Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

SitPO – The Empire Strikes Back: Telling Different Stories about Britain’s Past – Charlotte Lydia Riley

September 6 @ 7:30 pm - 10:30 pm

£3

Charlotte Lydia RileyThe British Empire was the largest empire in modern history. At its height, it covered a quarter of the world’s surface and encompassed a fifth of the world’s population. For centuries, Britannia ruled the waves; from Ireland to India, from Ghana to Guiana, the union flag flew high over British territory.

Britain tells this story as a story of triumphs: a small island coming proudly to dominate the world, with the empire cast both as a sign of military might and as a humanitarian mission, bringing peace and civilisation to the wider world. But the reality was very different; the British empire was built on violence and exploitation, the populations under British rule rejected and resisted imperialism, and the British at home had a very ambivalent relationship to ‘their’ empire. This talk will look at some of the key myths of empire, and will explore why the British still have such a complicated understanding of their imperial past, and how the popular memory of empire still influences culture, politics and society today.

Charlotte Lydia Riley is a lecturer in twentieth century British history at the University of Southampton. She writes about the British empire and decolonization, aid and humanitarianism, and the Labour Party; her book explores all of these things to examine the connections between empire and the British metropole in the late twentieth century. She lives in east London and spends a lot of time on trains.

Venue

St Aldate’s Tavern
Oxford, OX1 1BU United Kingdom + Google Map

Organiser

Heather Stevens
Website:
http://oxford.skepticsinthepub.org/