New Books on Black British History

Ryan Hanley
University of Exeter

October marks Black History Month in the UK, providing the perfect excuse to delve into some of the best new history writing in this dynamic and rapidly-expanding field. Since my first monograph, Beyond Slavery and Abolition: Black British Writing, c.1770-1830 (Cambridge University Press, 2018), was published last October, the field of black British history seems to have been completely transformed. The past twelve months have seen several (I counted six) new permanent academic posts in the UK and a new MA programme, all dedicated more or less specifically to black British history. And January 2020 sees the launch of a new seminar series in London supported by the Institute for Historical Research, showcasing some of the best new work in the field from within and beyond the university – hope to see some of you there!

Some of this will have to do with the publication in October 2018 of the Royal Historical Society’s Race, Ethnicity and Equality Report, which highlighted the chronic underrepresentation and overwork of ‘Black and Minority Ethnic’ academic staff in British history departments. But the sudden heightened visibility of black British history in UK academia is not purely down to newfound resolutions to build stronger, better history departments, nor solely to the ongoing work to ‘decolonise’ history curricula, though both are important factors. The simple fact is that we have had an incredible year of high-quality scholarly research publications, accounting for some of the most innovative, dynamic, and vital work on British history as a whole.

Don’t call it a ‘turn’ – but there is more and more great work out there that, taken together, is changing the way we think about Britain’s past and its relationship to global and imperial history. Some of you, especially if you don’t work on topics obviously related to black British history, might be curious about how this impacts on your research interests. So, to celebrate and spread the word about this new wave of black British history scholarship, here are my top picks from the past twelve months. Continue reading “New Books on Black British History”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Yasuke, the first foreign-born samurai, as depicted in a Japanese children’s book by Kurusu Yoshio.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From the lost chapter of the world’s first novel to the lost world of Ottoman cosmopolitanism, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Historicizing ‘America First’ and US Isolationism

Christopher McKnight Nichols
Oregon State University

Isolationism is much in the news in recent days. President Trump’s acquiescence to Turkish demands regarding a modern buffer area, including a new offensive, followed rapidly by an announcement that all, or nearly all, US troops will be withdrawn from Syria has drawn sharp rebukes, including from prominent Republican members of Congress. Disastrous consequences for Kurdish people, and former US allies, on the ground in Syria has added fuel to this fire. Most notably Senator Lindsey Graham suggested that Trump “must” rethink the US position, and argued that isolationism has not “worked” in particular historical moments, such as before the Second World War. Others have responded that these latest policy changes do not, in fact, amount to isolationist or even retrenchment politics, given the scale and scope of US military commitments worldwide. While yet others have cited history, noting, sadly, that major powers have a tendency to sell out allies when it is convenient or the going gets tough, which itself does not necessarily amount to any particular type of strategy or policy position.

Continue reading “Historicizing ‘America First’ and US Isolationism”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

The Lenin Museum, fd. in 1987. YURI LITVINENKO

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From an intimate view of the British Empire to when the Nazis were welcome in the Canary Islands, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Call for Book Reviewers – Rethinking History

William Gallois
University of Exeter

Rethinking History is seeking to attract new book reviewers and would welcome suggestions of works to review from PhD candidates and early career researchers working in global and colonial history. We also have a specific need to find reviewers for the following recently-published works: Continue reading “Call for Book Reviewers – Rethinking History”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

security guard posted during a Sept. 20 trip organized by the Saudi government to an Aramco oil-processing facility, which had been damaged nearly a week earlier in a drone and missile attack. (Amr Nabil/AP)

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From refuting the idea that precolonial Africa lacked written traditions to how war forced the United States to rethink the politics of oil, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Autumn Term @ExeterCIGH seminar schedule

The Autumn Term is now upon us, and so please find the Centre for Imperial and Global History seminar schedule below for your calendars.

Please direct any inquiries about attending to the seminar convenor, Dr Lyubi Spaskovska.

Continue reading “Autumn Term @ExeterCIGH seminar schedule”