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The book shows how people have come to approach the writing of imperial histories in the early twenty-first century. It explores the social and political contexts that informed the genesis and development of the Studies in Imperialism series, and the conceptual links it has sought to forge between empire and metropolitan culture. The book provides an insightful account of John MacKenzie's 'Orientalism': the problems of 'power' and 'agency'. The 'MacKenziean moment' needs to be read historically, as a product of the 'delayed arrival of decolonising sensibilities', where contemporary popular phenomena and new types of scholarship integrated Britain and its empire. Sexuality made early appearances in the Series through the publication of 'Empire and Sexuality'. MacKenzie's 'Empire of Nature', 'Imperialism and the Natural World', and 'Museums and Empire' convey the impact of his scholarship in the themes of exploration, environment and empire. The historical geographies of British colonialism have enjoyed a prominent place in the Series, and the book explores the ways in which different 'spatial imaginations' have been made possible. Discussions on colonial policing during the depression years, and on immigrant welfare during and after decolonisation, take their cue from MacKenzie's European Empires and the People. The later nineteenth century witnessed the interaction of many diasporas, which in turn produced new modes of communication. By dealing with the idea of the 'Third British Empire' and the role of the Indian press during and after the British Raj, the book repositions British imperial histories within a broader set of global transformations.

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Placing the Irish and Scots in Colonial Australia

This book takes two of the most influential minority groups of white settlers in the British Empire—the Irish and the Scots—and explores how they imagined themselves within the landscapes of its farthest reaches, the Australian colonies of Victoria and New South Wales. Using letters and diaries as well as records of collective activities such as committee meetings, parades and dinners, it examines how the Irish and Scots built new identities as settlers in the unknown spaces of Empire. Utilizing critical geographical theories of ‘place’ as the site of memory and agency, the book considers how Irish and Scots settlers grounded their sense of belonging in the imagined landscapes of south-east Australia. Emphasizing the complexity of colonial identity formation and the ways in which this was spatially constructed, it challenges conventional understandings of the Irish and Scottish presence in Australia. The opening chapters locate the book's themes and perspectives within a survey of the existing historical and geographical literature on empire and diaspora. These pay particular attention to the ‘new’ imperial history and to alternative transnational and ‘located’ understandings of diasporic consciousness. Subsequent chapters work within these frames and examine the constructions of place evinced by Irish and Scottish emigrants during the outward voyage and subsequent processes of pastoral and urban settlement, and in religious observance.

The manipulation of British Public Opinion, 1880–1960

Imperial history and the imperial idea have been examined almost entirely in a centrifugal manner, as the radiation of influences from Britain into its wider hinterland. This book explores the manifestations of the imperial idea, from the trappings of royalty through writers like G. A. Henty to the humble cigarette card. It uses popular imperialism as a focus for the examination of the theatre, the cinema, education, juvenile literature, imperial exhibitions, youth movements, and a variety of imperial propaganda bodies between the mid-nineteenth and mid-twentieth centuries. The most aggressive and innovative advertisers of the day were companies dependent on the imperial economic nexus, in tea, chocolate, soaps and oils, tobacco, meat extracts, shipping, and later rubber. Middle and upper-class attachment to the music hall developed out of its success among the working class. Radio conveyed a sense of the unity of Empire, at least in the public mind, such as the Edwardian imperial societies had found unattainable. After the Second World War the British Broadcasting Corporation (B.B.C.) continued to present a vision of a beneficent and regenerative Empire. The great exhibitions which from the 1880s came to be dominated by the imperial theme offer the most striking examples of both conscious and unconscious approaches to imperial propaganda. By the 1880s the new morality had come to be wedded to the late nineteenth-century world view and was suffused with the patriotic, racial, and militarist elements which together made up the new popular imperialism.

A metabiography of a Victorian icon

Dr. David Livingstone, the Victorian ‘missionary-explorer’, has attracted more written commentary than nearly any other heroic figure of the nineteenth century. In the years following his death, he rapidly became the subject of a major biographical tradition and indeed he continues to sustain an academic trade as well. Yet, out of the extensive discourse that has installed itself around him, no single unified image of Livingstone emerges. Rather, he has been represented in diverse ways and put to work in a variety of socio-political contexts. This book interrogates the heterogeneous nature of Livingstone’s legacy and explores the plurality of identities that he has posthumously acquired. Investigating Livingstone’s own self-staging, his Victorian commemoration, his imperialist and Scottish reputations, and his afterlife in postcolonial fiction and drama, it offers the first full exploration of his many incarnations over a lengthy chronological period. In approaching Livingstone’s ‘lives’ this book adopts a metabiographical methodology, namely, a biography of biographies. This framework, which weds the insights of reception theory and postmodern historical enquiry, does not aim to uncover the true nature of the subject but is rather concerned with the malleability and ideological embeddedness of biographical representation. Instead of staking yet another claim to Livingstone’s ‘real’ identity, in the manner of his many biographers, this study in metabiography reveals the political motivations of his many recreations and focuses on what he has been made to mean.

Mobility was central to imperialism, from the human movements entailed in exploration, travel, and migration, to the information, communications and commodity flows vital to trade, science, governance and military power. While historians have written on exploration, commerce, imperial transport and communications networks, and the movements of slaves, soldiers, and scientists, few have reflected upon the social, cultural, economic and political significance of mobile practices, subjects, and infrastructures that underpin imperial networks, or examined the qualities of movement valued by imperial powers and agents at different times. This collection explores the intersection of debates on imperial relations, colonialism and empire with emerging work on mobility. In doing this, it traces how the movements of people, representations, and commodities helped to constitute empires.

The collection examines things that moved across the British Empire, including, objects and ideas, as well as the efforts made to prevent and govern these movements. It also considers the systems, networks and infrastructures that enabled imperial mobilities to happen, and things that went wrong. The collection ranges from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century, a period that witnessed the eclipse of the ‘first’ British Empire in North America and the Caribbean, and the expansion of an imperial presence in Asia and Africa, and ends with the empire at its greatest extent in the interwar period. Geographically, it encompasses much of the territorial breadth of the British Empire in Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Caribbean. It also ranges off-shore and into the air.

Lindsay J. Proudfoot and Dianne P. Hall

postcolonial scholars since the 1970s to what were once considered to be some of the verities of European imperial history in general: its narratives of modernity and economic expansion; the metropolitan locus of ideas of governance and civil society; and the encounter with indigenous peoples, who were perceived as possessing none of these things. These debates inform our present concern with place

in Imperial spaces
Alan Lester

Introduction 1 In recent decades new geographies of imperial history writing have emerged. The boundaries that used to delimit separate domains of British history, imperial history, area studies and the histories of former colonies have been traversed promiscuously. Accompanying and propelling this reconfiguration of spatial categories has been more explicit attention to the

in Writing imperial histories
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Gender and imperialism: mapping the connections
Clare Midgley

separate origins and differing preoccupations of women’s/gender history and traditional British Imperial History, and then proceeds to discuss the challenges to traditional Imperial History posed by new ‘post-colonial’ histories of imperialism. This section provides a background for the survey which follows of existing scholarship on gender and imperialism, which leads in turn to an outline of the

in Gender and imperialism
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Concepts and practices in twentieth-century colonialism

The book investigates the concepts and related practices of development in British, French and Portuguese colonial Africa during the last decades of colonial rule. During this period, development became the central concept underpinning the relationship between metropolitan Europe and colonial Africa. Combining historiographical accounts with analyses from other academic perspectives, the book investigates a range of contexts, from agriculture to mass media. With its focus on the conceptual side of development and its broad geographical scope, the book offers new and uncommon perspectives. An extensive introduction contextualizes the individual chapters and makes the book an up-to-date point of entry into the subject of (colonial) development, not only for a specialist readership, but also for students of history, development and post-colonial studies. Written by scholars from Africa, Europe and North America, the book is a uniquely international dialogue on this vital chapter of twentieth-century transnational history and on a central concept of the contemporary world.

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Jason Peacey

Historians who have reflected on the historiography relating to the British empire have often noted that this particular sub-discipline is not just prone to ‘heart-searching’, but is also ‘quarrelsome’, and it is common to find references to the tendency to engage in ‘posturing’ and ‘ill-tempered disputes’. In commenting on what he tellingly described as the ‘imperial history wars’, Dane Kennedy referred to the risk that some strands within the profession might adopt a ‘smugly self-righteous attitude’. 1 It is certainly true that imperial history has witnessed

in Making the British empire, 1660–1800