AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Exeter and BT Archives
Beaming the British empire: the Imperial Wireless Chain, circa 1900-1940
About the award
Applications are invited for an AHRC-funded Collaborative Doctoral Award with the University of Exeter and BT Archives to research and study the origins, development and impact of the Imperial Wireless Chain, the global network of shortwave radio stations that reputedly played a critical role in British colonial integrity from the 1920s to the 1940s.
This project focuses on one of the most extraordinary milestones in the history of global telecommunications and represents an exciting opportunity for students with backgrounds in the history of science, technology, and modern British and imperial history. First conceived by Guglielmo Marconi in 1906 to use long-wave transmitters, the Imperial Wireless Chain (IWC) was postponed following a political scandal and the outbreak of the First World War. In the early 1920s, and at some financial risk, the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company developed its innovative ‘beam’ short-wave system and this was eventually adopted by the British government for the IWC. The first pair of ‘beam’ stations opened in Britain and Canada in 1927 and within a few years similar stations followed in Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa and South America. It soon became one of the most widely used forms of long distance communication in the British empire and posed such a threat to the ageing submarine cable business that had constituted the ‘nervous system’ of the British empire that the British government was eventually forced to amalgamate the newer and older forms of telegraphy into one of the largest telecommunication firms of the 1930s: Cable and Wireless. Despite its importance, the history of the Imperial Wireless Chain has not been the subjects of systematic scholarly study.
Professor Thompson’s research interests focus on the relationship between British, imperial and global histories and the effects of empire on British private and public life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
We were delighted to welcome Imagining Markets network participants to Exeter for our first event last week. This is the first of a series of three academic workshops, with subsequent events to be held in London and Cambridge over the next year, exploring various facets of Britain’s economic culture and its relationship with key markets.
Paul Young opened proceedings with a paper exploring how the growth of the refrigerated meat and beef stock industries led to new understandings of the South American environment in Victorian literature such as the eco-romance The Purple Land and in advertising, where the Uruguay-based Leibig’s company had to compete with the imperial populism of Bovril.
Alan Booth introduced a new project exploring the development of the Rowntree business lectures, which emerged after World War I in a context of growing global economic competition to British business, and interest in new American methods of industrial psychology and management consultancy. Continue reading “Imagining Markets workshop Report, Exeter, April 2015”→
The South, West & Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (SWW DTP) is a collaboration of eight leading research universities and partners representing the arts, heritage, media and government sectors, working together to develop a new generation of arts and humanities researchers.
We are offering up to 52 fully-funded PhD studentships for entry in September 2015.
The SWW DTP is designed to lead a new generation of researchers into productive careers whether in academia or professional practice. We provide bespoke support and training tailored to your project and your career aspirations, enriched by the world-class expertise and state-of-the-art resources offered through the partnership. DTP students have unrivalled access to prestige organisations such as BBC Drama (Cardiff), BBC Factual (Bristol), English Heritage, the National Library of Wales, the National Trust and the Welsh National Opera, among others. Our students benefit from the Professional Arts and Humanities Researcher skills training programme, developing essential research and transferable skills linked to academic progression, personal and professional development. Continue reading “Up to 52 fully-funded PhD Studentships in the Arts and Humanities Available for Sept. 2015”→
The London exhibit on law and the British Empire, spearheaded by the Centre’s own Dr. Nandini Chatterjee, has had more than 25,000 visitors so far, and is open to the public until September 26th.
[…] The exhibition – A Court at the Crossroads of Empire: Stories from the JCPC – opened for a two-month run at the beginning of August 2014. Curated by a team of academics related to the “Subjects of Law” network, led by Charlotte, Nandini, and Dr Stacey Hynd (also from the University of Exeter), it traced the JCPC’s evolution from its foundation in 1833 to the emergence of the Commonwealth in the 1950s, largely through the stories of individuals whose cases often had a direct impact on commerce and legal practice, as well as the appellant’s own future – for better or, as it occasionally turned out, worse. Continue reading “At the ‘Crossroads of Empire’”→
James Mark History Department, University of Exeter
The University of Exeter, in collaboration with the Universities of Oxford, Columbia, Leipzig and Belgrade, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and University College London, has recently been awarded a major Arts and Humanities Research Council Grant (2014-18) to address the relationship between what were once called the ‘Second World’ (from the Soviet Union to the GDR) and the ‘Third World’ (from Latin America to Africa to Asia).
In the post-war period, as both decolonization and new forms of globalisation accelerated, new linkages opened up, and existing ties were remade, between these ‘worlds’. Contacts multiplied through, for instance, the development of political bonds; economic development and aid; health and cultural and academic projects; as well as military interventions.
The History Department at the University of Exeter has recently received funding from the AHRC to support an international research network: ‘Imagining Markets: Conceptions of Empire/Commonwealth, Europe and China in Britain’s economic future since the 1870s’. The network led by David Thackeray, Richard Toye and Andrew Thompson aims to provide a bridge between historical and contemporary ways of thinking about Britain’s future global economic orientation, bringing together scholars working in the fields of Imperial, European and Asian studies, and scholars from cultural studies and economic studies, which have become increasingly separated branches of enquiry calling for reintegration.