Scholarly Networks in the British Empire: 5-6 July 2010
University of Northampton
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Networks in the British Empire
Transnational & Imperial
connections after 1850
Wadham College, Oxford
5 – 6 July, 2010
CALL FOR PAPERS
In recent years historians of various persuasions have taken
a renewed interest in questions of empire. Despite differences in
focus and approach, they have been particularly concerned with the material, human and discursive connections that they have seen as straddling global and imperial geographies and as helping to produce identities and power structures both within Britain and outside it.
Scholars have increasingly thought about human and material networks as
sites for investigation. However, despite a large body of material concerned
with science and empire, and significant research addressing universities in
national and European contexts, very little has been written by imperial
historians about universities and academics. Neither, despite a shift since the 1960s to consideration of the social and cultural history of education, have educational historians considered the imperial dimensions of British academia. This is especially surprising given that the world of academia serves as a particularly interesting site for the exploration of networks.
This workshop will provide a forum to consider the relationships
that existed between scholars and universities located in different parts of
Britain and the Empire in the years after 1850. By examining the historical
lineages of these networks, it seeks a critical understanding of the processes
that helped to shape the topographies of today's entangled scholarly community.
Papers from a variety of disciplinary and geographic perspectives addressing the following themes are sought:
– What was the impact of formal and informal networks on the foundation and development of universities in Britain and the Empire?
Disciplines – What role did imperial and international connections play in shaping the emergence and development of disciplinary communities, their nature and operation?
Scholars – What importance did scholarly networks hold for individual scholars: who were they and how was their scholarship, their careers and their self conception influenced and affected by their participation in scholarly networks?
Nations – To what extent did scholarly networks help construct national communities and identities?
Presenters might pay close attention to what constituted a
scholarly network. Did it consist of formal or informal connections? How was it created and how did it change over time? Who did it include and exclude? To which regions and individuals did it extend? What were its effects and consequences on individual scholars and their scholarship? Did it involve academic interchange and mobility? They might also consider the extent to which scholarly connections within the British Empire did or did not also extend to Europe, the United States and the wider world, as well as the relationship between such networks and various kinds of nationalism and imperialism. In particular workshop participants are reminded that it is the university that is the site of investigation – an institution that in this period dramatically expanded its remit creating new
forms of access, developed a new relationship with the state, and played an
increasing and important role in the shaping of the professions, the
codification of knowledge, and in the moulding of culture and character.
Proposals for papers of 20 minutes addressing these and other questions can be submitted to Tamson Pietsch (email@example.com)
before 31 December 2009. They should include a title, a 200-300
word abstract, a short CV and should indicate which of the four themes will be examined.
It is hoped a publication in the form of an edited collection will result from this workshop.
Pietsch (New College, Oxford)
Janet Wilson (University of
College, Oxford, United Kingdom
of proposals for papers: 31 December,
1 February 2010 (discount); 1 May 2010 (final)