Imperial History and Documentary Culture at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

David Thackeray, Angela Banks, Kelly Cave, Jessica Deters, Caroline Menu, Daniel Scherer, Xiaohan Wang, and Henrik Zimmermann
International Summer School 2014, University of Exeter

Cross-Posted from the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum

bill douglas 1In July 2014 the University of Exeter ran its second annual summer school connected to Imperial and Global History: Britain and the making of the modern world with students from Canada, China, India, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the USA. In this blog post students reflect on their experience working with Dr. David Thackeray from the History Department to explore archives connected to imperial history and documentary culture from the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum at the University of Exeter. The museum is home to one of the largest collections of material on the moving image in Britain, with a collection of over 75,000 items. The class was split into three groups and given a variety of film and visual culture sources to explore, then asked to record their reactions to those they found of most interest. Continue reading “Imperial History and Documentary Culture at the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum”

Colonial Counterinsurgency in Comparative Perspective, Sept. 18-19

Gareth Curless and Martin Thomas
Centre for War, State, and Society, University of Exeter

Palestine police poster (1)Online registration is now open for a two-day conference, ‘Colonial Counterinsurgency in Comparative Perspective’, to be held on 18 and 19 September 2014, the University of Exeter.

The recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have prompted renewed interest in Britain’s colonial experience of rebellion and state breakdown, while current French interventions in Mali and the Central African Republic have stirred controversy over French military actions in former colonial dependencies, promoting accusations of ‘imperialist humanitarianism’. Yet, in spite of increasing interest in the history of counterinsurgency and empire, we lack comparative studies of colonial responses to armed insurrection, civil disorder, anti-colonial paramilitaries and other irregular forces. The aim of the conference is to address this imbalance by drawing on examples from the British, Dutch, French, and Portuguese empires, as well as case studies from China and Southern Africa. Continue reading “Colonial Counterinsurgency in Comparative Perspective, Sept. 18-19”

Revisiting Bretton Woods and the Origins of the IMF: Guardian Book Review by @RichardToye

Screenshot 2014-08-03 07.41.20

Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

You can read this book review article in its entirety at The GuardianRichard Toye is the author of The Roar of the Lion: The Untold Story of Churchill’s World War II Speeches. To order The Summit for £20 with free UK p&p call Guardian book service on 0330 333 6846 or go to

During the second world war, the British and Americans led a bold effort to create a new international economic architecture, in the hope of ensuring future stability and peace. That they pulled it off, more or less successfully, was not so much a miracle as the product of a specific set of propitious historical circumstances. But they didn’t achieve it by being nice to each other. During the planning phase, that led to the crucial Bretton Woods conference of 1944, John Maynard Keynes, Britain’s key negotiator, contemptuously threw some draft minutes prepared by the Americans to the floor, declaring them “intolerable”. Harry Dexter White, Keynes’s opposite number, shot back: “We will try to produce something which Your Highness can understand.”

Such anecdotes help turn Ed Conway’s account of potentially dry events into highly readable history. Continue reading “Revisiting Bretton Woods and the Origins of the IMF: Guardian Book Review by @RichardToye”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History


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

From Glasgow’s role in the slave trade to ending the US embargo against Cuba, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”