Global History and Culture Centre Blog
The Great Exhibition of 1851 and Popular Imperialism
In this blog post, Joshua Grey explores the Great Exhibition of 1851 as a form of popular imperialism, but also as a space of global connection and interaction. Through this case study, there is a consideration of the structuring of interactions between the imperial metropole and periphery. The flows of information, goods and cultural objects can be used for exploring motivations to justify imperialism and imperial expansion.
Why Are We Not Reading More Histories on Italian Imperialism and Museum Collections?
PhD student Fleur Martin discusses the challenges of researching and writing histories of Italian imperialism and museum collections. Through the figure of the Italian imperial explorer Vittorio Bottego (1860–97), Martin explores issues of training, historiography, support, and memory. In doing so, Martin reflects on the meaning of 'decolonisation' in the context of Italian museum collections.
Managers from the British World: A Global Approach to Sheep Farming Industry Labour Disciplines in Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, 1837-1956
From the late nineteenth century onwards, enterprising men from Britain and the British Empire began arriving in Southern Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego, in Argentina and Chile. Part of a wider process of Europeanisation and capitalist colonisation, these men managed an imported activity which deeply transformed this South American borderland region: the sheep farming industry. An important part of this process was the installation of labour regimes, where managers from the British world introduced new practices of disciplining the local workforce. However, as Nicolás Gómez Baeza argues in this blog post, this history of Patagonian local capitalisms was also one of British-global-imperial transfers of diverse capitalist and management knowledge and behaviours.
Cotton, Expertise and the End of Empire in the Aden Protectorate
A cotton growing scheme in the British ruled Aden Protectorate, the Abyan Scheme was built on transfers of knowledge from across Britain’s shrinking empire that were truly global in scope. From the immense cotton fields in Sudan to the agricultural methods taught at the Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture in Trinidad, there was much more to the cotton grown at Abyan than met the eye. Equally, the Abyan Scheme was also not immune to the existential threat of Arab nationalism in the 1950s, as its cotton crops soon became embroiled in Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser’s criticisms of British imperialism. As William Harrop argues in this blog post, Abyan stands as an important case study of how global ideas of development, expertise and anti-colonialism interacted and became reshaped on a local scale.
The International Far-Right and White Supremacy in UDI-era Zimbabwe, 1965-1979
Until 1979, Britain contended with an avowedly segregationist element in its population, with complex but significant legacies. Located on the fringes of ‘Greater Britain’ in Southern Africa, 250,000 ‘Britons’ in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) justified white-minority rule, and rebellion against the Crown, using transatlantic discourses of white nationalism which had a significant impact on discussions regarding race and identity in the British metropole. Through Rhodesia’s experience and the discourses white Rhodesian propagandists produced, we can grasp the manner in which imperial nostalgia was transformed into transnational white nationalism, a discourse that continues to haunt present debates. Unravelling this must be one of the key tasks of global historians today, argues Niels Boender.