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Imperialism

IMPERIALISM, EMPIRE AND GENOCIDE

Please attend this excellent event and spread the word!

Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London

Workshop Series: ‘Imperialism, Empire and Genocide’ 14th March 2pm-4pm

Venue: Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London

The British Empire seems to be making a come back. Historians, politicians and journalists now speak about the positive aspects of colonialism and empire. During a state visit to East Africa in 2005 the then Chancellor Gordon Brown, commented that Britain must stop apologising for its colonial past and, instead, celebrate its achievements. He said, ‘I’ve talked to many people on my visit to Africa and the days of Britain having to apologise for its colonial history are over. We should celebrate much of our past rather than apologise for it.’ Some scholarly work has followed the fashion suggesting that empire is more necessary in the 21st century than ever before. The new approach to the British Empire insists that we must undertake a balance view of the positive contributions made to instilling democratic values, development and political institutions. 

This series of workshops will take a different approach. Speakers will shed light, empirically and conceptually, on the tortured relationship between empire and modernity, colonialism and progress, disclosing the story and contemporary legacy of colonial genocide, imperial conquest and environmental destruction.

Speakers: Professor John Newsinger, Richard Gott and Dr Tom Lawson.

Professor John Newsinger (Professor of Modern History at Bath Spa University), Author of The Blood Never Dried: A People’s History of the British Empire, Orwell’s Politics, United Irishman, Rebel City, Dangerous Men: The SAS and Popular Culture, British Counterinsurgency (new edition 2012). John Newsinger will examine histories of the British Empire, the uses to which they have been put and the crimes they neglect and leave out.

Richard Gott (former Latin America correspondent and features editor for The Guardian, currently an honorary research fellow at the Institute for the Study of the Americas, University of London). Author of Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Revolution (2005),Cuba: A New History (2004). Richard Gott will be talking about his most recent book, to be published in the autumn, entitled “Britain’s Empire: Resistance, Repression and Revolt”. The book is conceived as a revisionist history of Empire, written from the perspective of the subject peoples.

Dr Tom Lawson (Reader in History, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Winchester). Author of The Church of England and the Holocaust: Christianity, Memory and Nazism (2006) and Debates on the Holocaust (2010). Tom Lawson will be talking about his latest research into the colonisation of Tasmania where the British government is often portrayed as the benign protector of the Aborigines, unable to curb the destructive urges of the settler population. However Tom will argue this paper argues that what amounted to a genocidal policy was both formally approved in Downing Street, and emerged from an imperial culture that began at home.

This is a free event, however, to confirm attendance please email Ms Olga Jimenez, Events Manager
olga.jimenez@sas.ac.uk

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