The Weight of the Past in Franco-British Relations

Elizabeth Thompson’s painting “The 28th Regiment at Quatre Bras” depicts the North Gloucestershire Regiment battling French cavalry two days before the 1815 Battle of Waterloo. Rendered in 1875 it captures the power of Waterloo in British political and historical imagination.

How does one measure the influence that history has on contemporary affairs and issues? Is it possible to fashion some kind of litmus test, through which we can assess the impact that perceptions of the past have had on the conceptualisation of national and transnational policies? It is questions like these that the AHRC research project ‘The Weight of the Past in Franco-British Relations’ will explore over the next three years. Led by Professor Peter Jackson (University of Glasgow) alongside co-investigators Dr Rachel Utley (University of Leeds) and Dr Rogelia Pastor-Castro (Strathclyde University) and post-doctoral research assistant Dr Rachel Chin (University of Glasgow), this project will assess the role that representations of the past have played in Franco-British relations since 1815. More specifically, it will seek to understand how history, or at least subjective constructions of history, has shaped policy debates in general and prospects for Franco-British co-operation in particular. Continue reading “The Weight of the Past in Franco-British Relations”

Call For Papers: Embassies in Crisis

Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 12.21.01BIHG logoEmbassies in Crisis

British Academy, 9 June 2016

Call for Papers

This one-day conference will combine academic papers with a seminar session at which serving and former Embassy staff will be invited to present their testimonies and perspectives. The intention is to present a summary of the conference findings to the FCO to help inform future thinking in this area. The event will be held at the British Academy, 9 June 2016.

Embassies have long been integral to international diplomacy, their staff instrumental to inter-governmental dialogue, strategic partnerships, trading relationships and cultural exchange. But Embassies are also discrete political spaces. Notionally sovereign territory ‘immune’ from local jurisdiction, in moments of crisis Embassies have often been targets of protest and sites of confrontation. Embassies in Crisis will revisit flashpoints in the lives of Embassies overseas. Approaching Embassies as distinct communities with their own micro-histories, this conference seeks to explore each of these aspects in the lives of Embassies and the people who run them. Papers are welcomed that discuss instances of international confrontation or mass demonstration, past and present, that placed particular Embassies in the global spotlight. Continue reading “Call For Papers: Embassies in Crisis”