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Week 14

Race, Empire, and Nation in Post-War Britain: i) Rivers and Blood

I. Why did Enoch Powell make his ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech of 1968?
II. What were the main rhetorical devices and arguments in Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech 20 April 1968?
III. What was the response to this speech and what does this tell us?
IV. What was longer-term the significance of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech of 1968?

• In preparation for this seminar you should read a copy of Powell’s speech and bring an annotated copy to the seminar. You should also research the background and response to the speech.
• In developing your understanding of the broader context, you can also start reading on the subsequent topic: Towards a Multi-Cultural Britain
• On Enoch Powell and Powellism: Patrick Cosgrave, The Lives of Enoch Powell (1989); Douglas Schoen, Enoch Powell and the Powellites (1977); S. Heffer biography.
• On the background and consequences of the Powell speech (also relevant for the seminar in Week 15): Bill Schwarz, White Man’s World (2011).