ‘public interest’, the House of Lords in R v Brown held that the victim’s consent alone was insufficient to render infliction of actual bodily harm lawful. Harm must be justified in the public interest. In nearly all cases surgery, be it performed in 1500 or 2023, involves harm above the bar set in Brown. But it will be shown that the legality of reasonable surgery was tacitly acknowledged. The gradual recognition of the ‘medical exception’ justifying responsible medical treatment is addressed.

in Law and healing
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Life in Graeco-Roman Egypt

This chapter explores the background of foreign occupation in Egypt and periods of non-Egyptian migration into the Nile Valley. Connections to Greece and Rome are discussed by way of artefacts (particularly pottery and terracottas) and what they can show us about the nature of military dominance, religious observance and social practices in the Graeco-Roman period.

in Golden Mummies of Egypt
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Archiving the oneiric
Emily-Rose Baker
Diane Otosaka

This brief afterword returns to two questions posed by Max Silverman in his foreword to the volume: i) whether the dominating framework and vocabulary of psychoanalytic interpretation have obscured other ways of approaching dreams and their relationship to atrocity; ii) whether unconventional modes of reading dreams might offer a means of explicating how dreams are activated by historical, political and cultural phenomena. Positioning itself against a reductive understanding of dreams and narrow psychoanalytic frameworks, the volume has nonetheless retained the idea that dreams are a fundamental part of reality, with the capacity to bring to light what otherwise remains invisible. The afterword concludes by identifying the volume as a form of oneiric archive that brings lived dreams and dreamlike aesthetics into dialogue with moments of historical and cultural atrocity, thereby elevating the meaning and stakes of dreaming.

in Dreams and atrocity
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From Asiatic cholera to COVID-19 – the many publics of modern public health
Tom Crook

This concluding chapter explores how the bigger historical picture opened up by the volume might be pursued further in the context of modern Britain. It does so by asking how we should explain the multiple and always problematic forms assumed by ‘the public’ within public health since its inception as a discrete field of government during the first half of the nineteenth century. The answer the chapter offers accords only a limited role to differing cultures of governance and the succession of liberal, social-democratic and neoliberal forms of statecraft. Of more importance, it suggests, has been the enduring interplay of a set of more basic, fundamental factors. The chapter highlights three in particular: democracy, by which is meant, loosely, considerations of citizenship and political subjectivity and inclusion; strategy, by which is meant considerations of organisational logistics and costs; and finally, epidemiology, by which is meant shifting distributions of morbidity and mortality. The chapter deals with each factor separately, but the argument is that they need to be grasped together if we are to understand why, and how, the public has proved such a problematic, yet central actor in the management of modern public health.

in Publics and their health
From the margins to differentiated politicisations
Koen Slootmaeckers

This first empirical chapter presents the adoption process and the implementation of the Serbian anti-discrimination legal framework between 2001 and 2015. It provides an overview of how Serbia’s rapprochement with international society and its European integration process has led to the adoption of different legislation prohibiting discrimination and hate crimes. It is argued that there were three distinct phases in the adoption of the anti-discrimination framework in Serbia, each with particular configurations of domestic and international politics, and it has been these configurations that have been an important explanation for the observed outcomes-in-process. The first phase (2001–05) is characterised by Serbia’s initial democratisation and limited political attention to anti-discrimination principles. The second phase (2005–09) sees the politicisation of LGBT issues, as well as the adoption of the anti-discrimination law following a pro-European political shift. The final phase is characterised by the continued expansion of the anti-discrimination framework as tactical Europeanisation. Overall, the chapter demonstrates the importance of a non-EU centric approach to the analysis of the Europeanisation of the anti-discrimination policies with regard to LGBT rights. It is argued that the different phases in the process and the respective outcomes-in-process are the results of the changing relations between the different actors in the transnational policy field as well as the intertwining of different policy fields. Highlighting the centrality of the agency of domestic actors, the chapter also argues that conditionality is better conceived of as a facilitator rather than a driver of change.

in Coming in
The Irish connection
Louis P. Nelson

Eighteenth-century Jamaica offers seemingly innumerable examples of defensive domestic architecture, suggesting that the British occupation of Jamaica was from its inception marked by a clear sense of martial contest. This militarisation of the domestic sphere differentiates Jamaica from the colonies of the American mainland. Yet there are some extraordinary parallels between the plantation houses of mid-eighteenth-century Jamaica and early-seventeenth-century Ireland. Both are marked by militarised towered houses. Just as Munster in southern Ireland boasts a large number of English-built manor houses defined largely by four prominent corner towers, so too does that form prevail in the older more predominantly English parishes of Clarendon and St Dorothy on Jamaica. Drawing from a centuries-long practice in the British colonial landscape, newly wealthy planters in Jamaica used architecture to assert their authority over a contested landscape. And just as Ulster exhibited a number of Scottish-derived towered houses, usually with appended or freestanding defensive flankers, so, too, is this form evident in Jamaica, again built largely by Scots. Emigrating Scots were not unfamiliar with the militarisation of houses in a colonial context. The architecture of Jamaica is best positioned not in light of contemporary developments in America, but as an extension of the architecture beyond the pale.

in Ireland, slavery and the Caribbean
The Anne Lister Diaries 1836–38

Female Fortune: The Anne Lister Diaries 1833–36 inspired Sally Wainwright to write Gentleman Jack, her major drama series (BBC1 and HBO, 2019 and 2022). This companion volume Anne’s story from May 1836, with the death of her elderly father and the effective banishment of her sister. In the autumn, with the death of Anne’s beloved aunt, Anne Lister and Ann Walker were on their own at Shibden. Anne’s magnificent diaries record their life together. The compelling coded passages reveal the ups and downs of their lesbian marriage. Alongside, Anne developed her own coal mines, embellished Shibden’s architecture, and was politically active, especially at the 1837 election.

So, was it ‘as good as a marriage’? And what was heterosexual marriage like then? Married women had few rights. Both women had to be courageous, always easier for Anne than for Ann. By placing this lesbian relationship in its historical context, Jill Liddington shines a dazzling light on this subversive marriage and its tensions.