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Africa, colonial officials and the construction of the British Imperial State, c. 1900–1939

This book is a study of the colonial officials who governed British Africa between 1900 and the Second World War. Historians have to date failed to provide a detailed examination of what caused these ‘men on the spot’ to think and act in the ways they did. Drawing on a vast range of hitherto underexplored private papers, this book assesses the scope of their different attitudes and endeavours. It considers the role of background, education, training, British culture, social and intellectual networks across Africa, and personal self-interest in shaping the ways that officials related to Africans and to one another, and their ideas of race, empire, governance, development, and duty. It considers the implications of these officials’ mental landscapes for some of the key theories of empire to have emerged in recent years.

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Imperialism in cartoons, caricature, and satirical art

Comic empires is a unique collection of new research exploring the relationship between imperialism and cartoons, caricature, and satirical art. Edited by leading scholars across both fields, the volume provides new perspectives on well-known events, and also illuminates little-known players in the ‘great game’ of empire. It contains contributions from noted as well as emerging experts. Keren Zdafee and Stefanie Wichhart both examine Egypt (in the turbulent 1930s and during the Suez Crisis, respectively); David Olds and Robert Phiddian explore the decolonisation of cartooning in Australia from the 1960s. Fiona Halloran, the foremost expert on Thomas Nast (1840–1902), examines his engagement with US westward expansion. The overseas imperialism of the United States is analysed by Albert D. Pionke and Frederick Whiting, as well as Stephen Tuffnell. Shaoqian Zhang takes a close look at Chinese and Japanese propagandising during the conflict of 1937–1945; and David Lockwood interrogates the attitudes of David Low (1891–1963) towards British India. Some of the finest comic art of the period is deployed as evidence, and examined seriously – in its own right – for the first time. Readers will find cartoons on subjects as diverse as the Pacific, Cuba, and Cyprus, from Punch, Judge, and Puck. Egyptian, German, French, and Australian comic art also enriches this innovative collection. Accessible to students of history at all levels, Comic empires is a major addition to the world-leading ‘Studies in imperialism’ series, while standing alone as an innovative and significant contribution to the ever-growing field of comics studies.

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British imperial civil aviation, 1919–39

The whole business of British air transport during the period of 1919-1939 was infused with muddle, belt-and-braces attitudes and old-fashioned company ideas. The conditions of inter-war Britain militated against new technology, fresh approach to management, organization and the relationships between capital and the state. This book provides unrivalled insights into the massive hopes engendered by the supposed conquest of the air, and the ways in which these were so swiftly squandered. Aeronautical societies attempted to spark initiatives through 'juvenile' lectures. The initial pioneering efforts were in the form of trans-Atlantic flights by ex-RAF pilots, the journey of Smith brothers to Australia, and flights across Africa. The book discusses the efforts towards organising the civil aviation and propagation to serve the cause of air communication, and the reconnaissance mission of Alan Cobham and Sefton Brancker to negotiate over-flying and landing facilities. Empire route development took place in stages, starting with the Middle East before venturing to India and Africa. However, organised Empire aviation was alive only in the form of occasional news items and speeches. The book examines the stresses of establishing Britain's eastern airway, and the regularisation of air services to Africa. Criticisms on Imperial Airways due to its small fleet and the size subsidy, and the airline's airmail service are also dealt with. As part of reconfiguration, the airlines had to focus more on airmail, which also saw a curtailment of its independence. Imperial Airways was finally nationalised in 1938 as British Overseas Airways Corporation.

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Museums and the British imperial experience

Recent cultural studies have demonstrated the weakness of some of the fashionable theoretical positions adopted by scholars of imperialism in recent times. This book explores the diverse roles played by museums and their curators in moulding and representing the British imperial experience. The British Empire yielded much material for British museums, particularly in terms of ethnographic collections. The collection of essays demonstrates how individuals, their curatorial practices, and intellectual and political agendas influenced the development of a variety of museums across the globe. It suggests that Thomas Baines was deeply engaged with the public presentation, display and interpretation of material culture, and the dissemination of knowledge and information about the places he travelled. He introduced many people to the world beyond Norfolk. A discussion of visitor engagement with non-European material cultures in the provincial museum critiques the assumption of the pervasive nature of curatorial control of audience reception follows. The early 1900s, the New Zealand displays at world's fairs presented a vision of Maoriland, which often had direct Maori input. From its inception, the National Museum of Victoria performed the dual roles of research and public education. The book also discusses the collections at Australian War Memorial, Zanzibar Museum, and Sierra Leone's National Museum. The amateur enthusiasms and colonial museum policy in British West Africa are also highlighted. Finally, the book follows the journey of a single object, Tipu's Tiger, from India back to London.

Aspects of Ireland and the British Empire
Editor: Keith Jeffery

The notion that the British Empire was in any way an 'Irish Empire' is not one that will cut very much ice on the contemporary island of Ireland, north or south. This volume explores aspects of the experience of Ireland and Irish people within the British Empire and addresses a central concern of modern Irish scholarship. The paradox that Ireland was both 'imperial' and 'colonial' lies at the heart of this book. One of the themes which emerges from the studies in this book is the irrelevance of the Empire to some Irish concerns. Popular culture, sport and film are investigated, as well as business history and the military and political 'sinews of Empire'. In cinematic terms, the image of Ireland has been largely in the hands of the British and American film industries. Analogies between Ulster loyalists and zealous British settlers are frequently drawn. The book examines the views of that region's businessmen on the British Empire, including their perception of Empire, the role of Empire as an economic unit and views the status of Northern Ireland within the Empire. The eventual choice of both flags illustrates that pre-partition strands of both loyalism and Unionism continued to survive among leading politicians within Ulster during the 1920s. The British Empire Union of 1915, established to make the Irish more Empire-minded, included the energetic promotion of imperial history in schools and of the idea of Empire Day within the population as a whole.

New Zealand’s Empire revises and expands received histories of empire and imperialism. In the study of the imperial past, both colonial and postcolonial approaches have often asserted the dualism of core and periphery, with New Zealand as on the ‘edge’ or as a ‘periphery’. This book critically revises and makes complex our understandings of the range of ways that New Zealand has played a role as an ‘imperial power’, including the cultural histories of New Zealand inside the British empire, engagements with imperial practices and notions of imperialism, the special significance of New Zealand in the Pacific region, and the circulation of the ideas of empire both through and inside New Zealand over time. It departs from earlier studies of both imperial and national histories by taking a new approach: seeing New Zealand as both powerful as an imperial envoy, and as having its own sovereign role in Pacific nations - as well as in Australia and Antarctica - but also through its examination of the manifold ways in which New Zealanders both look back at and comment on their relationships with the ‘empire’ over time. In separate essays that span social, cultural, political and economic history, contributors test the concept of ‘New Zealand’s Empire’, taking new directions in both historiographical and empirical research.

British settlement in the dominions between the wars

Professor Drummond's two pioneering studies, British Economic Policy and the Empire 1919-1939, 1972, and Imperial Economic Policy 1917-1939, 1974, helped to revive interest in Empire migration and other aspects of inter-war imperial economic history. This book concentrates upon the attempts to promote state-assisted migration in the post-First World War period particularly associated with the Empire Settlement Act of 1922. It examines the background to these new emigration experiments, the development of plans for both individual and family migration, as well as the specific schemes for the settlement of ex-servicemen and of women. Varying degrees of encouragement, acquiescence and resistance with which they were received in the dominions, are discussed. After the First World War there was a striking reorientation of state policy on emigration from the United Kingdom. A state-assisted emigration scheme for ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen, operating from 1919 to 1922, was followed by an Empire Settlement Act, passed in 1922. This made significant British state funding available for assisted emigration and overseas land settlement in British Empire countries. Foremost amongst the achievements of the high-minded imperial projects was the free-passage scheme for ex-servicemen and women which operated between 1919 and 1922 under the auspices of the Oversea Settlement Committee. Cheap passages were considered as one of the prime factors in stimulating the flow of migration, particularly in the case of single women. The research represented here makes a significant contribution to the social histories of these states as well as of the United Kingdom.

History and memory within the pied-noir and harki communities, 1962–2012

French rule in Algeria ended in 1962 following almost eight years of intensely violent conflict, producing one of the largest migratory waves of the post-1945 era. Almost a million French settlers - pieds-noirs - and tens of thousands of harkis - native auxiliaries who had fought with the French army - felt compelled to leave their homeland and cross the Mediterranean to France. Tracing the history of these two communities, From Empire to Exile explores the legacies of the Algerian War of Independence in France. It uses the long-standing grassroots collective mobilisation and memory activism undertaken by both groups to challenge the idea that this was a ‘forgotten’ war that only returned to public attention in the 1990s. Revealing the rich and dynamic interactions produced as pieds-noirs, harkis and other groups engaged with each other and with state-sanctioned narratives, this study demonstrates the fundamental ways in which postcolonial minorities have shaped the landscapes of French politics, society and culture since 1962. It also helps place the current ‘memory wars’ deemed to be sweeping France in their wider historical context, proving that the current competition for control over the representation of the past in the public sphere is not a recent development, but the culmination of long-running processes. By reconceptualising the ways in which the Algerian War has been debated, evaluated and commemorated in the five decades since it ended, this book makes an original contribution to important discussions surrounding the contentious issues of memory, migration and empire in contemporary France.

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Vision, visibility and power in colonial India

Beyond its simple valorisation as a symbol of knowledge and progress in post-Enlightenment narratives, light was central to the visual politics and imaginative geographies of empire. Empires of Light describes how imperial designations of ‘cities of light’ and ‘hearts of darkness’ were consonant with the dynamic material culture of light in the nineteenth-century industrialisation of light (in homes, streets, theatres, etc.) and its instrumentalisation through industries of representation. Empires of Light studies the material effects of light as power through the drama of imperial vision and its engagement with colonial India. It evaluates responses by the celebrated Indian painter Ravi Varma (1848–1906) to claim the centrality of light in imperial technologies of vision, not merely as an ideological effect but as a material presence that produces spaces and inscribes bodies.

Cultures of display and the British empire

Britain's overseas empire had a profound impact on people in the United Kingdom, their domestic spaces and rituals, and their perceptions of, and attitudes towards, the wider world. This book considers how a whole range of cultural products - from paintings to architecture - were used to record, celebrate and question the development of the British Empire. The churches and missionary societies were important in transmitting visual propaganda for their work, through their magazines, through lectures and magic lantern slides, through exhibitions and publications such as postcards. The book offers an overview of the main context in which four continents iconography was deployed after 1800: the country houses of the British elite. Publication, and subsequent distribution and consumption, offered a forum for exploration endeavours to enter public consciousness. James Cook's expeditions were particularly important in bringing exploration to a wider public audience, and the published accounts derived from them offer strong evidence of the interest in exploration at all levels of society. The exhibition of empire, typically associated with ambition, pride and expertise, also included an unruly genre: the satirical peace print. The French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars resulted in the eclipse of the French, Spanish and Holy Roman Empires, and Britain's emergence as a 'global, naval, commercial, and imperial superpower'. Numerous scholars in recent years have noted the centrality of the Indian exhibits in the Crystal Palace and emphasised the exhibition's role in promoting commodities from Britain's colonies.