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Program in British Studies

[1] Mar 6, 2020

Why Humanities Courses Are in Distress: A Modest Proposal for a Remedy


How can decline in enrollments in the humanities be explained? Nationwide in recent years estimates of the drop in liberal arts majors range from one-fourth to one-third of those in English, history, government, philosophy and other traditional subjects. English departments have been hit especially hard. One study found that faculty members seem to be in denial about the general decline. How in a practical way might interest in humanities majors be revived? One university has tried a blend, for example, of computer science and philosophy. At UT the Plan II program offers such courses as ‘Water and Society’, and ‘Law and Ethics’. Here is a hint about English majors: it has to do with Shakespeare. Paula Marantz Cohen is Distinguished Professor of English and Dean of the Honors College at Drexel University. She is the author of five nonfiction books and five best-selling novels. She writes frequently for the Times Literary Supplement, The Yale Review, The American Scholar, and The Wall Street Journal. She is a co-editor of the Journal of Modern Literature and the host of the nationally distributed TV show, The Drexel InterView (retitled for next season The Civil Discourse).

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[2] Feb 28, 2020

Why Did Elizabethans and Jacobeans Read Shakespeare’s Plays?


Before the publication of Shakespeare’s First Folio in 1623 and the efforts of subsequent editors and critics, England’s printed playbooks were considered “riff raff,” connected more with the world of London’s popular theaters than with what we might think of as “capital-L” Literature. Or so we have been told. This lecture will offer the beginnings of a new narrative that places quartos at the center rather than on the periphery of literary culture in Elizabethan and Jacobean England. Aaron T. Pratt is the Carl and Lily Pforzheimer Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center. With a Ph.D. in English from Yale University, he is a specialist in bibliography, the history of the book, and the literature and culture of early modern England. His academic work has appeared in a number of journals and edited collections, and he is currently working on a book to be titled Quarto Playbooks and the Making of Shakespeare.

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[3] Feb 21, 2020

Imperial Recessional: Sir William Luce and the Creation of the United Arab Emirates

Tancred Bradshaw LONDON

One of the surprises of Britain’s withdrawal from the Middle East was the successful creation of the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Tancred Bradshaw will discuss the critical role played by Sir William Luce, previously Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the Aden Colony, in that transition. Luce was responsible for establishing a viable political structure for the previously semi-independent sheikhdoms of the Gulf. Against the odds, he succeeded in his quest to create the UAE and to establish Bahrain and Qatar as independent states. Tancred Bradshaw received his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies and has since taught at Birkbeck College, the University of London, City University, and Florida State University. His books include King Abdullah I and the Zionist Movement and Glubb Pasha and Britain’s Project in the Middle East, 1920–1945. His talk will draw on his recent book, The End of Empire in the Gulf. He is currently working on a book entitled Britain and Oman: The Illusion of Independence.

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[4] Feb 17, 2020

Philip Goad (Harvard) on British and American architecture

Philip Goad

Philip Goad is the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor of Australian Studies (AY2019-20) at Harvard University and Chair of Architecture and Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor at the University of Melbourne. He was trained as an architect and gained his PhD in architectural history at the University of Melbourne where he has taught since 1992 and was founding Director of the Melbourne School of Design (2007-12). He has been President of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia & New Zealand (SAHANZ), editor of its journal Fabrications, and in 2017, was elected Life Fellow. He has been President of the Australian Institute of Architects (Victorian Chapter) and in 2014, was elected Life Fellow. In 2008, he was made a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities (FAHA). He is co-author of Modernism and Australia: Documents on Art, Design and Architecture, 1917-1967 (Miegunyah Press, 2006) and Modern Times: The Untold Story of Modernism in Australia (Miegunyah Press with Powerhouse Publishing, 2008); co-editor of The Encyclopedia of Australian Architecture (Cambridge University Press, 2012); co-author of An Unfinished Experiment in Living: Australian Houses 1950-65 (UWA Press, 2017); Architecture and the Modern Hospital: Nosokomeion to Hygeia (Routledge, 2019); Bauhaus Diaspora and Beyond: Transforming Education through Art, Design and Architecture (Miegunyah Press and Power Publishing, 2019); and AustraliaModern: Architecture, Landscape and Design (Thames & Hudson, 2019). He was co-curator of Augmented Australia at the Australian Pavilion at the Venice International Architecture Biennale (2014) and Visiting Patrick Geddes Fellow, University of Edinburgh (2016). He is currently researching his next books, one on Australian-US architectural relations, the other on Australian architect and critic Robin Boyd.

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[5] Feb 7, 2020

The London Review of Books

Sam Kinchin-Smith

The London Review of Books was founded in 1979 during a strike at The Times that prevented the publication of the Times Literary Supplement. By the time the dispute at The Times was settled, two issues of the LRB had been published. At the beginning there was only a small circulation. A large proportion of the reviews focused on academic issues. And there was, in the words of its editor, Mary-Kay Wilmers, both “a leftish point of view” and a certain amount of condescension and even mockery directed at it. The LRB’s archive, which has found a home in the Harry Ransom Center, provided the basis for a history of the LRB’s first four decades. Sam Kinchin-Smith is Head of Special Projects at the LRB. He compiled the London Review of Books: An Incomplete History (2019) with the support of an HRC fellowship. He is the author of a monograph on Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes (2018) and the editor of a catalogue of the political artist Kaya Mar’s work, Naked Ambition (2020).

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[6] Jan 31, 2020

How George Washington Defeated the British Empire


If the best measure of a general is the ability to grasp the nature of the war he faces, and then to make adjustments, George Washington was one of the greatest the United States ever had. This is not perceived even today because he had few victories during the entire War for Independence. But it was not a war that would be won by battles. It was a different sort of conflict. Washington came to understand this, and he changed, moving away from the offensive strategy that was natural to him. Washington adjusted, while the British did not. And that made all the difference. Thomas Ricks is the military history columnist for The New York Times Book Review and a visiting fellow in history at Bowdoin College. Before becoming a full-time author, he covered the U.S. military for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal for 25 years, receiving two Pulitzer Prizes as part of reporting teams at those newspapers. He is the author of six books, including Pulitzer finalist Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2003-05. His most recent book was Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom. He is married to Mary Kay Ricks, author of Escape on the Pearl.

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[7] Jan 24, 2020

P. G. Wodehouse and Politics: What Did He Know, and When Did He Know It?

David Leal, Nuffield College, Oxford

P.G. Wodehouse was England’s greatest comic writer. His new memorial at Westminster Abbey celebrates his achievements as “Humorist, Novelist, Playwright, Lyricist.” He continues to be widely read and written about. Wodehouse is best known for creating sunny fictional worlds into which we can escape, yet he found himself embroiled in a dark real-world controversy for making five radio broadcasts from Berlin, at the behest of the Nazi government, in 1941. Friends such as George Orwell commented at the time that he was politically ignorant and unaware of the implications of his actions. Others in Britain called for his execution as a traitor. But what were the facts? Could he be accused of anything more damning than gross naïveté? What did Wodehouse actually know about politics, and what does that knowledge, or lack thereof, mean for his legacy?  David Leal is Professor of Government and an Associate Member of Nuffield College, Oxford. His research interests include Latino politics, religion and politics, and immigration policy as well as Sherlock Holmes and Arthur Conan Doyle. His works include over forty journal articles, including a recent one in the Baker Street Journal. He is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Racial and Ethnic Politics in the United States (in progress) and Migration in an Era of Restriction and Recession (2016). In the Government Department, he teaches a course on British government and politics.

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[8] Nov 22, 2019

Autobiography of Karl Schmitt

Karl Schmitt

Karl Schmitt is Professor Emeritus in the UT Government Department. He taught for three decades, from 1958 to 1988, serving as the department's chairman for five years in the 1970s. He found himself caught up in a bitter dispute about freedom of speech and political ideology in the classroom. He was at the center of a disagreement on the relationship between the dean and the department. His talk will reflect on conflicting views of freedom of speech in the classroom and problems in teaching government courses at UT. His primary focus in teaching and research has been Latin American history and politics, with emphasis on the roles of the Catholic Church and the military establishment in several countries. He received his BA (1947) and MA (1949) from the Catholic University of America and his PhD (1954) from the University of Pennsylvania, all in history. In retirement, Schmitt has followed a regimen of challenging activities, traveled frequently at home and abroad, and constructed genealogy charts of several branches of his family tree. He has concluded his memoirs but keeps a chronology of events in case he decides to resume writing. At age 97, he now travels less frequently, but walks a mile every day.

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[9] Nov 15, 2019

Revisiting Brideshead Revisited

Jeff Manley

Brideshead Revisited is Evelyn Waugh's most popular novel, although opinions vary on whether it is his best. This lecture will discuss the unusual wartime situation in which it was conceived and thematically written. How can it be explained that it was published first in the United States more than half a year before it appeared as a book? How did it happen that it was published in the form of a serial in Town & Country magazine, without Waugh's approval and contrary to his wishes? What of its critical reception? Jeff Manley graduated from Harvard with degrees in History and Literature, Soviet Studies, and Law. He subsequently worked in legal positions in the Federal government, principally at the Civil Aeronautics Board. The remainder of his career was in private practice in Washington, DC. He has been active in literary societies dedicated to the work of Evelyn Waugh and Anthony Powell and has presented papers and published articles for their conferences and journals.

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[10] Nov 8, 2019

Churchill's Most Difficult Decisions

Allen Packwood

Allen Packwood will use his knowledge of the Churchill Papers, held at Churchill College, Cambridge, to analyze the contents of Churchill's despatch boxes. He will go behind the iconic image and the famous oratory to look in detail at Churchill's leadership and shed light on how the Prime Minister conducted wartime operations. One of his first agonizing challenges was how to respond to the collapse of France in May 1940. The Director of the Churchill Archives Centre, Packwood is a Fellow of Churchill College. The center houses the papers of Margaret Thatcher and many other leading British figures as well as those of Winston Churchill. Packwood recently published How Churchill Waged War: The Most Challenging Decisions of the Second World War, an extensive study of Churchill's wartime command. He holds the rank of OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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[11] Nov 5, 2019

‘When I feel very near to God, I always feel such a need to undress’: Religion, Nakedness and the Body Divine

Philippa Levine

Diverse institutions have attempted to order and to organize, to regulate and to banish, to promote and to sell nakedness. Focusing on religion's always ambivalent relationship with the human body, this talk explores a cultural history with surprisingly powerful contemporary resonance. Philippa Levine holds the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas at UT. Her most recent book, part of the Oxford University Press Very Short Introduction series, is on eugenics. The third edition of her The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset will be out in January, and a Japanese translation will follow in the spring.

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[12] Oct 25, 2019

Jane Austen's Lost Books

Janine Barchas

In the nineteenth century, inexpensive editions of Jane Austen's novels were made available to Britain's working classes. They were sold at railway stations, traded for soap wrappers, and awarded as school prizes. At pennies a copy, these reprints were some of the earliest mass-market paperbacks, with Austen's stories squeezed into tight columns on thin, cheap paper. Few of these bargain books survive, yet they made a substantial difference to Austen's early readership. These were the books bought and read by ordinary people. Janine Barchas is the Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor in English Literature at the University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies. She has also written for the Washington Post, New York Times, and Los Angeles Review of Books. In addition to her scholarly publications, she created the digital project What Jane Saw, which reconstructs two popular, commercially successful Georgian art exhibits witnessed by Austen. The Ransom Center is currently selling her new book in conjunction with the 'Austen in Austin' exhibition in the Stories-to-Tell gallery.

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[13] Oct 18, 2019

Facts, Censorship, and Spin: Covering the Pacific War from Australia, 1942

Michael J. Birkner, Gettysburg College

This lecture is about journalists based in Australia practicing their craft in 1942, when the prospect of a Japanese invasion was impending. How did professional standards compare with daily practice? Most information came from official sources, and draft articles had to run the gantlet of military censors. What were the trade-offs for reporters, including self-censorship? How well did the journalists manage to inform their readers back home? Michael J. Birkner is Professor of History at Gettysburg College, where he has taught since 1989. He is the author or editor of fourteen books and many articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century American political history, including three edited volumes on Pennsylvania’s only president, James Buchanan, and three books on Dwight D. Eisenhower. In 2003 and 2006 he served as a member of the history jury for the Pulitzer Prize, chairing the jury in 2006.

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[14] Oct 11, 2019

Political Leadership in Macbeth and Coriolanus

Gwyn Daniel OXFORD

In many of his plays, Shakespeare deals with profound political questions that have continuing relevance for the contemporary world. His tragedies often have a family drama at their heart. They include conflicts between personal and family loyalties, on the one hand, and on the other the demands of realpolitik. In Macbeth and Coriolanus, his themes include the violent seizure of power, dilemmas of political representation, and the perspectives of ordinary citizens on leaders and their personalities. Gwyn Daniel is a family therapist and clinical supervisor in the National Health Service at the Tavistock Clinic, London, and the co-founder of the Oxford Family Institute. She is the co-author of Gender and Family Therapy (1994). Her most recent book is Family Dramas: Intimacy, Power and Systems in Shakespeare’s Tragedies (Routledge, 2018).

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[15] Sep 27, 2019

The Novels of Benjamin Disraeli and Oscar Wilde

Sandra Mayer

Oscar Wilde once described Benjamin Disraeli’s life as ‘the most brilliant of paradoxes’. It served as a model for someone who, as an Irishman and aspiring literary celebrity, shared Disraeli’s outsider status, his Byronic dandyism, his mastery of the quotable epigram, and his quest for fame in the British establishment. This lecture will look at the performances in which Wilde and Disraeli catered to the desires of an increasingly pervasive Victorian celebrity culture. Sandra Mayer is the Hertha Firnberg Research Fellow in English Literature at the University of Vienna and the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at Wolfson College, Oxford. She is the author of Oscar Wilde in Vienna: Pleasing and Teasing the Audience (2018). She is now working on a book that will explore literary celebrity and politics from the nineteenth century to the present.

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[16] Sep 20, 2019

The Cultural Identity of American Libraries

Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa

Since 1981, conservators who work in libraries and archives to preserve cultural records have been educated typically in three-to four-year graduate programs. Before 1981 in the U.S., however, no higher education opportunities existed—neither undergraduate nor graduate—targeted to the field of library and archives conservation. Why was this case? Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa locates the beginnings of the modern field of library and archives conservation during the early Cold War period, positing that its path from apprentice training to the academy was shaped by a maelstrom of forces in the U.S. that counterbalanced a scientific and technological agenda with the construction of the nation’s cultural identity. The seminar discussion will raise issues of the cultural identity of American libraries. Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa is Associate Director for Preservation and Conservation at the Harry Ransom Center. She has been a practitioner and educator in the preservation field for 35 years. In 2016, Ellen was awarded the American Library Association’s Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award for her contributions to the field. She holds the PhD in American studies and an MLIS from UT Austin, and received an Endorsement of Specialization in Administration of Preservation Programs from Columbia University’s School of Library Service. Her book, Mooring a Field: Paul N. Banks and the Education of Library Conservators (The Legacy Press), will be released in late October.

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[17] Sep 13, 2019

Carnival in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night

Wayne A. Rebhorn ENGLISH

Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night has long been associated with the festive aspects of carnival, especially in its rejection of authority and the exploration of gender confusion in its main, romantic plot. But ‘carnival’ as used by Shakespeare also meant a time of grotesque liberation and indulgence. The carnivalesque can be disturbing as well as exhilarating. While rejection of authority finally yields to a return to the norms of ordinary social life, Twelfth Night preserves the disruptiveness of carnival to the very end. Wayne A. Rebhorn holds the Vacek Chair in English. He has given talks at Yale, Princeton, and Chicago, has lectured in France, Italy, and Germany, and has won fellowships from the ACLS and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 1990, his Foxes and Lions: Machiavelli’s Confidence Men won the Marraro Prize of the Modern Language Association. His translation of Boccaccio’s Decameronwon the PEN Center USA’s 2014 Prize for Literary Translation.

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[18] Sep 6, 2019

C. P. Snow and the Two Cultures of Medicine and the Humanities

Stephen Sonnenberg

While a student at Princeton in the late 1950s and early 1960s Stephen Sonnenberg was influenced by the ideas of the literary critic and poet R. P. Blackmur, and read C. P. Snow's The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution (1959). He will explain Snow's influence on his thinking throughout his life, as reflected in his memoir now in its third draft, which looks closely at doctor-patient exchanges. A physician and humanities scholar, Sonnenberg will further discuss how his thinking on health care has evolved and how he structures his conversation with patients. The lecture will include an explanation of how medical psychoanalysts traditionally made clinical decisions. Stephen Sonnenberg, M.D., was educated at Princeton University and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, where he earned his medical degree in 1965. He is now Professor of Psychiatry, Population Health, and Medical Education at the Dell Medical School, as well as Professor of Instruction at the Steve Hicks School of Social Work and a Fellow of the Trice Professorship in the Plan II Honors Program. Like C. P. Snow, he tries to bridge the two cultures of science and the humanities.

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[19] Aug 30, 2019

Walter Scott, the Stuarts, and Stewardship

Sam Baker

Often described as the inventor of the historical novel, the Scottish author Walter Scott (1771-1832) was also a poet, lawyer, pioneering editor, and popular historian. This talk will explore the theme of stewardship in Scott's fiction—with particular reference to his best remembered work, Ivanhoe, and one of his least remembered, The Fair Maid of Perth—and will connect that theme with the historiography of feudalism that Scott discovered in the writings of early modern antiquaries. Scott turns out to have been fascinated by the idea that aristocrats abandon at their peril their responsibilities as stewards for the people. What if the ultimate story of failed stewardship told by Scott is the story of a storied royal dynasty—the Stuarts themselves? Samuel Baker has been teaching in the English Department at UT Austin since 2001. He has published a book, Written on the Water: British Romanticism and the Maritime Empire of Culture (Virginia, 2010), and essays on eighteenth and nineteenth century authors including Ann Radcliffe, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, and Matthew Arnold. His current interests include media studies, gothic antiquarianism, and, of course, the poetry and fiction of Walter Scott.

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[20] May 3, 2019

Book Launch: 150 Highly Recommended Books

Dean Robert D. King

This occasion celebrates the end of the five-year process, sponsored by Randy Diehl and the College of Liberal Arts, that resulted in 150 Highly Recommended Books. The other committee members for the project were Robert Abzug (Rapoport Chair of Jewish Studies), Roger Louis (Kerr Professor of English History and Culture), Al Martinich (Vaughan Centennial Professor in Philosophy), Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (Director of Comparative Literature), and Steven Weinberg (Welch Chair in Physics). The thoroughly illustrated book assesses the authors of the works selected for inclusion as well as the books themselves. Copies will be distributed at the meeting.

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[21] Apr 26, 2019

Brexit: An Historical Romance

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

The debate on Britain’s departure from the European Union, before the referendum and ever since, has invoked the past: ‘Our Island Story’ and a thousand years of history. The Leavers, or Brexiteers, are especially prone to talking of ‘vassalage’ and medieval history, of the 1533 Act in Restraint of Appeals, of the repeal of the Corn Laws (1846), and of 1940, when the British stood alone. A powerful, palpable sense of nostalgia pervades the whole enterprise. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is an English journalist and author, a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books as well as to newspapers and magazines in Britain. His books include The Randlords (1985), The Controversy of Zion (1996), andYo, Blair! (2007). He has been a regular visitor to the British Studies Seminar, talking more than once about Winston Churchill, a book on whose reputation and legacy he is finishing. Since being taken to a football game in Austin, he has considered himself a long-range Longhorn fan.

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[22] Apr 19, 2019

Samuel Beckett: Joycean and Surreal?

Alan Friedman

Scholars tend to label Samuel Beckett’s early career negatively as either his “Joyce years” or his “Surrealist period,” maintaining that Joyce’s writings had a detrimental effect on Beckett’s initial works and that Surrealism was only a minor influence. But both were critical models for Beckett. He mined his powerful predecessors for themes, ideas, and techniques that he used throughout his career, even as he rejected the aspects of them that did not suit him, and increasingly transcended the constraints of their particular styles. Alan Friedman, Thaman Professor of English and Comparative Literature, specializes in modern British, Irish, and American literature, the novel, and Shakespearean drama. He is the author of six books and has edited a dozen others, as well as coedited four special journal issues on Joyce and Beckett. His honors include the UT’s Civitatis Award, conferred annually for dedicated and meritorious service to the University. For 20 years he coordinated the Actors from the London Stage program and the student group Spirit of Shakespeare. He has chaired the University’s Faculty Council and is currently Secretary of the General Faculty.

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[23] Apr 12, 2019

Heroes of the Intellect: Unbelief and Enlightenment Values across the Ages

James Dee

Religious beliefs have been questioned and opposed for centuries, from the pre-Socratics of ancient Hellas to the rise of science and the humanistic values of the Enlightenment—often said to be in decline today. This talk will summarize the ideas of a surprisingly large group of Hellenic skeptics and atheists, briefly survey some heresies of late antiquity and the Middle Ages, and explore the anti-theological implications of the Scientific Revolution and the emergence of historical-critical biblical studies. Along the way, we will encounter a powerful argument built on sand, an extremely dangerous book that never was, a Christian who was willing to “spit in God's face,” a decapitated gravestone in London, and a touch of “cosmological vertigo.” James Dee received his A.B. in Comparative Literature (Honors) from the University of Rochester and his Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Texas. He was on the faculty of the Classics Department at the University of Illinois at Chicago from 1972 to 1999, serving as department chair for eight years. His current status is Visiting Researcher-Scholar in Classics. He has held two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for Research and has published nine reference works (six in Homeric studies), along with three dozen articles and reviews.

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[24] Apr 5, 2019

Brexit's Past: Withdrawals from the Empire

Harshan Kumarasingham 

As the world watches Britain’s slow departure from the European Union, it can be constructive to remember the multiple occasions, especially since 1947, when Britain pulled out of its imperial possessions, often in haste and turmoil. Decolonization changed the nature of the Commonwealth, the seventy-year-old organization that replaced the empire as the focus of Britain’s geostrategic ambitions. This lecture will comment on Brexit in relation to British priorities in shaping the modern Commonwealth. Harshan Kumarasingham is Lecturer in British Politics at the University of Edinburgh. Originally from New Zealand, he is a political and constitutional historian who has written on British decolonization, the Commonwealth, and the political legacies of empire for post-colonial states. He edited the October 2018 issue of the Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, which dealt with liberal ideals and the politics of decolonization. He is currently coediting The Cambridge Constitutional History of the United Kingdom.

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[25] Mar 29, 2019

Fake News, Alternative Facts, and the Question of Truth

David Edwards GOVERNMENT

David Edwards has been a dedicated reader of American and British newspapers and opinion magazines since the 1950s. In fact, he still subscribes to more than one hundred print editions of newspapers, magazines, and journals. He will talk about how fake news has evolved into the versions of it that increasingly pervade politics today. And he will answer the question, what are some possible ways of understanding and coping with the challenge to democracy posed by fake news? Having taught government courses at UT for fifty years, David Edwards three years ago became Professor Emeritus. He has written books on international relations (Creating a New World Politics and Arms Control in International Politics) as well as American politics (The American Political Experience). He has served as a consultant to the Institute for Defense Analyses, the Industrial Management Center, and the Danforth Foundation. He has written for the Washington Post, the Nation, and La Quinzaine Littéraire.

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[26] Mar 15, 2019

Biographies: Research, Writing, and Reviews

Bill Brands HISTORY Bat Sparrow GOVERNMENT Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa HARRY RANSOM CENTER

Bill Brands and Bat Sparrow will discuss the difference between writing history and biography, and between writing the life of a living person and that of someone dead, perhaps long ago dead, as well as the attitudes of biographers toward their subjects. And what of reviews that criticize a book seemingly other than the one the author thought he or she had written? Brands and Sparrow will also comment on their experiences of working with archival sources and the perils as well as benefits of interviews. Ellen Cunningham-Kruppa will comment on the dilemmas she has encountered writing professional biography. How does the historian determine where to draw the line between the personal and the professional?

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[27] Mar 8, 2019

After Empire: Britain, the United States, and the Iranian Revolution

Mark Gasiorowski

This lecture will begin with the historic Britain-Iran connection: ‘If you lift up Khomeini’s beard, you will find “MADE IN BRITAIN” stamped on his chin.’ After Iran’s 1978-1979 revolution, US and British officials sought a cooperative, mutually-beneficial relationship with the country’s new leaders. Contrary to what many believed, the CIA did not undertake covert political operations against the new regime and, in fact, rejected many opportunities to do so. The CIA in fact began an extraordinary intelligence-sharing initiative with the British that culminated in a warning that Iraq was preparing to invade Iran. These efforts ended when radical Islamists seized the US embassy in November 1979. Mark Gasiorowski is a Professor in the Department of Political Science at Tulane University. He taught previously at Louisiana State University and has been a Visiting Fellow at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and a Visiting Professor at Tehran University. He is the author of US Foreign Policy and the Client State and the editor, with Malcolm Byrne, of the acclaimed Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran.

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[28] Mar 1, 2019

William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America, 1880– 1920

Peter Stansky

William Morris was a poet and artist as well as the foremost figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. He succeeded in reviving some of the techniques of handmade production that machines were replacing. His iconic patterns for fabrics and wallpaper are instantly recognizable, and the baroquely beautiful productions of his Kelmscott Press, using typefaces designed by Morris, are coveted by museums and collectors. His vision inspired the rediscovery of decoration based on natural forms and the inherent beauty of particular materials. Peter Stansky’s assessment of the life and times of Morris will complement the present exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center. Peter Stansky was educated at Yale, Cambridge, and Harvard. He has spent his career as a Professor of British history at Stanford University. His extensive writing on modern Britain includes two books on William Morris as well as studies of Bloomsbury, George Orwell, and British participants in the Spanish Civil War—and, not least, the arts in Britain during the Second World War. He has recently collaborated with Fred Leventhal on a biography of Leonard Woolf, soon to be published.

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[29] Feb 22, 2019

She Moves in Mysterious Ways: Jane Eyre’s Journeys

John Farrell

It is sometimes overlooked that Jane Eyre is a classic Bildungsroman that narrates Jane's formative years and spiritual education. Even more deliberately, it is a journey narrative. But Jane’s travels follow two incompatible paths. Both paths are narratively constructed as pilgrimages. Charlotte Brontë’s task in the novel—and Jane’s as well—is to make these pilgrimages converge. Their convergence is achieved only as Jane learns to comprehend a poetic language that emerges mysteriously from the novel’s narrative. John P. (‘Jack’) Farrell joined the English Department at UT in 1974 as an Associate Professor and retired in 2006 as Professor Emeritus. Among his publications are Revolution as Tragedy: The Dilemma of the Moderate from Scott to Arnold and more than fifty essays on Romantic and Victorian literature—the latest of which is ‘Romance Narrative in Hardy’s A Pair of Blue Eyes’. He is a founding member of the British Studies seminar.

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[30] Feb 15, 2019

Britain as a Superpower, 1945-1957

Derek Leebaert

The British Empire remained a superpower at least until 1957. But the re- elected Eisenhower administration then proclaimed ‘a declaration of independence’ from British authority. The years in between are freighted with myths: Britain’s ‘withdrawal from the Mediterranean’; the influence of George Kennan’s view of Britain within the U.S. government; and Britain and the beginning of the war in Vietnam. Knowing what actually occurred is vital to understanding questions of Britain and the United States in the postwar era, in Middle East destabilization, in the history of the rise and decline of superpowers—and, not least, Brexit. Derek Leebaert’s books include Magic and Mayhem: The Delusions of American Foreign Policy from Korea to Afghanistan (2010); To Dare and to Conquer: Special Operations and the Destiny of Nations from Achilles to Al Qaeda (2006); and The Fifty-Year Wound: How America’s Cold War Victory Shapes Our World (2002). He is a former Smithsonian Fellow; a founding editor of International Security, and a founder of the National Museum of the U.S. Army. He is a partner in the global management consulting firm MAP AG (Zurich).

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[31] Feb 8, 2019

Cyprus and World War II: A Turning Point in the War in the Mediterranean

George Kelling

The British acquired Cyprus for strategic reasons in 1888, and the island has provided a valuable strategic base up to this day. During World War II, Cyprus faced the danger of a German invasion. The loyalty of the Greek population on the island could not be taken for granted. According to the Governor: “Morale of the majority of Cypriots is at its lowest ebb. In event of invasion we can expect little help from [the Greek Cypriots] and some might even turn against us.” What was the British response to a situation that posed the danger of revolt from within and invasion without? The answer has a bearing on the war in the Mediterranean and elsewhere. George Kelling served in the army from 1958 to 1978. On retiring, he entered graduate school, earning a doctorate in history at the University of Texas in 1988, with a dissertation dealing with Cyprus in the period 1939–1955. He has had a second career as a civilian historian with the air force. He has maintained a vigorous interest in the history of the British Empire, particularly Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean, in World War II.

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[32] Feb 1, 2019

Round Table Discussion on Brexit

Jamie Galbraith, Roger Louis, Philippa Levine, Bat Sparrow, and David Leal

Jamie Galbraith, Roger Louis, Philippa Levine, Bat Sparrow, and David Leal

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[33] Jan 25, 2019

Countess Noël, Heroine of the Titanic

Joanna Hitchcock

Among the 1,300 passengers aboard the Titanic when she steamed out of Southampton Harbor in April 1912 was Noël, Countess of Rothes. She was traveling to the States to join her husband. This account of Noël’s experiences on the ship, in the lifeboat, and aboard the rescue ship is told through her own eyes, based on letters she wrote immediately after the sinking to her parents and to her cousin, the speaker’s grandmother. Joanna Hitchcock is the former Director of the University of Texas Press and a past President of the Association of American University Presses. She graduated from Oxford University (Lady Margaret Hall) with a B.A. in Modern History. She started her publishing career at Oxford University Press in London. Before coming to Austin in 1992, she was executive editor for the humanities and assistant director at Princeton University Press.

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[34] Nov 30, 2018

Oxford’s Battle for the Soul of Classics

Paul Woodruff

The Irish poet E. R. Dodds (1893–1979) was expelled as a student from Oxford in 1916 for protesting the English reaction to the Easter Rising. As a mature scholar, he transformed classical scholarship with his brilliant book The Greeks and the Irrational. The young poets W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice flourished in his informal salon. Sir Maurice Bowra (1898–1971) became an Oxford institution, a polymath brilliant in high table repartee and the subject of many delightful Oxford anecdotes. His many books were much admired; he was knighted and became Warden of Wadham College at Oxford. When Gilbert Murray retired as Regius Professor of Greek in 1936, Bowra believed that he was heir apparent. So did Oxford society. But under Murray’s influence, Dodds was named to the chair. On his arrival as professor, Oxford treated Dodds as an interloper, whispering that Bowra had been rejected because of his homosexuality and that Dodds had been disloyal to the Crown. What was really at issue between these two exemplary figures? Both were poets, and both were fine scholars, but they were very different kinds of scholars. Paul Woodruff has taught at UT since 1973. His publications include Reverence: Renewing a Forgotten Virtue, The Ajax Dilemma: Justice and Fairness in Rewards, and The Necessity of Theater. He has translated (with Peter Meineck) all of Sophocles’ surviving plays, as well as Plato’s Symposium (with Alexander Nehamas). This year he has brought out edited volumes on Oedipus and on the ethics of philanthropy. His latest book, which should be in print around November 30, is The Garden of Leaders: Toward a Revolution in Higher Education.

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[35] Nov 16, 2018

Bloomsbury and Harry Potter


The Harry Potter books have been translated into some 75 languages and have sold more than 450 million copies. Nigel Newton owes the inspiration to publish the first in the series to his young daughter, who read the manuscript and insisted that it was ‘much better than anything else.’ He initially sent J. K. Rowling a check for £2,500. The novels tell coming-of-age stories fantastically yet also realistically, setting them in a world of wizardry, spells, and quidditch as well as homework, adolescent crushes, and cruel elders. Yet not all the grownups are malign: Dumbledore, the headmaster of the wizards’ school Hogwarts, according to Rowling herself, ‘is the epitome of goodness.’ What are Nigel Newton’s own impressions of the characters—and, in his view, the reasons for the success of the series? Nigel Newton is an American-born British publisher originally from San Francisco. He studied English at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He then stayed on in England, learning the book trade first at Macmillan and then at Sidgwick and Jackson, where he became deputy managing director at age 27. He first thought of creating a new company in 1984, and launched Bloomsbury two years later. The firm quickly became prosperous, and its success was ensured when it published J. K. Rowling. Is there a future for Bloomsbury after Harry Potter? ‘You can bet your Hogwarts there is’—especially since I. B. Tauris has now merged with Bloomsbury.

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[36] Nov 2, 2018

Seamus Heaney & the London Origins of the Belfast Group


In the early 1960s a talented group of Northern Irish poets emerged in Belfast, including the future Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney. In the decades since, a popular myth has taken root about the Northern Irish Renaissance with some commentators linking the emergence of a new generation of poets to the outbreak of violence in the North. In fact, the Troubles would not erupt for several more years, and the sudden appearance of this new generation had more to do with the individual talents of this group of poets and an extended network of publishers, editors, and academics, many of them London-based. Stephen Enniss will provide a corrective reading of this chapter of literary history and explore the London origins of the Belfast Group. Dr. Stephen Enniss is Director of the Harry Ransom Center. His research interests are in 20th century poetry, and he has written on Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Seamus Heaney, among other figures. He is a past recipient of a Leverhulme Fellowship from the University of London, and he is the author of After the Titanic: A Life of Derek Mahon (Gill & Macmillan, 2014). Major acquisitions during his tenure have included the archives of Ian McEwan, Michael Ondaatje, Arthur Miller, and Nobel Laureates Kazuo Ishiguro and Gabriel García Márquez. Before coming to the Ransom Center, he held previous appointments at the Folger Shakespeare Library and at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library.

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[37] Oct 26, 2018

Éamon de Valera and the Creation of Modern Ireland


Éamon de Valera (1882-1975) is the most important and divisive figure in modern Irish history. After rising to prominence in the Easter 1916 rebellion, he rejected the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, provoking civil war in Ireland, but he returned to power in the 1930s and became the architect of a new Irish state. During World War II, de Valera consolidated Ireland’s independence through a controversial policy of neutrality. For better and worse, he created modern Ireland. Kevin Kenny is Professor of History and Glucksman Professor in Irish Studies at New York University. His books include Making Sense of the Molly Maguires (1998), The American Irish (2000), Peaceable Kingdom Lost(2009), Diaspora: A Very Short Introduction (2013), and Ireland and the British Empire: The Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series (editor, 2004). He taught at the University of Texas from 1994 to 1999 and at Boston College from 1999 to 2018.

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[38] Oct 24, 2018

Martyrs and Mistresses in Restoration London

Paul Sullivan ENGLISH

Edward Coleman was drawn, hanged, and quartered for treason in December 1678, a victim of the public frenzy around the ‘Popish Plot’. The Ransom Center’s Pforzheimer Collection includes hundreds of manuscripts from Coleman and his newsletter office, reporting information and court gossip to Richard Bulstrode, a British diplomat in Brussels. Now available online, the letters form a part of the growing world-wide electronic archive. An examination of one of these letters using paleography practice will reveal how digital archives change the way we read history. Paul Sullivan served as Associate Director of the Liberal Arts Honors Program at UT Austin, where he taught humanities and English from 2006 to 2017. He studies early modern English drama and humanism.

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[39] Oct 12, 2018

Light Reading for Intellectual Heavyweights

Philip Waller OXFORD

In ‘Light Reading’, Philip Waller will consider how various major figures, including Prime Ministers and Presidents, have chosen to relax by reading books, and whether their choices carry more significance than might appear. There are conflicts between what people feel they should read and what they do read. This tension is most acute between classics and best-sellers; yet these and other kinds of books are not without similarities. This talk—it is hoped— may cause the audience to reflect on their own reading habits. Philip Waller is a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford, where he has served as History Tutor from 1971 and has been Sub-Warden and Acting Warden. He is author of Writers, Readers, & Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870-1918 (2006; 2008), which, while heavyweight in scale (1181 pages!), and lauded as the ‘defining literary history of the period’, is consistently entertaining. Previously, he published books on urban history, religion and politics. He is a past editor of the English Historical Review.

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[40] Oct 5, 2018

Australia and the Non-Acceptance of Refugees


By using a combination of boat turn-backs, offshore detention and processing, and a refusal to ever accept refugees who have tried to reach its shores by boat, Australia has emerged as a world leader in deterrence. The staggering costs and ineffable human suffering inflicted by these policies have led critics to condemn them as “fiscally irresponsible, morally bankrupt, and increasingly unsustainable politically.” This lecture, however, will argue that Australia’s expensive and inhumane approach is politically self-sustaining. Dr. Rhonda Evans, J.D., directs the Clark Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies at UT-Austin and is a Senior Lecturer in the Government Department. She is a principal investigator for the Australian and New Zealand Policy Agendas Projects. Her research on courts and human rights appears in the Australian Journal of Political Science, Congress and the Presidency, Osgoode Hall Law Review, and Journal of Common Market Studies. She co-authored Legislating Equality published by Oxford University Press.

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[41] Sep 28, 2018

Alan Turing: Genius, Patriot, Victim

Robert D. King Founding Dean, College of Liberal Arts

Alan Turing was the greatest mathematician Britain produced in the twentieth century. After a brilliant start at Cambridge he became the leading light in the British code-breaking center at Bletchley Park, and he was instrumental in breaking the German ENIGMA cipher by inventing and constructing a prototype of the modern computer. This was key to the Allied victory in World War II. In 1952 he died tragically and alone, a suicide. This is his story. Robert D. King, from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, spent his career at The University of Texas. He was at various times Rapoport Chair of Jewish Studies, Professor of Linguistics, Germanic Languages, and Asian Studies, and member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers. He was Founding Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, a position he occupied from 1976-1993. He provided material support to Roger Louis in getting the British Studies Seminar off the ground in the 1970s and1980s; and he would like to pay tribute to Walter Wetzels for his commitment to British Studies over many decades.

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[42] Sep 21, 2018

Charles Darwin, HMS Beagle and the New Era in the History of Biology

Rodolfo John Alaniz HISTORY

Charles Darwin's voyage aboard HMS Beagle inaugurated a new era in the history of biology. However, Darwin was one of many naturalists who gathered specimens and gained prestige on nineteenth-century British expeditions. This talk will explore the role that the British Empire played in the establishment of Darwin’s theory, and asks what this episode might reveal in an imperial context. Rodolfo John Alaniz is a postdoctoral affiliate at the Institute of Historical Studies and Ritter Memorial Fellow at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. He has taught the history of science at the University of California, Berkeley, and will teach at UT during the 2018-2019 academic year. His has recently completed a monograph, Darwin in the Deep: Marine Invertebrates, Evolutionary Methodologies, and the Emergence of Natural Selection.

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[43] Sep 14, 2018

‘To Be or Not to Be’ Through the Ages

James Loehlin, Alan Friedman, and Eric Mallin ENGLISH

Hamlet’s ‘To Be or Not to Be’ soliloquy has long been Shakespeare’s most famous speech; but the way in which it has been performed on stage has changed drastically over the centuries. This session will review the history of those performances, from speculation about early modern acting to reviews of eminent Shakespeareans of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries to some of the most famous film and stage renditions of the twentieth century.

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[44] Sep 7, 2018

Castro’s Challenge to Britain and the United States

Jonathan Brown

When Fidel Castro formed an alliance with the Soviet Union in 1962, it sparked the Cuban missile crisis and became a defining incident of the Cold War. Graham Greene’s Our Man in Havana predates the Cuban missile crisis, but the plot involves missile installations and seems to anticipate the events of 1962. In the real world, the British tolerated the Cuban revolutionaries. American politicians, for domestic reasons, could not. The British refused to join the American economic boycott of the Revolution. Did Britain help the Cuban Revolution to survive US antagonism? Jonathan Brown's book, Cuba's Revolutionary World was published by Harvard University Press in 2017. His other books include Oil and Revolution in Mexico (1993); and A Socioeconomic History of Argentina (1979). His articles have been translated into many languages including Chinese. With Alan Knight he edited The Mexican Petroleum Industry in the Twentieth Century (1992). With a UT Ph.D. in History, he has taught at UT History since 1983. He is presently writing a book on the renegotiation of the Panama Canal Treaty.

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[45] Aug 31, 2018

Scotland and Brexit

George Scott Christian

In the last four years, fundamental questions have arisen about the future of the composite state created by the 1707 Treaty of Union between England and Scotland. In 2014 a majority of Scots voted to ‘remain’ in the Union. Yet in 2016 a large majority (68%) voted to ‘remain’ in the European Union. The Scottish Parliament has recently rejected the government’s Brexit bill, triggering what many believe is a constitutional crisis. Is it? What are the issues in contention? Could Brexit eventually result not only in Britain’s detachment from Europe, but in the dissolution of Britain itself? George Scott Christian holds a virtually unique place in the British Studies roster for his UT degrees: a B.A. in Plan II in 1982, a J. D. in 1984, an M.A. in 1997, and a Ph.D. in English Literature in 2000. He is a practicing lawyer as well as a teacher in English and History. His scholarly work on the British novel has appeared in the Dickens Studies Annual, and the Thomas Hardy Journal. He has served as a legislative assistant to a Texas State Senator and represents clients before the Texas Legislature. He is a devoted member of British Studies.

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[46] May 4, 2018

A UT Ethics Center? The Oxford Ethics Centre in Comparison -Round Table Discussion

Virginia Brown (Dell Medical School), Robert Prentice (McCombs Business School) Stephen Sonnenberg, M.D. (Plan II), Paul Woodruff (Philosophy)

The Oxford Ethics Centre was established in 2003 with the aim of rational reflection on personal and professional ethics: ‘The vision is Socratic, not missionary’. The Oxford Centre promotes discussion on ‘climate change, terrorism, global inequality, poverty, and genetic engineering’. The Centre has transformed the way philosophy is taught at Oxford. ‘Metaethics’ has been crowded out by practical issues. Plans for an Ethics Center at UT have been under consideration for several years and will be discussed at a conference in the fall semester 2018. How should the aims and purpose compare with those of the Oxford Ethics Centre? What strengths should be developed in bioethics to support the Dell School? How will the Center help to promote classes and teaching with an ethical component? One issue is moral injury from events such as the massacre at My Lai and the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. The Center will also discuss the ethics of teaching: do assignments that give students strong incentives to cheat cause them moral injury?

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[47] Apr 27, 2018

How the British Left Palestine

Bernard Wasserstein, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO

At the end of its three-decades-long mandate in 1948, Britain withdrew its administration and 100,000-strong armed forces from Palestine. But unlike its departure from any other dependent territory, it did not hand over to any successor government. Instead it left Arabs and Jews to fight for possession of the Holy Land. Historians have long debated why Britain left Palestine. But how did they leave? Was it a dignified withdrawal or a disorderly cut and run? Bernard Wasserstein was born in London in 1948 and was a Professor of History at several British and American universities. A Guggenheim and British Academy fellow, he has been a recipient of the Golden Dagger and Yad Vashem book awards. Since 2014, when he retired from the University of Chicago, he has lived in Amsterdam. His books, which have been translated into twelve languages, include The British in Palestine, Divided Jerusalem, and Israelis and Palestinians.

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[48] Apr 20, 2018

Florence Nightingale, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of Health Care

James Scott, Statistics and Data Sciences

Although better known as a nurse, Florence Nightingale was also a skilled data scientist who successfully convinced hospitals that they could improve health care by using statistics. In 1859, in honor of these achievements, she became the first woman ever elected to the Royal Statistical Society. This talk will consider the question of what Nightingale’s experience can teach us about our own age, as we consider the future of artificial intelligence in health care. James Scott is Associate Professor of Statistics and Data Sciences. He is the author of a new book about artificial intelligence, AIQ: How People and Machines are Smarter Together, which explains what everyone needs to know in order to understand how AIQ is changing the world around us.

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[49] Apr 13, 2018

Worldwide Consequences of American Expansion in 1898

Karl Rove

Karl Rove’s recent book, The Triumph of William McKinley, deals with the election of 1896 and its consequences. His lecture will expand on the results of the 1898 war with Spain: the annexation of the Philippines and Hawaii in the Pacific and Puerto Rico in the Caribbean as well as Cuba as a protectorate of sorts. To what extent did American political leaders take into account the reaction of the other European powers, above all the British, to these moves toward acquiring an empire? Karl Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff during the George W. Bush administration. He is usually credited with the 1994 and 1998 Texas gubernatorial victories of Bush as well as the presidential wins in 2000 and 2004. Bush has referred to Rove as the “architect.” After the publication of The Triumph of William McKinley, the UT historian H.W. Brands referred to it as “political history at its most engaging.” Rove lives in Austin.

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[50] Apr 6, 2018

America’s Global Empire

Tony Hopkins

Challenging conventional accounts of the place of the United States in the international order during the last three centuries, Tony Hopkins will argue that the United States was part of a British imperial order throughout this period. After 1898, it ruled a now forgotten empire in the Pacific and Caribbean. It brought formal colonial control to an end after 1945, when other Western powers also abandoned their empires. The conditions sustaining territorial empires had changed irrevocably. Thereafter, the United States was not an empire but an aspiring hegemon. Tony Hopkins held the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and was a stalwart member of British Studies. He is now Emeritus Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History, University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Pembroke College. He has written extensively on African history, British imperial history, and globalization. He has recently published American Empire: A Global History (2018).

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[51] Mar 30, 2018

Subversive, Rebellious, Genre-Busting: 18th and 19th Century Women Writers Move to Center Stage

Carol MacKay

This talk will serve as a preview of–and invitation to–‘New Directions’, the 26th Annual 18th- and 19th-Century British Women Writers Conference to be held at UT April 11-15, and an occasion for Carol MacKay to review her contributions to some of its previous conferences. She will identify the recurring need to recover little-known women writers and also highlight cutting-edge approaches to such canonical authors as Jane Austen and George Eliot–and take us into the early 20th century with Annie Besant and Virginia Woolf. Carol MacKay is the J.R. Millikan Centennial Professor of English Literature and an Honorary Junior Fellow of British Studies. She teaches and publishes on Victorian fiction, women’s and gender studies, and life-writing. Her most recent book-length publications are Creative Negativity: Four Victorian Exemplars of the Female Quest (2001) and a critical edition of Annie Besant’s 1885 Autobiographical Sketches (2009).

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[52] Mar 23, 2018

Running with Shakespeare

Tom Cable

Memorization has played a part in the composition and transmission of British literary texts. This talk will consider the embodied rhythms of poetry from Beowulf (eighth century) to Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (fourteenth century), then on to Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1590s), and poems by Percy Bysshe Shelley two hundred years ago. With reference to current work in music and cognitive science, including the timing neurons in the brain, one question will be: can a memorized poem, recited in time, affect the body as it moves in space—as in walking along a footpath, or running? Tom Cable is the Jane Weinert Blumberg Chair Emeritus in English and a founding member of British Studies. He has published books and articles on the rhythms of English poetry from their origins to the present. Since 1978 he has been coauthor of A History of the English Language, now in its sixth edition.

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[53] Mar 9, 2018

British Labour, American Labor, and the Creation of the State of Israel

Adam Howard U. S. Department of State

From the Balfour Declaration’s publication in November 1917 to Israel’s creation in 1948, the American labor movement worked for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. Successive British governments struggled to reconcile the contradictions of the Balfour Declaration, but American labor's hopes rose in 1945 with the British Labour Party’s historic election victory, and its promises to implement the declaration. Yet the controversial issue of Zionism in British politics frustrated the American labor movement, culminating in a bitter clash. Adam Howard earned a Ph.D. in U.S. history from the University of Florida in 2003. He recently published Sewing the Fabric of Statehood: Garment Unions, American Labor, and the Establishment of the State of Israel (University of Illinois Press, 2017). He currently serves as the General Editor of the Foreign Relations of the United States series at the U.S. Department of State. He is also an Adjunct Professor of History and International Affairs at The George Washington University.

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[54] Mar 2, 2018

Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes

David Leal

The creator of Sherlock Holmes wore many hats: writer of historical fiction, advocate of reform, supporter of the Boer War, defender of the wrongly accused, and promoter of spiritualism. He feared – quite correctly – that he would be eclipsed by his famous detective. Conan Doyle tried to kill Holmes in 1893, but was forced by the public and his bank account to bring him back ten years later. This talk examines the Arthur Conan Doyle archive at the Harry Ransom Center for clues about the life of a man who was overshadowed by a fictional character that would not be controlled. David Leal is Professor of Government and Sherlock Holmes Studies as well as an Associate Member of Nuffield College, Oxford University. His research interests include Arthur Conan Doyle as well as Latino politics, religion and politics, and immigration policy. His works include over forty journal articles. He is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Racial and Ethnic Politics in the United States (in progress) and Migration in an Era of Restriction and Recession (2016). Next year he will teach British Government and Politics in the Government Department.

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[55] Feb 23, 2018

The Poetry of Louis MacNeice

Lucy Collins

In Irish poetry, the image of the island has played an important role for generations—above all for Louis MacNeice (1907-63). MacNeice was born in Belfast but lived in England. To him the experience of island life revealed the tensions between individual and collective identities that prevailed in the 1930s. This talk will discuss his experiences in the years before the outbreak of World War II. After the war, MacNeice traveled to India for the BBC to cover independence in 1947. Lucy Collins is an Associate Professor of English Literature at University College, Dublin. She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Harvard University, where she spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar. In Dublin she teaches and does research in modern poetry and poetics. She has published widely on modern Irish and British poetry—her most recent book is Contemporary Irish Women Poets: Memory and Estrangement (Liverpool, 2015).

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[56] Feb 16, 2018

Symbolic Names: Present Controversies in Historical Perspective

Edward Mortimer

In recent years, Americans have become painfully familiar with names and symbolic significance, for example, Jefferson Davis and Woodrow Wilson. In Britain there are similar controversies, many of them focusing on the country’s imperial past—in Oxford, Cecil Rhodes, and, in another dimension, slavery and the slave trade. Edward Mortimer will discuss some of the more recent and significant controversies, and suggest how universities and other institutions might best handle these issues. Edward Mortimer is a Distinguished Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. He was a journalist on The Times (1967-85) and the Financial Times (1987-98). He served as Chief Speechwriter and Director of Communications to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (1998-2006), and Chief Program Officer of the Salzburg Global Seminar (2007-2012). His books include,France and the Africans 1944-1960 (1969), Faith and Power: the Politics of Islam (1982) and The World That FDR Built (1989).

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[57] Feb 9, 2018

The British Empire Compared with the European Empires

Krishan Kumar

How similar, and how different, was the British Empire in comparison with other modern European empires – French, Spanish, Austrian, Ottoman, and Russian? How did overseas empires differ from land empires? What was the relation of nation to empire? This talk will use the British Empire as a basis of comparison with other major European empires of the modern era. While noting differences, it will stress commonalities and will argue that there is a European ‘tradition of empire’. Krishan Kumar is University Professor and William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia. He was previously Professor of Social and Political Thought at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Among his publications are The Making of English National Identity (2003); The Idea of Englishness (2015); and Visions of Empire: How Five Imperial Regimes Shaped the World (2017).

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[58] Feb 2, 2018

The Dictionary of National Biography

Elizabeth Baigent

The Dictionary of National Biography is ‘the national record of men and women who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century’. This talk will explore the intellectual, ethical, and practical challenges involved in writing the history of the nation through collective biography. A couple of the key questions are: whom to memorialize? What will be the effect on scholarship as well as national identity? Elizabeth Baigent is the University of Oxford's Reader in the History of Geography. From 1993 to 2003, she was Research Director of the project to revise the Dictionary of National Biography, one of the largest British humanities research project ever undertaken. She also does independent research in the histories of cartography and geography. She is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Historical Society, and the Royal Geographical Society.

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[59] Jan 26, 2018

An Englishman Looks at Texas History

Mark Skipworth

Mark Skipworth will give an Englishman’s view of Texas history, from the earliest Spanish conquistadors and the New Spain settlements through to French designs on the territory, and later tensions under the Mexican republic. He will look at the causes leading to the Republic of Texas, and the legacy of the Texas secession from the Union in the Civil War. His talk will include Texas’ urbanization as a modern oil state, and the civil rights legislation of the LBJ era. An award-winning British journalist, Mark Skipworth has worked in senior roles at the London Sunday Times and the Sunday Telegraph. He studied Modern History at St John’s College, Oxford. In recent years, he has written individual histories of the U.S. states. His series is designed for young people, told with a focus on important events within a particular historical period— and ‘news stories’ written as if the events had occurred only yesterday.

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[60] Jan 19, 2018

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

James H. Dee

Last year James Dee spoke on the concepts ‘human’, ‘humanity’, and ‘the humanities’; this talk will offer examples and discussion of ‘the other side of being human’, often summed up in the phrase, ‘man’s inhumanity to man’. The principal topics are: the words themselves; ‘inhuman’ as ‘not human’; the broad category of ‘human but other’ (including prehistoric man, foreigners, enemies, criminals, and slaves); and paths toward ‘becoming human(e),’ especially the now-controversial value of compassion and empathy in restraining ‘inhuman’ behavior. James H. Dee holds an A.B. in Comparative Literature (Honors) from the University of Rochester and a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Texas. His academic career was spent at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he was Chair or Acting Chair for a total of eight years. He has published nine books in classical scholarship and held two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships for Research. One of his projected books will address humanitas in both ancient and modern worlds.

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[61] Dec 8, 2017

Christmas Party

James Loehlin will read passages from favorite Christmas writings, Jamie Galbraith will recite "Christmas in India" by Rudyard Kipling, and Michael Starbird will recite "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll.

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[62] Dec 8, 2017

Christmas Party with Christmas Carols

James Loehlin will read passages from favorite Christmas writings, Jamie Galbraith will recite "Christmas in India" by Rudyard Kipling, and Michael Starbird will recite "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll, followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Meyers.

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[63] Dec 1, 2017

Edmund Blunden and Undertones of War

John Greening

Edmund Blunden (1896-1974) was one of the First World War Poets, a group that included Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Robert Graves. Their influence on British culture has been incalculable. John Greening was invited by Blunden’s daughter to edit an edition of his prose-and-verse memoir, Undertones of War. In this talk he will give some of the background to both the man and his extraordinary book—which has never been out of print since 1928. John Greening’s edition of Undertones of War was published in 2015, following his Guide to Poets of the First World War and his twelfth collection, To the War Poets. His other works include studies of other poets, a classical music anthology, and a memoir of life in Egypt. His collected essays appeared in 2018. A recipient of Cholmondeley Award for poetry, he is a reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement, and Writing Fellow at Newnham College, Cambridge.

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[64] Nov 17, 2017

The Great London Smog

Kate Dawson

In winter 1952, London automobiles and thousands of coal-burning hearths belched hazardous soot into the air. It was a smog that was virtually unique, holding the city hostage for five long days—12,000 people died. That same month, there was another killer at large in London: John Reginald Christie, who murdered at least six women. In ‘The Great London Smog’, Kate Dawson will recount the intersecting stories of the smog and the killer. Kate Dawson is a documentary producer and television news journalist, whose work has appeared in the New York Times, ABC News Radio, Fox News Channel, and the PBS NewsHour. Her father taught at the UT Law School. She has a B.S. in broadcast journalism from Boston University, and a M.S. degree from Colombia University. She has taught at UT for almost a decade.

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[65] Nov 10, 2017

The Chaos of Empire: The Conquering of India

Jon Wilson

Our image of the British Empire in India is often a myth: an effective form of power relentlessly pursuing British interests in the Indian subcontinent. Yet beneath the myth, Britain’s regime in India was chaotic, often violent but also fragile, driven as much by passion rather than rational calculation. Drawing on the argument of his recent book The Chaos of Empire, Jon Wilson will explain that we cannot understand empire or what followed it in the Indian subcontinent unless we understand the emotional state of its protagonists. Jon Wilson is Reader in Modern History at King’s College London, where he has taught since 1999. He has degrees in History and Anthropology from Oxford University and the New School for Social Research. His research focuses on government and politics in India and Britain. His first book, The Domination of Strangers offers an account of the birth of the modern state in South Asia in the early nineteenth century. Currently he is working on the history of democratic government in Britain, and India, since 1945.

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[66] Nov 3, 2017

Six Minutes in May: How Churchill Unexpectedly became Prime Minister

Nicholas Shakespeare

In early May 1940, Britain was on the brink of war. Neville Chamberlain’s government was about to fall. It is hard for us to imagine the World War II without Winston Churchill taking over at the helm, but Nicholas Shakespeare will explain how easily events could have gone in a different direction, and how the rise of the wartime leader was more a matter of luck than design. Nicholas Shakespeare’s books have been translated into twenty languages. They include Priscilla, the story of a young woman’s adventures and misadventures in Nazi-occupied France. He has written biographies for television including ones for Evelyn Waugh, Mario Vagas Llosa, and Martha Gellhorn. The Wall Street Journal describes him as one of the best English writers of our time.

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[67] Oct 27, 2017

Crisis in the Gulf: An Echo from the British Past

Roby Barrett

Rarely does a modern crisis so closely repeat the past as the current Gulf crisis involving Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United States. The lecture will connect the British, the Ottomans, the ruling families of the Gulf, and the problem of the 19th century ‘Qatar Gap’ to the current crisis in the Gulf. The lecture will more fundamentally relate the historical background and its relevance to the future of unstable monarchies, oil, territorial disputes, and the ever-present danger of Russian influence in the region. Roby Barrett has recently published The Gulf and the Struggle for Hegemony: Arabs, Iranians, and West in Conflict. He has over 40 years of government, business, and academic experience in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and East Asia. He is the president of a consulting firm that specializes in defense and security. He has had extensive experience in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Africa, and East Asia. His broad knowledge enables him to bridge policy, technology, and security operations in both government and business.

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[68] Oct 20, 2017

From University of Texas A.B. to Federal Judge

Harry Lee Hudspeth

Judge Hudspeth has been an active member in the British Studies seminar virtually since its founding. He will give a talk describing his life from the time he was a student at UT in the 1950s. He received an antique (no longer granted) degree of A.B. in 1955 and Bachelor of Laws in Jurisprudence (also no longer granted) from the School of Law in 1958. After serving in the US Marine Corps, he held various positions including Assistant US Attorney at the time of Lee Harvey Oswald’s arrest in Dallas in 1963, when he was given the assignment of making sure that Oswald was legally and appropriately represented. Since the time of the assassination, Judge Hudspeth has kept abreast of the various interpretations of Oswald’s motives. In 1979 he was nominated by President Jimmy Carter to the Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas. After his confirmation by the US Senate, he served until his retirement in 2016. He was a Federal Prosecutor under three Presidents and a Federal Judge under six.

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[69] Oct 13, 2017

Presidents and Prime Ministers: From Wilson and Lloyd George to Trump and May

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

In December of next year, it will be a hundred years since an American president met a British prime minister for the first time. Since that meeting between Woodrow Wilson and David Lloyd George, such meetings, and the personal friendships that developed or failed, have punctuated modern history. Some meetings are famous and some forgotten, but their story over the years, ending with Donald Trump holding Theresa May’s hand last January, casts a fascinating and sometimes an ironic light on what Winston Churchill called the special relationship. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is an English journalist and author, a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the New York Review of Books as well as to newspapers and magazines in his own country. His books include The Randlords (1985), The Controversy of Zion (1996), and Yo, Blair! (2007). He has been a regular visitor to the British Studies Seminar, talking more than once about Winston Churchill, a book on whose reputation and legacy he is finishing. Since being taken to a game in Austin, he has considered himself a long-range Longhorns fan.

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[70] Oct 6, 2017

‘They don’t make ‘em like that anymore’: Lord Carrington

George Walden

The British say, perhaps wistfully, that they don’t make politicians like Carrington any more. His long and varied career coincided with historic moments. A soldier awarded the Military Cross in1945, he is the last remaining member of Churchill’s 1951-55 government. Later he became Mrs. Thatcher’s Foreign Secretary. Despite different social and political backgrounds and tensions over Europe, they worked well together, securing a settlement over Rhodesia, before Carrington resigned over the Falklands War. A diplomat, politician, and journalist, George Walden studied Russian in Cambridge and Moscow Universities—and then Mandarin in Hong Kong and Harvard as well as the École nationale d’administration. From 1966-69 he worked in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution, From 1979 he was Principal Private Secretary to Foreign Ministers David Owen, then Lord Carrington. A Conservative MP and Minister for Higher Education, he resigned from Parliament in order to write. His books include God Won't Save America: Psychosis of a Nation (2008).

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[71] Sep 29, 2017

Critical Issues in Northern Ireland

Abigail Aiken

In Northern Ireland several critical issues of public health date as far back as 1861. This talk will consider how, in 2017, a revolution in medical care via the internet has raised fundamental questions for public health, public policy, and human rights. As a test case, the world is watching to see how religiously-based laws about health issues will be resolved in Northern Ireland. Abigail Aiken is an Assistant Professor at the LBJ School. She completed her MD at the University of Cambridge, her MPH at Harvard University, and her PhD from the University of Texas. Her research focuses on reproductive health. Her current projects include examining women's experiences obtaining safe abortion where access is restricted and evaluating access to contraception.

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[72] Sep 22, 2017

Round Table Discussion on 150 books recommended for UT students

Round Table Discussion featuring various guests

The list of 150 Books being drawn up as recommended reading for UT students.

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[73] Sep 15, 2017

Annual Shakespeare Session: ‘Measure for Measure’

Alan Friedman, James Loehlin, and David Kornhaber

Classified as a comedy in the 1623 Folio, Measure for Measure is one of Shakespeare’s most enigmatic and problematic plays. It is replete with misrule, malfeasance, and manipulation at every social level. It has the structure and resolution of a comedy, but its mood and action are far darker. In this roundtable UT English Department faculty will discuss Measure for Measure’s genre, its stage history, critical responses to the play, and what to expect from the upcoming performance by the Actors from the London Stage. Alan Friedman is Thaman Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Coordinator of the Actors from the London Stage program; James Loehlin is Shakespeare at Winedale Regents Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Professor of English; and David Kornhaber is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Co-Coordinator of the Actors from the London Stage program.

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[74] Sep 8, 2017

A British Atrocity in American Courts

Louise Weinberg

This is the story of a great American achievement, in which the British played more than an incidental role. It begins with what became the most famous lower court case in American legal history—a case that spawned further trials of foreign atrocities. The story then moves on to The Shell Group in Britain and its subsidiary, Shell Nigeria. When the theory of these cases was put before the Supreme Court of the United States, Britain filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing against the application of American law. But the British explicitly declined to favor their home party! Louise Weinberg holds the Bates Chair at the U.T. Law School. Her scholarship includes books and articles on federal courts, the conflict of laws, constitutional law, and Supreme Court history. She has two Harvard Law degrees and clerked for the preeminent jurist, Charles E. Wyzanski, Jr. An elected member of the American Law Institute, she serves on its advisory council for a new Restatement on Conflict of Laws. She has held seven elected chairmanships in the Association of American Law Schools, and appeared in the public television series, ‘The Supreme Court.’ Her last talk to the British Studies seminar was on Gilbert and Sullivan.

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[75] Sep 1, 2017

Derek Jackson: Scientist, Aviator, and Jockey

Jeffrey Meyers

Derek Jackson, a virtually unknown genius, had a unique combination of talents and achievements. He was a renowned physicist and professor at Oxford, a war hero who shot down five German planes and invented a device that ruined their radar, a jockey who rode his own horses in four Grand National steeplechases, and a bisexual who married six times. In his arrogant manner and reckless wit he seems to have stepped out of an Evelyn Waugh novel. Thirty-three of Jeffrey Meyers’ books have been translated into fourteen languages and published on six continents. In 2012 he gave the Seymour lectures on biography at the National Library of Australia. He has recently published Remembering Iris Murdoch in 2013; Thomas Mann’s Artist-Heroes in 2014; Robert Lowell in Love and The Mystery of the Real: Correspondence with Alex Colville in 2016. He has published 53 books.

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[76] Apr 28, 2017

John Banville as Novelist and Critic: The Untouchable

Steven Isenberg

John Banville’s The Untouchable (1997) is drawn from Anthony Blunt (one of the Cambridge spies), the 1930s and World War II, and the ethos of the British establishment. The novel recreates a double life, its toll on friendship, and the protagonist. Debauched and austere, the Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures, he is an artful spy for the Soviet Union. The novel inspires curiosity about its historical background and the journalism of the time. Banville must be admired for his imaginative craft. Steven Isenberg has had a career as chief of staff to the Mayor of New York, a newspaper executive at Newsday and The Los Angeles Times, a lawyer, and executive director of PEN. He has taught and lectured at Berkeley, Yale, and Oxford—and for several years in the Liberal Arts Honors program at UT. He is a graduate of Berkeley, Oxford, and Yale Law School, and an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford. He has written for The Los Angeles Review of Books and The American Scholar.

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[77] Apr 21, 2017

V.S. Naipaul

Patrick French

Patrick French on V.S. Naipaul

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[78] Apr 14, 2017

From ‘Divide and Conquer’ to ‘Federate and Leave’

Jason Parker

In what might be called the postwar ‘federal moment’, federated nation-states were created in order to achieve viable independence. Federation seemed to offer something to everyone. But its promise proved short-lived, as centrifugal frictions proved to be insurmountable. No single explanation helps to understand the failure of individual federations, but they had one thing in common: insularity trumped solidarity. This talk will deal with two British Empire unions– the West Indies Federation and Malaya—Malaysia—and will assess communalism, nationalism, and geography as part of the general issue of federation. Jason Parker teaches history at Texas A&M. He is the author of Hearts, Minds, Voices: U.S. Cold War Public Diplomacy and the Formation of the Third World(2016); and Brother's Keeper: The United States, Race, and Empire in the British Caribbean, 1937-1962 (2008) which won the Bernath Book Prize. His next project is a comparative study of postwar federations.

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[79] Apr 7, 2017

Where Shall We Adventure? Hayao Miyazaki Meets Robert Louis Stevenson

Susan Napier

Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese animation director, is known and beloved globally for his beautiful family-oriented films. What is less well known is how much of a debt Miyazaki’s work expresses towards European, particularly English literature. Touching on issues of Occidentalism and cultural appropriation, Susan Napier will discuss the significant role Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island has played in Japanese films, and the way in which Stevenson has helped to form Japanese artistic and narrative sensibility. Susan Napier is the former Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Chair of Japanese Culture at the University of Texas at Austin. She is now Professor of Japanese Studies at Tufts University, specializing in fantasy and animation. She is the author of five books. The most recent, Miyazakiworld, will be published by Yale University Press in 2018.

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[80] Mar 31, 2017

George Orwell’s 1984 and his Subsequent Reputation

John Rodden

In December 1954 the BBC-TV's adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four ignited controversy that permanently boosted sales of his dystopian novel and made the word ‘Orwellian’ known throughout the world. John Rodden has taught rhetoric and intellectual history at the University of Virginia and the University of Texas at Austin. His books on the life and legacy of George Orwell include The Cambridge Introduction to George Orwell (2012).

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[81] Mar 24, 2017

The Falklands Crisis: A Personal Perspective from the Whitehall Operations Room

Sarah Beaver

In April 1982 when the Argentine invasion of the Falkland Islands threatened to bring down her government, Mrs. Thatcher sent a Task Force some 8,000 miles to recover the islands. Following a short and intense campaign with heavy casualties on both sides, the Argentines surrendered and British rule was again restored. Sarah Beaver was junior civil servant working in the Ministry of Defence’s operations room during the most intense period of the fighting. She later prepared evidence for a parliamentary inquiry into the handling of the press and public information during the conflict. She will present a personal perspective on what went on behind the scenes. Sarah Beaver is a Fellow of All Souls College, where, as Bursar, she has been responsible for its administration since 2008. She was formerly a civil servant who spent most of her career working in the Ministry of Defence. Her later appointments were as Director General of British Permanent Joint Headquarters for the command of operations and overseas garrisons, including the Falklands.

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[82] Mar 10, 2017

Trust and Distrust in Stuart England

Brian Levack

Trust and distrust became prominent themes in seventeenth-century English political discourse. At the time of the Puritan Revolution and the Glorious Revolution, the government suffered a widespread loss of trust. In the 1680s John Locke argued that a government could be overthrown if it violated the trust that the people had placed in it. Distrust of political, financial, and judicial institutions in Stuart England invites comparison with the crisis of trust in public institutions in Britain and United States today. Brian Levack, a Founding Member of British Studies, is John E. Green Regents Professor in History. His most recent books are: The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West (2013); and the fourth edition of The Witch-Hunt in Early Modern Europe (2016). He is also the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe and Colonial America (2013).

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[83] Mar 3, 2017

Writing from Newgate Prison, 1795: William Winterbotham’s View of America

James Epstein

William Winterbotham in 1795 published from Newgate Prison his four-volume View of the United States of America. The work was almost entirely cribbed, but sold well. Winterbotham was serving four years for having delivered two “seditious” sermons commemorating Britain’s ‘National Deliverances’ of 1605 and 1688. Epstein will discuss Newgate and America, and the age of revolution’s libertarian promise. James Epstein is Distinguished Professor of History at Vanderbilt University. He has published extensively on the political culture of modern British radicalism. His most recent book is Scandal of Colonial Rule: Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic in the Age of Revolution. He is presently working on America and modernity in the British imagination.

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[84] Feb 20, 2017

Assimilation and its Discontents: Wales in British Literature

Daniel Williams

How have the ways in which Britishness been imagined and re-imagined in literature from a Welsh perspective? What is the relationship between Britishness and Welshness? How has that relationship been imagined in literature and culture? Beginning with Shakespeare and ending with Raymond Williams, Daniel Williams will suggest that the Welsh have played a constitutive, if problematic, role in the making of Britishness. Daniel Williams is Professor of English Literature at Swansea University. His books include Ethnicity and Cultural Authority: From Arnold to Du Bois (2006), and Black Skin, Blue Books: African Americans and Wales (2012). He has edited a collection of writings, Who Speaks for Wales? Nation, Culture, Identity (2003). He is also saxophonist with the jazz-folk sextet ‘Burum’ who have recorded the album ‘Alawon: The Songs of Welsh Folk’.

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[85] Feb 10, 2017

Obedience and Some of Its Discontents

Al Martinich

Obedience is as essential to government as authority. But as the obligation to obey increases, freedom seems to decrease. Freedom was so highly valued by the English in the seventeenth century that many disobeyed their consecrated king. More, they beheaded him. In general, stories about disobedience are more captivating than stories about obedience, for example, the biblical story of Adam and Eve and Milton's elaboration of it. Five favorite books on the theme of obedience and disobedience will be described, four about Stuart England. Al Martinich is Vaughan Centennial Professor in Philosophy and Professor of History and Government. He is the author of The Two Gods of Leviathan (1992). His book, Hobbes: A Biography (1999) won the Robert W. Hamilton Award in 2000. He is co-editor with Kinch Hoekstra of The Oxford Handbook of Hobbes (2016). His book, The Philosophy of Language, has been a standard text for 30 years.

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[86] Feb 3, 2017

British Colonial Violence and the End of Empire

Caroline Elkins

Colonial counter-insurgencies bedeviled the British Empire in the years following the Second World War. Britain developed and honed its strategy for suppressing ‘terrorists’ who challenged colonial law and order, beginning in Palestine and subsequently moving into Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland. The British waged war against armed insurgents in remote jungles and in urban streets, deploying air strikes and tanks, and training and arming loyalist civilians. In the use of brutality, Britain bears comparison with other colonizing powers such as France, Germany, and Japan—perhaps even the United States. Is there a logic of colonial violence that developed within the framework of military and police cultures? Caroline Elkins is the Hugo K. Foster Associate Professor of African Studies at Harvard University. Her publications include Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya. She is currently working on a book that analyzes British colonial violence after the Second World War.

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[87] Jan 27, 2017

Alexander King: Scientist and Environmentalist

Jurgend Schmandt

Alexander King, a Scotsman, was a chemist, science adviser, and environmentalist. During World War II he was involved in Top Secret negotiations about the Atomic Bomb and later worked on the consequences of DDT in malaria-struck regions. He advised post-war British governments on scientific problems, pioneered the concept of science policy, and helped to found the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development—the ‘Club of Rome’. Jurgend Schmandt is Professor of Public Affairs at the LBJ School. He specializes in environmental policy and regulation. His current research deals with sustainable development, climate change, and water policy. His books include Sustainability of Engineered Rivers in Arid Lands and The Impact of Global Warming on Texas.

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[88] Jan 20, 2017

Bob Dylan and England

Thomas Palaima

The announcement of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize award has drawn a wide a range of responses as everything else Dylan has done during his career over the past half century. In this post-Nobel talk, Tom Palaima will discuss Bob Dylan’s relationship with Britain, devoting attention to features of Dylan’s creative genius, the nature of his art, sources of his themes, and his ‘insights into the human condition’. Tom Palaima, a Macarthur Fellow (1985-1990), is the Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics, and Director of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory. For 25 years he has taught seminars on war and violence with the purpose of ‘seeing who we are as human beings and why we do what we do’. One of his courses in the Spring Semester 2017 is entitled ‘Bob Dylan’s Social-Historical Imagination’.

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[89] Dec 2, 2016

Christmas Party

James Loehlin and Michael Starbird

James Loehlin will read passages from favorite Christmas writings and Michael Starbird will recite "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Carroll, followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers.

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[90] Nov 18, 2016

Post-November 8, Post-Brexit

David Edwards

By anyone’s account, the year 2016 will mark two monumental events, the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States and the referendum in Britain in favor of leaving the European Union. David Edwards will offer his assessment in the hope of beginning a discussion that will give opportunity to other members of British Studies to offer their own opinions and judgements. David Edwards has taught at UT for 50 years, 40 of which he has been a member of British Studies. With the reputation of a tenured radical, he has participated week by week in the discussions and has often given lectures himself. His books include Arms Control in International Politics, which has been translated into Arabic and Chinese. With comments by George Christian, Holly McCarthy, and Bat Sparrow

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[91] Nov 12, 2016

The Whig History of Science

Steve Weinberg

‘The Whig Interpretation of History’ was famously denounced by the young Cambridge don Herbert Butterfield in a book with that title in 1931. He argued that history should not be written with an eye on eye on the present, or with the intent to deliver moral judgments on the past. ‘Whiggish’ came to be regarded among historians as a term of abuse, on a par with ‘Eurocentric’ or ‘Orientalist.’ Steven Weinberg is on the faculty of the Physics and Astronomy Departments, and holds the Josey-Welch Foundation Chair in Science. In 1979 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics. He has been, in his own phrase, guilty of Whiggery in articles in The New York Review of Books and in a recent book, To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science.

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[92] Nov 4, 2016

Six Stages in the Greening of Ted Hughes

Terry Gifford

What might it mean to enquire into the shifts in the notions of nature in the life’s work of a Poet Laureate? During the lifetime of Ted Hughes (1930-1998) the ‘countryside’ in English literature metamorphosed into the ‘environment’. Terry Gifford will argue that his poetry reflects this transformation in six phases: Walking the fields: ‘Crow Hill’. ‘Capturing’ rather than shooting: ‘An Otter’. America and after: ‘Relic’. Your Environment: ‘1984 On “The Taka Trail”’. Hunting and Conservation: ‘The Stag’. Your World: ‘Four Ages’, Tales From Ovid. Terry Gifford is the author—editor of five books and six chapters in books on Ted Hughes including Ted Hughes (2009), The Cambridge Companion to Ted Hughes (2011), and New Casebooks: Ted Hughes (2015). Currently editing Ted Hughes in Context for Cambridge University Press, he is Chair of the Ted Hughes Society. At present he is Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Writing and Environment at Bath Spa University.

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[93] Oct 28, 2016

‘Will & Jane’: Shakespeare, Austen, and the Cult of Celebrity

Janine Barchas

Janine Barchas is the co-curator of the ‘Will & Jane’ exhibition currently on show at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. It tells the story of the parallel afterlives of Austen and Shakespeare and asks how these two English writers rose to the status of literary superheroes. The New York Times has praised the exhibition for mixing ‘deep scholarship with serious whimsy’. A Professor of English with a Ph.D. from Stanford, she taught at the University of Auckland for five years before joining the University of Texas in 2002. Her books include Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History, Location, and Celebrity published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2012. Her columns for popular audiences have appeared in The New York Times, and her videos are part of the UT-sponsored ‘Knowledge Matters’.

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[94] Oct 21, 2016

Lost and Found: Bayes' Rule after 250 Years

James Scott

Bayes’ rule is a mathematical formula that answers the question: how should we change our beliefs in light of new evidence? It was discovered by the Reverend Thomas Bayes, and published in 1763. Today, it underpins much of the modern digital economy, from search engines to Siri to self-driving cars. Yet it has a surprisingly tangled history. Why had it fallen completely out of favor by 1940? And why has its popularity surged once again? James Scott is an Associate Professor of Statistics. He uses Bayes’ rule almost every day in his research. He is a former student at the University of Texas as well as an alumnus of the Plan II British Studies seminar and a Churchill Scholar. He is currently writing a book called ‘The Vicar and the Submarine: Adventures in Better Thinking through Probability’.

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[95] Oct 14, 2016

Britain’s ‘Egyptian Allies’ and the Suez Crisis of 1956

Barnaby Crowcroft

The Suez crisis is often described as the moment when President Nasser rallied a nationalist resistance against imperialist domination and ‘restored the dignity of the individual Arab’ after decades of foreign rule. What then were a collection of hardline Egyptian nationalists—journalists, civil servants, religious activists, military officers, and others—doing in 1956 when they found themselves allied with Britain, and against the Arab world’s most charismatic leader? Barnaby Crowcroft was raised in Jersey, in the Channel Islands, and educated at the London School of Economics and Yale University. He is currently in the midst of a two-year period of research, in Britain, Ghana, Nigeria, Egypt, Sudan and Malaysia, to complete a project on decolonization in Britain’s ‘empire of protectorates’.

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[96] Oct 7, 2016

Stalin’s Englishman: Guy Burgess

Andrew Lownie

Stalin’s Englishman is the first full biography of the Cambridge spy Guy Burgess. It draws on thirty years of research in archives around the world, over a hundred interviews with people who have never spoken before, and documents declassified under Freedom of Information Act. Burgess was not only the most important of the Cambridge spy ring but also perhaps the most interesting because of his intellectual brilliance, his making fools of people in high places, and his ‘cruising and boozing with Rabelaisian joie de vivre’. Andrew Lownie was educated at Cambridge University before going on to do postgraduate work at Edinburgh University. He was one of the original six-man team which set up the Spy Museum in Washington. He has been a journalist as well as literary agent, and is currently a Visiting Fellow at Churchill College, Cambridge. His next book will be on Louis and Edwina Mountbatten.

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[97] Sep 30, 2016

Crimes against Humanity and the Armenian Genocide: How the British Invented Human Rights

Michelle Tusan

The principle of human rights has an unusual and controversial history. Its origins can be found in the humanitarian movements in Victorian Britain. The role played by the British Empire as an arbiter of justice before the rise of international institutions after World War I culminated in the first attempt to prosecute ‘crimes against humanity’—the case of the Armenian genocide. Michelle Tusan is Professor of History at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She is the author of Smyrna’s Ashes: Humanitarianism, Genocide and the Birth of the Middle East (2012). She has published widely on the history of humanitarianism and human rights. She is now finishing a book entitled, Genocide and Empire: Britain and the Armenians from W. E. Gladstone to Winston Churchill.

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[98] Sep 23, 2016

Re-Illustrating the History of the British Empire

Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes

Issues of memory and emotion are seldom the choice of historians exploring the relationship between art and ideology, but they create meaning for particular historical events. Nineteenth-century photographs as well as paintings hold a high potential for re-illustrating the history of the British Empire. Annamaria Motrescu-Mayes is a social anthropologist at the Centre of South African Studies and a Fellow of Clare Hall, Cambridge. Her research interests include racial, gender, and political identities in British History. Her forthcoming collaborative publications include Visual Histories of South Asia and Amateur Media: Film, Digital Media and Participatory Cultures.

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[99] Sep 16, 2016

Round Table Discussion on Shakespeare’s Richard III

Alan Friedman, James Loehlin, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, and David Kornhaber

Richard III is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and most problematic plays. In this roundtable discussion with faculty from UT’s Department of English, panelists will discuss the stage history of Richard III, responses to the play from critics in centuries past, and what to expect from the upcoming performance by the Actors from the London Stage. Alan Friedman is Thaman Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Coordinator of the Actors From The London Stage program; James Loehlin is Shakespeare at Winedale Regents Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Professor of English; Elizabeth Richmond-Garza is University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of English and Director of the Program in Comparative Literature; and David Kornhaber is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature and Co-Coordinator of the Actors From The London Stage program.

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[100] Sep 9, 2016

Round Table Discussion on Brexit

Jamie Galbraith, David Leal, Philippa Levine, and Roger Louis with a comment by John Berry

Round Table Discussion on Brexit

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[101] Sep 2, 2016

British and American Intelligence Services

John Prados

The Secret Intelligence Service (SIS), commonly known as MI6 (Military Intelligence, Section 6), is the British equivalent of the Central Intelligence Agency. There has traditionally been close cooperation between the two, as there has been between the two domestic security organizations, MI5 and the FBI. Only rarely has the liaison between the British and American agencies reached the public eye, though it can be traced specifically in covert operations in Albania, the Suez crisis, the operation of the U-2, and the run up to the Iraq war. John Prados is a Senior Fellow at the National Security Archive, where he directs the CIA Documentation Project. He holds a PhD in International Relations from Columbia University. His most recent book is Storm over Leyte: The Philippine Invasion and the Destruction of the Japanese Navy (2016). His other books include Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War, 1945–1975 (2009); Keepers of the Keys (1991); and Combined Fleet Decoded (2001), all of which were nominated for the Pulitzer Prize.

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[102] Aug 26, 2016

Homo, humanus, humanitas—and the ‘Humanities’

James H. Dee

Words like ‘humanities’ and ‘humanist’ are well established in today's academic and cultural lexicon, but where did they come from and how did they acquire their present meanings? James Dee will explore the complex concepts of the human being and human civilization, tracing a path that begins in East—Central Africa more than 160,000 years ago. His historical survey will be complemented by a consideration of ‘values’ and the current tensions between ‘science’ and ‘the humanities’. James H. Dee received a Ph.D. in Classical Languages and Literature from the University of Texas in 1972. He taught for many years at the University of Illinois at Chicago, chairing the Classics Department for a total of eight years, and was Associate Director of the UIC Humanities Institute in 1985-86. He has published, in his own words, ‘nine idiosyncratic reference works in classical studies’ and fully intends to write a book on Humanitas Romana, for which he held a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship in 1989-90.

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[103] Apr 29, 2016

Seamus Heaney: Irish Poet and Nobel Laureate

Rand Brandes

Seamus Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright, translator and lecturer. He was recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. He composed primarily on paper at a time when the literary world around him drifted into the digital age. He believed that establishing order in his writing life was necessary because of its sheer intensity and scale. Based upon his work with Heaney, Brandes will demonstrate how Heaney’s involvement in his own bibliographical and archival projects was extraordinary and unprecedented in the era of modern writing. Rand Brandes is the Martin Luther Stevens Professor of English at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, North Carolina. For over twenty-five years he worked regularly with Seamus Heaney and received two Fulbright Senior Research Fellowships to assist him in his home with archival projects. His publications include Seamus Heaney: A Reference Guide and Seamus Heaney: A Bibliography 1959-2003. In 2015 he was a Trinity College Dublin Visiting Research Fellow and again worked in the Heaney home.

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[104] Apr 22, 2016

Cartography and the Making of the Modern Middle East

Daniel Foliard

The Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916 symbolically stands as the carving up of the Middle East by Britain and France that has had lasting effects to the present. In the region today, we are witnessing the redrawing of the maps created in the First World War, which is the critical era for the cartography of the Middle East. In studying the background, it is useful to return to the records of the pre-1914 era as well as those of the war itself. To what extent did geographers themselves play a part in reconfiguring the Middle East? French, British, and American cartographers and other experts converged in Paris at the Peace Conference in 1919 to justify their territorial claims—and so also did Middle Eastern nationalists. Collectively they presented an unprecedented number of maps and statistics. This lecture will explore conflicting visions as well as claims, and how they led to the invention of the modern Middle East. Daniel Foliard is a Lecturer at Paris Ouest University. He writes on the cultural and social history of Britain and the British Empire with a focus on knowledge and ideas rooted in language. His first book, Dislocating the Orient: British Maps and the Making of the Middle East, 1854-1921, will be published by the University of Chicago Press in 2017.

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[105] Apr 8, 2016

Evelyn Waugh: His Visits to the United States

Martin Stannard, Barbara Cooke and Jeffrey Manley (Editors of the OUP Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh—68 Volumes)

From the age of twenty-five, Waugh earned a substantial living as a novelist, journalist, and travel writer. His brilliant pre-war black comedies—Decline and Fall (1928), Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934), and Scoop (1938)—were popular in Britain but sold only modestly in the United States. Brideshead Revisited became an American bestseller in 1945. It transformed his career. The three editors will discuss Waugh’s trips to the United States, not least California, where he became fascinated with American funeral services and invented the character Mr. Joyboy—the mortician who leaves a beaming smile on the faces of embalmed bodies. Martin Stannard is Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Leicester. Barbara Cooke is editing Waugh’s autobiography, A Little Learning. Jeffrey Manley is active in the Evelyn Waugh Society and has written about Waugh’s 1948-49 trips to the United States.

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[106] Apr 1, 2016

Poetry during the Second World War: Keith Douglas in the Tradition of Siegfried Sassoon

Steven L. Isenberg

Keith Douglas was a poet who came to the Second World War in a spirit of realistic readiness. His elegant and exacting poetry falls within the tradition of Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves while his death at Normandy recalls the poetic achievements of Wilfred Owen. During the war he vividly described warfare in North Africa. His poetry depicted his fellow soldiers shrewdly and sympathetically. He is generally considered to rank alongside the 20th century’s finest soldier-poets. Steve Isenberg’s remarkable career includes the experience of a former newspaper publisher, university president, lawyer, chief of staff to the Mayor of New York, and executive director of PEN. He has taught at Berkeley, Yale, Davidson, and Oxford. He holds a Berkeley B.A. and a Yale J.D. as well as an honorary doctorate from Adelphi University. He is an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford.

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[107] Mar 25, 2016

The Colonial Hunt: Collecting Trophies and Knowledge

Laura Mitchell

The hunting practices in Africa produced knowledge about the natural world in both the colonial and African contexts. Hunting could be utilitarian, luxurious, symbolic, medicinal, and exotic. This lecture will relate the history of wild game hunting by emphasizing not only the sport but also the intersection of environmental, scientific, anthropological, and artistic inquiry. Laura Mitchell teaches African and world history at the University of California at Irvine. Using the technology of the digital age, she has made her subjects accessible to diverse audiences. Her current project, Beastly Display, deals with three centuries of wild-game hunting in Africa. Her first book, Property, Family, and Identity in Colonial South Africa (2009) won the Gutenberg Prize of the American Historical Association.

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[108] Mar 11, 2016

China and India during World War II

Ron Heiferman

Chiang Kai-shek was not only a famous Chinese nationalist leader but also an American ally. He opposed British imperialism and encouraged Indian nationalists in their efforts to achieve independence. Yet when Indian nationalists proclaimed the ‘Quit India’ movement in 1942, he traveled to India to urge Gandhi and Nehru to postpone the protest until the end of World War II. His mission failed. But the story behind Chiang’s effort yields a unique insight into the clash of Indian nationalism and British rule in India as well as the critical struggle between nationalists and communists in China. Ronald Heiferman is Professor of History at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, and a Fellow of Berkeley College, Yale University. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books. His latest book, Roosevelt, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang, was published in 2011. He has been awarded five National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowships, including one at the University of Texas in 1991.

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[109] Mar 4, 2016

Cecil Rhodes: The Man, the Scholarships, and the Protest

Kenneth Fisher

Rhodes Scholar Class of 1955; How did it happen that a mid-western college senior is offered a chance to attend one of the world’s most prestigious universities—in another country--at the expense of a Trust, set up by a long-dead man with whom he had no previous connection? The answer begins in rural England in 1853 and winds its way through southern Africa. Rhodes was a stubborn and not-much-loved man who acquired vast wealth with the De Beers Diamond company. His most enduring achievement was the establishment of a permanent fund to bring to Oxford University carefully selected young men (and now women) from all corners of the English-speaking world. Recently a protest movement in Oxford has aimed to remove the statue of Rhodes at Oriel College. Rhodes to many symbolizes imperialism and exploitation. To others he represents the scholarships that have brought fame and talent to Oxford. Kenneth Fisher’s talk will include an assessment of the protest movement and its significance.

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[110] Feb 26, 2016

Representing Rural Society: Labor and the Landscape in the Eighteenth Century

Steve Hindle

The harvest has long been recognized as the central drama of the agricultural calendar, and historians have painstakingly reconstructed the levels of manpower and skill required to bring crops in from the fields. Through a close reading of an eighteenth century landscape painting, this lecture will pursue an art-historical approach to the study of the hay harvest. Steve Hindle is Director of Research at the Huntington Library. Previously he directed the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick. His books include On the Parish? The Micro-Politics of Poor Relief in Rural England c. 1550-1640 (2004); and The State and Social Change in Early Modern England c. 1550-1640 (2000). He is a former editor of the Economic History Review.

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[111] Feb 19, 2016

Everyday Life in South India through the Tamil Short Story

Martha Ann Selby

In addition to her training as a specialist in the classical languages of India, Martha Ann Selby has embraced contemporary Tamil literature. During her recent eight-month tenure as a Fulbright Scholar in Chennai (Madras), she conducted research on the modern fiction of D. Dilip Kumar, one of Tamilnadu’s most socially-conscious writers. In her presentation for the British Studies seminar, she will explore Dilip Kumar’s portrayal of Tamil society, migration history, language politics and conflict, and problems of class and caste disparity. Martha Ann Selby is Ralph B. Thomas Regents Professor and Chair of the Department of Asian Studies. She is the author of three books. Her 2011 Tamil Love Poetry was awarded the A. K. Ramanujan Translation Prize in 2014. She has held fellowships from the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Study, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Humanities Center. She most recently held a Fulbright-Nehru Senior Research Fellowship to translate Tamil short fiction.

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[112] Feb 12, 2016

The Lost History of Rhodesia: Race and the Decolonization of Central Africa

Between 1956 and 1961, the British Colonial Office, as well as white jurists and politicians in Central Africa itself, designed constitutional and franchise requirements that would modify—if not do away with—‘race,’ to make the category irrelevant. The small number of African voters would concern themselves, so it was hoped, with the real if unspecified issues of the day while white voters would not be fearful of African aspirations. The plan resulted in failure, but it dominated politics in the region in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Luise White is the author of almost 40 articles. She has done research in Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. In the course of her research she has moved from women’s history to medical history to political and military history, and from East Africa to Central Africa. Her books include The Comforts of Home: Prostitution in Colonial Nairobi (1990), which won the Herskovits Prize for the Best Book in African Studies in 1991. Her latest book is Unpopular Sovereignty: Rhodesian Independence and African Decolonization (2015).

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[113] Feb 5, 2016

Current British and American Newspapers

Boisfeuillet Jones, Jr.

Boisfeuillet Jones studied at Harvard 1964-68 and edited the Harvard Crimson. As a Rhodes Scholar in Oxford, he worked under the famous economic historian, David Fieldhouse, and earned the D.Phil. He also attended Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He worked at the Washington Post for over 30 years, rising to Publisher and Chief Executive Officer. He left the Post at the end of 2011 to work for three years as President and CEO of MacNeil-Lehrer Productions, the producer of the PBS New Hour. His subject will be British and American newspapers and their approaches to reaching national and international print and digital audiences. Traditional print copies, despite a plunge in numbers, remain the newspapers’ largest revenue source. Web business models fall short in capturing enough revenue from the large new audiences. The newspapers’ prospects for maintaining quality journalistic enterprises are uncertain. Much depends on perseverance by owners during a period of adapting and experimenting. To support this line of interpretation, examples will include the Washington Post and New York Times, and the Times of London, Telegraph, and Guardian.

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[114] Jan 29, 2016

Writing about Resistance in World War II

Caroline Moorehead

Ten years ago Caroline Moorehead embarked on a first book about resistance in Nazi-occupied France during the Second World War. Through the stories of 230 French women resisters deported to Auschwitz, she discovered a vast and rich field of material—memoirs, letters, police reports, biographical accounts, local studies, and much else besides—in archives in Britain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Israel, and the United States. In this lecture, she will connect with the British theme. Caroline Moorehead is a biographer and historian whose books include lives of Bertrand Russell, Iris Origo, Martha Gellhorn, and Lucie de la Tour du Pin. She also writes about human rights and refugees, and her book Human Cargo: A Journey among Refugees (2005) was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle award. The second volume in her resistance quartet, A Village of Secrets, was short-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. She is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

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[115] Jan 22, 2016

The Best and Worst Books of 2015

Roger Louis (History), Al Martinch (Philosophy), Elizabeth Richmond-Garza (English), and Steve Weinberg (Physics)

The Best and Worst Books of 2015. Should any of them be included in the new Texas List of Unrequired Reading?

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[116] Dec 4, 2015

Christmas Party at the Littlefield Home

James Loehlin

James Loehlin will read passages from favorite Christmas writings.

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[117] Dec 4, 2015

Christmas Party at the Littlefield Home with Christmas Carols

James Loehlin

James Loehlin will read passages from favorite Christmas writings, followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers.

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[118] Nov 20, 2015

The Unjustifiable and the Imaginable: Politics and Fiction in Contemporary Aboriginal Life

Philip Mead

Across Aboriginal Australia there is a range of views about the issue of sovereignty. For some groups and individuals pursuing Aboriginal sovereignty is the only basis on which Indigenous rights can be properly founded. For other activists and intellectuals this is a delusion. Alexis Wright’s The Swan Book (2013), for example, is a futuristic meditation on the limits of settler sovereignty, from an Indigenous perspective. Philip Mead is currently Visiting Professor of Australian Studies at Harvard University. At the University of Western Australia he is Chair of Australian Literature and Director, Westerly Centre. His books include Teaching Australian Literature: from Classroom Conversations to National Imaginings (2011), with Brenton Doecke and Larissa McLean Davies.

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[119] Nov 13, 2015

The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland

Carol MacKay, Chair, Jerome Bump, George Scott Christian, and John Farrell

Faculty Seminar on British Studies The Story of Alice: Lewis Carroll and the Secret History of Wonderland By Robert Douglas-Fairhurst Harvard University Press, 2015 Round Table Discussion Carol MacKay, Chair Jerome Bump George Scott Christian John Farrell

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[120] Oct 30, 2015

The Difficulties of Writing about Winston Churchill

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

At the time of his death fifty years ago, Sir Winston Churchill was the most famous person of his age, acclaimed as ‘the man of the century’. In his lifetime and ever since he inspired a vast literature, attracting both adulation and denigration, books ranging from the excellent to the execrable. And yet, even now, there is no satisfactory biography of him. Why has a man of such immense renown remained so elusive? Geoffrey Wheatcroft will attempt to answer this conundrum. A journalist and historian, Geoffrey Wheatcroft studied Modern History at New College, Oxford. He joined the Spectator in 1975. He writes regularly for the Guardian, the New Review of Books, the TLS, and the Wall Street Journal. His books include The Randlords (1995), The Controversy of Zion (1996), The Strange Death of Tory England (2005), and Yo! Blair (2007).

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[121] Oct 23, 2015

The Falklands War

Hans Mark, Chancellor of the University of Texas System 1984-1992

With more than three decades distance in time, it is now possible to make a balanced assessment of the Falklands War of 1982 – and not only of the actual battles but also of the controversial American assistance to British forces. The Secretary of Defense, Casper Weinberger, provided equipment ranging from submarine detectors to missiles. He did so without explicit instruction from President Ronald Reagan, to the dismay of those within the American government such as Jeanne Kirkpatrick who were sympathetic to the Argentines. What of the naval, air, and land engagements in view of American support? Hans Mark received his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1954. He has served as United States Secretary of the Air Force and Deputy Administrator of NASA. At UT he has held the John J. McKetta Centennial Energy Chair in Engineering. Among other classes he has taught introductory courses to incoming freshman in Aerospace Engineering. His books include The Space Station: A Personal Journey (1987); The Management of Research Institutions (with Arnold Levine, 1984); and Adventures in Celestial Mechanics (with Victor Szebehely, 1989).

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[122] Oct 16, 2015

Pamela Hansford Johnson: "And Have You Ever Written, Lady Snow?"

Deidre David

Despite her long career as prolific novelist, and essayist, Pamela Hansford Johnson frequently found her work overshadowed by that of her husband, C.P. Snow, in part because of his intellectual celebrity after the ‘Two Cultures’ lecture in 1962. But from the mid-thirties (when she almost married Dylan Thomas) to her death in 1980, she never stopped writing: publishing twenty-eight novels, essays of social criticism, and studies on the art of fiction. After publishing several books dealing with Victorian literature and women’s writing and editing The Cambridge Companion to the Victorian Novel (second edition 2013), Deirdre David turned to biography. Her Fanny Kemble: A Performed Life appeared in 2007 and Olivia Manning: A Woman at War in 2013. Pamela Hansford Johnson: A Writing Life is scheduled for publication by Oxford in 2016.

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[123] Oct 9, 2015

Newer Women and Newer Men After the Great War

Reba Soffer

Until the Great War, novelists told stories in which appropriate conduct was usually endorsed, if not always practiced, by their readers. During the 1920’s and 1930’s, an almost universally literate reading public turned instead to the post-war phenomenon of readily available ‘best-sellers’. Dorothy Sayers and Michael Arlen, through unprecedented book sales, each created radically new images of both women and men. What was the appeal of those images? Under which historical circumstances does literature affect thought and behavior? Reba Soffer has written three prize-winning books and 30 essays about nineteenth and twentieth century British and American history. A Guggenheim, Royal Historical Society, ACLS, NEH, and SSRC Fellow, she received a British Council Award and was Christiansen Visiting Fellow in Historical Studies, Australian National University. She was President of the North American Conference on British Studies; on the Board of Editors, the American Historical Review; and, ‘Outstanding Professor’ for the 19 campuses of the California State University system.

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[124] Oct 2, 2015

A Midsummer Night's Dream

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, characters often express their fantasies in terms of what they would do (or what they would have others do). Why are such desires not always satisfied by the changes, and even magical transformations, that the plot supplies? The tendency to couch wishes and dreams in contingent terms reveals Shakespeare’s pervasive interest in substitution, lending force instead in this play to what is interchangeable. J. K. Barret is Assistant Professor of English at UT Austin. She specializes on sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literature. Her first book, Untold Futures: Time and Literary Culture in Renaissance England is forthcoming from Cornell University Press. Her work has also appeared or is forthcoming in Shakespeare Quarterly, ELH, and English Literary Renaissance.

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[125] Sep 25, 2015

Whiteness and Color-Based Racism

James H. Dee

The classical traditions of Hellas and Rome are universally acknowledged as central to European and American cultural identity. Yet there are present-day assumptions about the cultural and psychological problem of race that are completely absent in the ancient world—the notions of ‘whiteness’ and ‘white race’. An examination of evidence from the ancient and modern worlds will show how the inconsistencies originated and how they raise a basic question: how we might move toward a society without color-based racism? James H. Dee received a Ph.D. in Classical Languages and Literature from the University of Texas. He taught for many years at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His publications include nine reference books in classical studies, six of which are on the Homeric epics. He is planning a book on The Absence of Whiteness.

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[126] Sep 18, 2015

The Myth of All Souls College

Simon Green

All Souls College, Oxford, was a prestigious and influential institution in the first half of the twentieth century. Inspired by the vision of Sir William Anson (Warden, 1881-1914), it became a peculiar ‘academic’ society: part research institute, part ‘think tank’, sometimes called ‘an unofficial committee, charged with the destinies of the British Empire’. But its power began to wane after the Second World War and with it a substantial part of its reputation. What are the reasons for the decline of the myth that the College was composed of the 50 brightest men in England? S.J.D. Green is Professor of Modern History at the University of Leeds and a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford. His recent books include The Passing of Protestant England: Secularisation and Social Change, c. 1920-1960 (2012) and (ed. with Peregrine Horden), All Souls and the Wider World: 1850-1950 (2011). He was Birkbeck Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at the University of Cambridge in 2013-14.

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[127] Sep 11, 2015

Churchill and the Second World War: A Reassessment

Jonathan Schneer

It seems impossible now to imagine Great Britain during the Second World War being led by anyone other than Winston Churchill. Yet it was not impossible at the time. Despite a legend burnished over many years, Churchill had to manage a War Cabinet whose members never ceased to criticize each other, above all Churchill himself, even as they faced the common foe. Jonathan Schneer is the historian of modern Britain at Georgia Tech. His seven books include London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis, and The Balfour Declaration: The Origins of Arab Israeli Conflict (which won the National Jewish Book Award). His lecture will be based upon his most recent book, Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and His War Cabinet.

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[128] Sep 4, 2015

40th Anniversary of British Studies

A Special Celebration to mark four decades of British Studies at U.T.

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[129] Sep 4, 2015

40th Anniversary of British Studies with Songs

A Special Celebration to mark four decades of British Studies at U.T.

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[130] Aug 28, 2015

The Falklands War

Roger Louis, Bartholomew Sparrow, and David Leal

Our Chancellor has been summoned to Washington. Much to his regret, he must cancel his lecture. Since British Studies never cancels a session, we shall carry on: Roger Louis will talk briefly on the origins and course of the Falklands war—and how interpretations have changed as a result of ongoing declassification of records at The National Archives in London and the Reagan Presidential Library. Bartholomew Sparrow (Professor and Associate Chair, Government) will comment on the American perspective. And David Leal (Professor of Government and Latin American Studies) will comment on the Argentine side of the conflict.

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[131] May 8, 2015

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography and National Identity

Lawrence Goldman

At a point when the United Kingdom is becoming more disunited and the Union itself is imperiled, this seminar talk will examine the nature of national identity in British history through an analysis of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Published in 2004 and building on a great Victorian classic, the Dictionary contains biographical essays on more than 60,000 people who have made British history and offers unrivalled material for a study of ‘the nation’ through time.     Lawrence Goldman was Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, for 24 years before moving to his current position as Director of the Institute of Historical Research, London. He was the Editor of the Oxford DNB for ten years, 2004-2014. He is the author of books on Victorian social science, the history of workers’ education, and most recently, a biography of the political thinker and historian, R. H. Tawney.

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[132] May 1, 2015

Colonel House and the British

John Milton Cooper

Colonel Edward M. House was President Wilson’s emissary to the British during the First World War. He used his resources and wiles to help them secure a peace settlement favorable to their interests. House owed his usefulness to the British to his relationship with Woodrow Wilson. It was an extraordinarily complicated relationship. Questions remain about how important House was to Wilson and to Anglo-American relations in the First World War. John Milton Cooper taught history for many years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His most recent book, Woodrow Wilson: A Biography (2011) has been hailed as ‘the first major biography of America’s twenty-eighth president in nearly two decades.’ His other books include The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt (1983). He is presently writing a book on presidential reputations in twentieth century America.

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[133] Apr 24, 2015

The Men Who Lost America

Andrew O’Shaughnessy

Britain seemingly should have won the Revolutionary War. Its failure to do so is commonly assumed to be due to the incompetence of commanders and the politicians who are ridiculed in fiction and in movies. Although less crudely presented, such caricatures even permeate scholarly literature. Andrew O’Shaughnessy will challenge the stereotypes and offer a very different explanation of why Britain lost the American War of Independence. Andrew O’Shaughnessy is Vice President of The Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello) and Professor of History at the University of Virginia. He is author of The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution, and the Fate of the Empire (2013), which has been the recipient of national awards, and An Empire Divided: The American Revolution and the British Caribbean (2014).

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[134] Apr 17, 2015

Round Table Discussion on the Question of Racial and Social Prejudice in British and American Universities

Marian Barber (British Studies) Roger Louis (British Studies) Tom Palaima (Classics) Comment: Robert Icenhauer-Ramirez (British Studies) We have been reminded of lingering problems of racial or ethnic prejudice by two recent incidents: in March 2015 the President of the University of Oklahoma closed down the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon because of a chant using offensive language and implying lynching. The OU incident sparked renewed charges against a UT fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta, for a party earlier this year in which students dressed in clothing that stereotyped Latinos. Over 1000 UT students signed a petition urging punishment. The UT administration in turned deplored Fiji behavior but ruled that it is within students’ rights to freedom of speech at private events. To place the American problem in a British context: there is no equivalent of American fraternities in British universities, but are there currents of anti-Irish or anti-immigrant sentiment within colleges and student societies? Does Enoch Powell’s famous phrase ‘Rivers of Blood’ still have an echo in Oxford and Cambridge? The round table participants will briefly discuss these issues in order to promote general discussion.

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[135] Apr 10, 2015

Lost Expeditions, Lost Histories

Dane Kennedy

Shortly after the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the British launched two major expeditions into the interior of West Africa. One set out by land, a heavily armed military force that marched from the Guinea coast towards the upper reaches of the Niger River. The other set out by sea, a naval force that sailed up the Congo River. Both expeditions were disastrous failures, quickly forgotten and erased from the annals of exploration. Why were these two expeditions undertaken? Why did they fail? The answers help to explain Britain’s efforts to restructure its relations with Africa after the end of the slave trade. The expeditions tell a story of British hubris and African power in a period that proved crucial to both sides. Dane Kennedy is Professor of History at George Washington University and the Director of the National History Center of the American Historical Association. His books include Islands of White: Settler Society and Culture In Kenya and Southern Rhodesia, 1890-1939 (1987); The Magic Mountains: Hill Stations and the British Raj (1996); and The Last Blank Spaces: Exploring Africa and Australia (2013).

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[136] Mar 27, 2015

British Studies and Liberal Arts at UT

Robert D. King

Bob King was Dean of Liberal Arts for nearly two decades from 1979. He was critically important in giving support to the creation of the British Studies program. In this talk he will reflect on some of the major issues during his tenure, above all the question of how to promote good teaching. His talk will also address such issues as the part that teaching plays in promotions from assistant to associate professors, and from associates to full professors. He will emphasize teaching techniques that he has found effective in his own classes. A founding member of British Studies, Bob King has taught at UT since 1965. By training he is a linguist but his academic interests range over the spectrum of the humanities and include Sherlock Holmes as well as espionage. He has spoken to the British Studies seminar on topics as varied as T.S. Eliot, the Indian novelist Raja Rao, the Indian mathematical genius A.K. Ramanujan, and Antarctic explorations. Our speaker has said of himself: ‘My irresponsibility in choosing topics to lecture on knows no limits.’

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[137] Mar 13, 2015

South Africa and the Question of African Independence: The Case of South-West Africa (Namibia)

Molly McCullers

In South Africa’s quest for regional hegemony, South-West Africa remained a contested territory. Granted to South Africa as a League of Nations Permanent Mandate in 1919, South African attempts to annex South-West Africa led to decades of conflict between South Africa and the United Nations over the future of the territory. The issue of the territory’s fate, the ‘South West Africa Question’, brought relations between the apartheid government and the Commonwealth to a breaking point. The Afrikaner nationalist leaders now confronted fundamental contradictions in their own identities, conceptions of history, and ideas of the future. Molly McCullers teaches in the History Department at the University of West Georgia. She is currently working on a book entitled Division in the Desert, which examines masculinity and water politics in struggles between rural Herero communities and apartheid state officials to achieve competing visions for the future of South-West and South Africa.

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[138] Mar 6, 2015

Allies yet Adversaries? Portugal and Britain in the Age of Empire

Gabriel Paquette

What do the Portuguese and British archives as well as the historical literature reveal about the nature of the two states and the two empires? In the era of the eighteenth century to at least the middle of the nineteenth, there were critical junctures in overseas competition and conflict between Portugal and Britain. In the dispute over Ambriz in Angola in the 1850s there were key episodes of collaboration as well as antagonism. Gabriel Paquette is Professor of History and Director of the Program in Latin American Studies at Johns Hopkins. His publications emphasize the impact of empire on the development of European politics, society, ideas, and culture. His books include Empires and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-2000 (2009) and Imperial Portugal in the Age of Atlantic Revolutions (2013).

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[139] Feb 27, 2015

Northern Ireland’s Continuing Troubles: Reflections on the Belfast Agreement of 1998

Lawrence S. Graham

Despite the view that peace and stability have come to Northern Ireland, relations between the Catholic and Protestant communities in Ulster remain fragile under the unanimity required of the governing parties. Mediating these difficulties continues, but the legacy of the ‘Troubles’ remains a constant in politics and society. Larry Graham has taught at UT since 1965 and is an Emeritus Professor of Government. He founded the Brazil Center in the Institute of Latin American Studies, which he directed from 1995 to 2000, and was Associate Vice President for International Programs, 2000-2004. He has authored 17 books and over 100 articles focused on comparative politics. In 2009 he undertook new field research and conducted extensive interviews through the University of Ulster under a Fulbright Research Fellowship.

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[140] Feb 20, 2015

The United Nations and Colonial Independence

Thomas Meaney

In the 1950s there was something close to violent debate on the future of the European colonial empires. The protagonists included Ralph Bunche of the UN Secretariat; Sir Alan Burns, a former colonial governor; and Krishna Menon of India—far and away the fiercest critic of the United States. The issues included the pace towards independence by colonies under United Nations supervision. To what degree, if any, did UN efforts to educate native populations about self-government accelerate calls for outright independence? Thomas Meaney is an historian and literary critic. He teaches ‘Literature Humanities’ at Columbia University. He writes for the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and the London Review of Books. He is completing a book on the emergence of new strands of global thought in the wake of the Vietnam War.

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[141] Feb 13, 2015

The Poetry of Valentine’s Day: Love and Ghosts of the Great War

Ingrid Norton

How did the massive carnage of the First World War influence the way Britain’s lost generation thought about romantic love? To examine what happens to the language of love in the midst and aftermath of cataclysm, Ingrid Norton will explain the longing and heartbreak that pervades Great War literature. This Valentine's talk will also consider how the First World War era writing about romantic love, friendship, and suffering speaks to our own time. Ingrid Norton’s essays, fiction, and reporting have appeared in publications such as Dissent, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and The St. Ann's Review as well as in A Detroit Anthology (2014) and Building Community Resilience Post-Disaster (2013). She is currently studying religion and literature at Harvard Divinity School. She is a proud alumna of UT-Austin.

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[142] Feb 6, 2015

Indigenous Rights in Australia and New Zealand

Bain Attwood

Why did the British government deny indigenous sovereignty and rights in land in its Australian colonies in the eighteenth century only to recognize them in New Zealand in nineteenth century? The question in recent decades has been dominated by legal and intellectual issues. What of the actual encounter between the indigenous peoples and Europeans in the colonies? And the response of the Imperial government? Bain Attwood is the Gough Whitlam and Malcolm Fraser Visiting Professor in Australian Studies at Harvard University. He was born and raised in New Zealand, and has worked and lived in Australia for the last 25 years. His current research deals with the ways in which Aboriginal sovereignty and rights to land were treated, remembered and forgotten in Australia by settlers and Aboriginal people. His books include Possession: Batman’s Treaty and the Matter of History (2009).

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[143] Jan 30, 2015

The Propertyless British: The Legacy of Colonialism and America’s Forgotten Class

Bartholomew Sparrow

Well over half of the European Americans who immigrated to British North America arrived as bonded labor. Yet almost all scholars of the founding era (1776-1789) neglect this British colonial population of indentured servants, transported felons, and political prisoners. Nevertheless many of the founders themselves referred to indentured servants and the propertyless. What impact, then, did this overwhelmingly illiterate population have on the founders, the design of the government of the United States, and American political culture? Bartholomew Sparrow is a Professor in the Department of Government. He is the author of The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security (2015) and The Emergence of American Empire (2006). He has been a Fellow of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the Joan Shorenstein Center for Media, Politics and Policy; and the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library.

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[144] Jan 23, 2015

Blair and Bush: Partners in Reaction

Michael Brenner

George W. Bush and Tony Blair were contemporaries in more ways than serving as heads of government at the same time. It was an historically auspicious period in terms of two transformations with long-term implications for the place of the United States and of Britain in world affairs as well as for their bilateral relationship. The first is the rise of ‘terrorism’ to the top of the security agenda. The other is the ebb tide in the political-economic trends of the Western world that has seen a decisive swing in the direction of neo-liberal philosophies and programs. Bush and Blair were instrumental in accelerating and consolidating these trends. Michael Brenner is Professor Emeritus of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. He was the Director of the International Relations and Global Studies Program at the University of Texas until 2012. He is the author of numerous books, and over 80 articles and published papers. His most recent books are: Narcissistic Public Personalities and Our Times (2009); Fear and Dread In The Middle East (2008); and Toward A More Independent Europe (2007).

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[145] Jan 16, 2015

The Disappearance of Dylan Thomas

Kurt Heinzelman

The year 2014 was the 100th anniversary of Dylan Thomas’s birth. The celebrations raised his public profile to a level it had not attained in fifty years. This rediscovery of Thomas allows us to discuss how and why a poet, once the most emulated as well as most notorious author of his generation, fell so precipitously. It is an opportunity also to query the relations between celebrity, value, and influence. Kurt Heinzelman is a poet, translator, scholar, and editor. His most recent book of poetry is Intimacies & Other Devices (2013). As a scholar, he has written most extensively on poetics and on cultural economics. A Professor of English at UT, he is also an Honorary Professor at Swansea University, and Editor-in-Chief of Texas Studies in Literature and Language.

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[146] Dec 5, 2014

Christmas Party at the Littlefield Home with Christmas Carols

James Loehlin

James Loehlin reads passages from favorite Christmas writings, followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers.

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[147] Dec 5, 2014

Christmas Party at the Littlefield Home

James Loehlin

James Loehlin reads passages from favorite Christmas writings.

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[148] Nov 21, 2014

Germany and England: Romantic Connections

Miranda Seymour

Miranda Seymour (biographer, novelist, and critic) will discuss significant literary connections between England and Germany, including Coleridge, Scott, Byron, Goethe, George Eliot and Mary Shelley. Drawing on new research, her talk will include a discussion of the German influence on Frankenstein.

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[149] Nov 14, 2014

Well Played! Sports Settings and the Perspective of Architecture

Richard Cleary

As a coda to the 2014 World Cup, in which England fell ignominiously in the first round, we will look beyond Brazil and current league play to consider the more inspirational theme of the beauty of athletes in motion. Clipboard-toting coaches are not the only ones concerned with bodies, boundaries, and space. These relationships are equally central to other disciplines, including dance and architecture, which offer critical frameworks for examining the aesthetics of movement in sport and art in common terms. Richard Cleary is a long-time British Studies Junior Fellow. He teaches architectural history as Professor and Page Southerland Page Fellow in the School of Architecture. His most recent book, written with his departmental colleague, Larry Speck, is The University of Texas at Austin: A Campus Guide (2011).

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[150] Nov 7, 2014

George V, the Tsar and the Reinvention Of the British Monarchy

Jane Ridley

In 1917 George V rejected Lloyd George’s proposal that he should give asylum to his first cousin Tsar Nicholas II. This decision marked the dissolution of the ‘dynastic realm’ of Edward VII. It was followed by a series of measures 'naturalizing' the British monarchy. What were the reasons for these momentous changes? Were they driven by panic over the war and the threat of republicanism, or were there underlying political calculations? Jane Ridley is a Professor of History at Buckingham University. In 2012 she published Bertie: A Life of Edward VII, which was published in the United States as The Heir Apparent. She has recently completed a brief life of Queen Victoria for a Penguin series on kings and queens. She is currently working on a study of George V.

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[151] Oct 31, 2014

Round Table Discussion 'The Link between Psychology and History'

Robert Abzug

Prince of our Disorder: The Life of T. E. Lawrence by John Mack. Speakers: Robert Abzug (Rapoport Regents Chair of Jewish Studies) Randy Diehl (Dean of Liberal Arts, former Psychology Department Chairman) Roger Louis (Kerr Professor of English History and Culture)

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[152] Oct 24, 2014

Wales, Lloyd George, and the First World War

Kenneth O. Morgan

In the largely military anniversary commemoration of the First World War, little has been heard about social change and national identities, which were strongly present in Wales. In 1914, Wales was economically prosperous, culturally thriving, and politically stable. The advent of war saw strong voluntary recruitment and propaganda. David Lloyd George himself claimed that it was a war for Welsh liberal values. But by the time Lloyd George became Prime Minister in 1917, there was mounting dissent. For Wales as elsewhere, the First World War was a harsh, disillusioning period. The pre-1914 vibrant sense of nationality was replaced by one of bland unity in both Wales and Scotland. The union, as evident in the recent referendum, precariously continues to endure. Kenneth O. Morgan was a Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, 1966-89, later Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales, 1989-95. He was made a life peer (Labour) in 2000. He has written 34 books on British, Welsh, and American history. His most famous book, perhaps, is Labour in Power, 1945-1951 (1984); his latest is Devolution to Revolution (2014). He is married to the French constitutional lawyer, Elizabeth Gibson-Morgan of Bordeaux.

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[153] Oct 17, 2014

Much Ado about Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew

Leah S. Marcus

Leah Marcus has recently finished a book tentatively entitled How Shakespeare Became Colonial, which focuses on the history of Shakespeare's texts in the context of the era of British colonial expansion—and how his texts were edited for the press. In this lecture she will pursue the theme of ideologies of female conduct in the context of global perspective by commenting on Much Ado about Nothing and The Taming of the Shrew. The Edwin Mims Professor of English at Vanderbilt University, Leah Marcus is the author of four books, the last being Unediting the Renaissance. She has also published editions of the writings of Queen Elizabeth I, John Webster's Duchess of Malfi, and the Norton Critical Editions of two plays by Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice and As You Like It.

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[154] Oct 10, 2014

The Death of General Gordon in Khartoum

Richard Davenport-Hines

One of the most admired of the Victorian generals, Charles Gordon received orders from the Gladstone government to evacuate the British garrison at Khartoum. The entire region around Khartoum had fallen to the forces of the Mahdi, or ‘Expected One’, who had proclaimed a holy war. In Gordon’s own words, the Mahdists were more than fanatical, ‘more like communism under the flag of religion’. The expedition to the Sudan began in January 1884. Once in Khartoum, Gordon refused to evacuate. With only two British officers and his troops wasted by disease and famine, he wrote in his last days ‘I own to having been very insubordinate’. Defeat became more fearful than death. On 26 January 1885 Gordon was speared by dervishes and his severed head displayed in the camp of the Mahdists. His murder along with his doomed heroism propelled him into martyrdom. Davenport-Hines believes that Gordon’s life demands thorough reassessment. Richard Davenport-Hines is a past-winner of the Wolfson Prize for History and Biography, whose biographical subjects include W.H. Auden, Marcel Proust, and Lady Desborough. He has also edited an anthology Vice, Hugh Trevor-Roper’s Wartime Journals, and Trevor-Roper’s correspondence with Bernard Berenson. He has written histories of syphilis and sexual oppression, drug-taking, the Gothic Revival, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Profumo Affair. He is a regular reviewer for the Spectator, the Times Literary Supplement, and Literary Review.

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[155] Oct 3, 2014

Drugs in Twentieth Century Britain

William Meier

High levels of recreational drug use in contemporary Britain have earned dubious distinctions including a recent description of London as the ‘party drugs capital of the world’. Some observers see a normal consumer fancy; others, the herald of social decay. The history of drugs in twentieth-century Britain includes criminal networks, legislation, and definitions of the ‘dangerousness’ of the way in which drugs have evolved. William Meier is an Assistant Professor of History at Texas Christian University. He teaches courses on Britain, Ireland, and the British Empire. He is the author of Property Crime in London, 1850-Present (2011), and the co-editor (with Ian Campbell Ross) of a June 2014 special issue of Eire-Ireland on Irish Crime since 1921. He is currently writing a book on the history of terrorism in Britain and the British Empire.

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[156] Sep 26, 2014

The Reform Club: Its Creation and Traditions

Roger Billis

The Reform Club was founded in 1836. Its original members had been devoted to securing the Reform Act of 1832. The Club was intended for both Houses of Parliament yet it was viewed as a bastion of liberal and progressive thought. The building itself was designed by Sir Charles Barry. Its saloon is regarded as the finest room of all London clubs. Until the early twentieth century, many of its members belonged to the Liberal Party, but after the First World War the membership included an increasing number of civil servants as well as politicians. Gladstone, Lloyd George, Milner, J.C. Smuts of South Africa, and Churchill were all members. Roger Billis is a lawyer and a past Chairman (president) of the Reform Club. With Russell Burlingham he has written Reformed Characters: The Reform Club in History and Literature, which deals with the literary as well as the political dimension of the club. The wager made by Phileas Fogg to go round the world in eighty days was made in the Reform Club. It has long been a home for famous writers including Henry James, H. G. Wells, and Arnold Bennett—as well as occasional louche or notorious characters such as Guy Burgess. It was among the first of the London clubs to admit women.

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[157] Sep 19, 2014

New Perspectives on the American Revolution

Elena Schneider

The island of Cuba supplied economic and military aid to the colonists during the American Revolution. Yet this assistance may come as a surprise to those more familiar with the French, rather than the Spanish, involvement in that war. What was the nature of this commitment and what does it reveal about eighteenth-century imperial rivalry and inter-American relations? By offering a Cuban perspective on the American Revolution, the subject of ‘entangled empires’ becomes clearer. Elena Schneider is an Assistant Professor of History at the University of California, Berkeley. She is a historian of colonial Latin America and the Atlantic World. Her research explores the ways in which war, trade, and slavery unified the eighteenth-century Caribbean and Atlantic World. She is now writing a book entitled The Occupation of Havana, which examines the British invasion and occupation of Havana in 1762 as an episode in a long history of imperial rivalry over Cuba.

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[158] Sep 12, 2014

The Last Colonial War

General David Ramsbotham

In 1965 Singapore left the former British colony of Malaya—now called Malaysia—to become an independent city-state. During this era Indonesia objected strongly to territories including Borneo as well as Singapore that should, in the Indonesian view, be part of Indonesia. In the ‘confrontation’ between Malaysia and Indonesia, General Ramsbotham commanded British forces in what has become known as ‘the last colonial war’. General Ramsbotham’s army career spanned four decades before his retirement in 2003. He served in Germany, Kenya, Hong Kong, Borneo, Northern Ireland, and Gibraltar. Subsequently he has worked with the UN and World Bank on post-conflict reconstruction. From 1995 to 2001, he served as Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Prisons. He was awarded a life peerage in 2005 and now sits on the cross benches of the House of Lords.

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[159] Sep 5, 2014

Gray, Johnson, and Elegy

James D. Garrison

The extraordinary popularity of Thomas Gray’s An Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard renders every other elegy published between the time of Milton and Shelley at least relatively obscure. Its stature, confirmed by the authority of Samuel Johnson (‘the Church-yard abounds with images which find a mirrour in every mind’), Gray’s Elegy reflects on the very nature of elegiac poetry, thus joining a larger conversation about the genre—about fame and transience, death and consolation—that is essential to the literary history of the period. James D. Garrison has taught at The University of Texas since 1973, serving as Chairman of the English Department from 1994 to 2006. He is the author of two books on the poetry of John Dryden and, more recently, of A Dangerous Liberty: Translating Gray’s Elegy. He holds the Archibald A. Hill Professorship in English and American Literature and the title of Distinguished Teaching Professor.

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[160] Aug 29, 2014

The Ransom Center Looks Ahead

Stephen Enniss

Stephen Enniss will share with the British Studies Seminar his thoughts on the past, present, and future of the Harry Ransom Center. He will discuss the Center’s collection building activities, the dual commitment to library and museum functions, the mission-critical work of conservation, and the potential for innovative new digital access initiatives. Stephen Enniss is the sixth Director of the Harry Ransom Center. He did his undergraduate studies at Davidson College, followed by a library degree from Emory University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia. Before coming to the University of Texas, he held previous appointments at the Folger Shakespeare Library and at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library. He is recipient of a Leverhulme Fellowship for a biography, After the Titanic: A Life of Derek Mahon, forthcoming from Gill and Macmillan in October.

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[161] May 2, 2014

Scotland’s Independence?

George Christian

In September, Scottish voters will decide whether to declare political independence. If they decide in favor of independence, it will end more than three centuries of union with England and will create a new nation-state in northwestern Europe. Advocates for Scottish independence have the delicate task of stating the case for a unique ‘Scottish’ national identity, while at the same time reassuring Scots that political independence will not change certain cultural and economic aspects of the British connection. George Christian will discuss changing conceptions of the Scottish nation, ways in which Scots have imagined their multiple identities, and what history might tell us about Scotland’s future. George Christian is a Plan II graduate of UT, where he also earned his law degree, M.A. in English, and Ph.D. in English. A longtime member and Junior Fellow of British Studies, he is graduating this spring with a doctorate from the UT Department of History.

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[162] Apr 25, 2014

‘A Hotbed of Cold Feet’? Architecture in Oxford since 1900

William Whyte

Building projects proved controversial in twentieth-century Oxford. For some, like the historian Howard Colvin, the years after 1900 revealed the university as a ‘hot bed of cold feet’, unwilling to embrace modernism with sufficient enthusiasm. For others, like the travel writer Bill Bryson, this period was marred by too much modern architecture. ‘You know, we’ve been putting up handsome buildings since 1264’, Bryson imagined the dons of Oxford observing; ‘let’s have an ugly one for a change.’ Architecture mattered in twentieth-century Oxford, showing that battles over buildings were also debates about the nature of the University and the future of Britain. William Whyte is Senior Dean, Associate Professor of History, and Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford. He is the author of Oxford Jackson: Architecture, Education, Status, and Style, 1835-1924 (2006) and Redbrick: A Social and Architectural History of Britain’s Civic Universities (2014). He has edited half-a-dozen other books, including Architectural History after Colvin (2013). Later this year, he will give the University of Oxford’s Hensley Henson Lectures on ‘Experiencing the Victorian Church: Faith, Time, and Architecture.’

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[163] Apr 18, 2014

The Literary Legacy of the Great War

Steven Isenberg

What was the reach and hold of the poetry, memoirs, and novels of the Great War on the language and approach of subsequent war writing? How can one now assess the acts of witnessing and the art of experiencing that characterize the Great War’s writings? How did the literary dimension of the war endure and change over the century, down to the movies, literature, and the literary journalism of our time? And what are the examples that illuminate this long path? Steven Isenberg is the Visiting Professor of Humanities in the Liberal Arts Honors program. In 2007, he won the Harry Ransom teaching award. Most recently, he has been the Executive Director of the PEN American Center, the largest center of the world's oldest human rights and literary organizations. He is an Honorary Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford.

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[164] Apr 11, 2014

The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution Revisited

James Vaughn

What were the political and ideological origins of the American Revolution? Historians and social scientists disagree on whether the outbreak of the Revolution was essentially conservative or radical in nature and scope. Was 1776 a defense of traditional colonial liberties against the threat posed by British ministers creating a centralized empire, or was it an innovative assertion of rights by a more democratic North American society sundering its ties with Britain’s Ancien Régime? James Vaughn will argue that it was a worldwide conflict over the shape and evolution of Britain’s imperial state, pitting radicals and reformers against conservatives and reactionaries from Boston to Bristol to Bombay. The American Revolution was a radical solution to the global crisis of the British Empire. James M. Vaughn is an historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain and the British Empire. His first book, The Politics of Empire from Cromwell to Clive: The East India Company and the Rise and Transformation of Britain’s Imperial State, 1650-1780, will be published by Yale University Press in 2015.

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[165] Apr 4, 2014

The Men Who Ruled Palestine

Bernard Wasserstein

Seven men ruled Palestine as High Commissioner under the British mandate between 1920 and 1948. Who were they and what was their relationship with their overseers in Whitehall and Westminster? How did they see themselves and how were they viewed by those they governed? What was their role in the blood-soaked politics of the mandate? Over the years the personality of each of the High Commissioners has acquired a waxwork-like rigidity. Bernard Wasserstein will reanimate the waxworks, challenge some common historical perceptions of the High Commissioners, and reassess their function in the fraught and rancorous history of the mandate. Bernard Wasserstein is Harriet and Ulrich Meyer Professor of Modern European Jewish History at the University of Chicago. He is the author of The British in Palestine, Herbert Samuel, and other books, including, most recently The Ambiguity of Virtue: Gertrude van Tijn and the Fate of the Dutch Jews.

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[166] Mar 28, 2014

The Advent of Beach Culture in Britain

Roy Ritchie

During the eighteenth century a number of new institutions emerged and flourished in England—men’s clubs, spas, Masonic lodges, and beach resorts. What were the reasons for this far-reaching change in cultural activity? Why did individuals rush to the shore, transforming fishing villages into the new spas? What was the significance for English life in general? Until recently, Roy Ritchie has been the Director of Research at the Huntington Library. An authority on early American history, he received his B. A. from Occidental College and his Ph. D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. His books include the famous work, Captain Kidd and the War against the Pirates (1989).

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[167] Mar 21, 2014

The Historical Identity of “Gypsies”

Ian Hancock

Black’s Gypsy Bibliography, which includes nothing later than 1914, lists 351 novels, 199 plays, and 133 ballads in the British literary tradition alone which feature ‘Gypsy’—more frequently written ‘gypsy’—characters. The portrayal invariably differs greatly from the actual identity of the Romani people, and has caused considerable misunderstanding. Ian Hancock will explain the origin of the popular stereotype, its repercussions, and how it is being addressed by Roma activists today. Ian Hancock is sole Romani member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. ‘The Ian Hancock Graduate Fellowship in Holocaust and Genocide Studies’ and the ‘Ian Hancock Roma Education Centre’ were named in his honor. He is the author or editor of over 400 publications, including We Are the Romani People (1995).

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[168] Mar 7, 2014

The Diverse Roots of Physical Culture

John D. Fair

British physical culture can be traced along a circuitous route from the ancient Greeks to Germany and thence through Scotland to England, where it displayed more of a class than a nationalistic flavor. So vulnerable was the British version to external influences that it was less culturally confining than other national traditions in the twentieth century, falling prey to neither commercialism nor ideological entrapment. So eclectic were the origins that one must ask whether British physical culture is a non-British or at least a non-English phenomenon. John Fair earned his Ph.D. at Duke University (1970) under the supervision of William Baskerville Hamilton. He has held faculty appointments in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Alabama, Maine, and Georgia, teaching British history for 45 years. His major fields of publication include British history, Southern history, and physical culture. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Kinesiology and Health Education at the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports at the University of Texas.

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[169] Feb 28, 2014

The Former Naval Person: Winston Churchill and the Royal Navy

Arthur Nicholson

During his government service in two world wars, Winston Churchill had a strong but ambivalent relationship with the Royal Navy and the Admiralty. To examine the high and low points of that relationship, and how Churchill later wrote about it, Arthur Nicholson will draw upon the research for his first book, Hostages to Fortune: Winston Churchill and the Loss of the Prince of Wales and Repulse, and a forthcoming book on the siege of Malta. Arthur Nicholson is a practicing lawyer, who was born in Dallas and lives in San Antonio. He received a BS from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a JD from the UT School of Law, where Bill Powers was his torts professor. After law school, he clerked for a federal judge.

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[170] Feb 21, 2014

Wilfred Burchett’s “Warning to the World”: An Australian and the Atomic Bomb

Michael Stoff

On September 5, 1945, three days after the formal surrender of Japan, Daily Express readers across London shook open their newspapers and found a sensational, three-word headline awaiting them: ‘THE ATOMIC PLAGUE.’ The author, an Australian war correspondent, followed with a first-person subtitle in eye-catching italics: ‘I write this as a warning to the world.’ The dateline read, ‘HIROSHIMA, Tuesday’ [September 4]. Wilfred Burchett was the first Allied journalist to report from what he called an ‘atomic bomb city.’ By exploring his encounter, we can begin to reconstruct the complex story of why ‘Hiroshima-Nagasaki’ was destroyed and how Burchett’s warning began to reshape the atomic bomb narrative already emerging. Michael Stoff received his B.A. from Rutgers and his Ph.D. from Yale. He is the author of Oil, War, and American Security, co-author of Experience History: Interpreting America’s Past, co-editor of The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age, and series co-editor of the Oxford New Narratives in American History. He teaches modern US history and also directs the Plan II Honors Program. He is currently at work on a book about the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, tentatively titled, ‘Pillar of Purple Fire’: Nagasaki and the Meaning of the Atomic Bomb.

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[171] Feb 14, 2014

Seduction and Rape in Shakespeare

Diana Solomon

The English playwright Lewis Theobald claimed in 1727 that his latest play, Double Falshood, was adapted from an earlier play by Shakespeare. The long-running critical debate about the truth of this claim has intensified recently, when in 2010 the editors of The Arden Shakespeare decided to include Double Falshood in its anthology. The editors believe that the play is an adaptation of Cardenio (a lost play attributed to Shakespeare), which bolsters the case for Shakespearean authorship. Diana Solomon specializes in Restoration and eighteenth-century British theater, comedy, women writers, and print culture. Her book, Prologues and Epilogues to Restoration Theater: Gender and Comedy, Performance and Print, was published by Delaware in 2013. She has held fellowships at the Clark, Folger, Huntington, and Noel libraries, and spent two years as a Mellon fellow at Duke. Currently she is working on a book-length project about comedy in eighteenth-century theater.

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[172] Jan 31, 2014

The Muslim Pilgrimage

Benjamin Claude Brower

Of the five pillars of Islam, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj) most directly involved the political field, whether in British, French or other colonial regimes. For purposes of comparison, this talk will examine the Hajj during Algeria’s colonial era (1830-1962). France tried to assert authority over territory and people by controlling the pilgrimages. The political dividends of piety came with risks, however, and this talk also addresses how the Hajj served Algerians to attack European rule. The Hajj has a comparative dimension to it that perhaps can serve as the basis for general discussion after the talk. To cite a famous example from Conrad’s Lord Jim: Eight hundred men and women with faith and hopes, with affections and memories, they had collected there [on the Patna], coming from north and south and from the outskirts of the East, after treading the jungle paths, descending the rivers, coasting in praus [Malaysian sailboats] along the shallows, crossing in small canoes from island to island, passing through suffering, meeting strange sights, beset by strange fears, upheld by one desire…the call of an idea. In an American context, Malcolm X once said of the Hajj: ‘America needs to understand Islam because this is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem.’ Ben Brower received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and teaches in the History Department at UT. His first book, A Desert Named Peace: French Empire and Violence in the Algerian Sahara, 1840-1900, received the Pinkney Prize for the best book in French history, and the Hourani Award for the best book in Middle East studies. His current research examines colonial violence and the Muslim pilgrimage under colonial rule.

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[173] Jan 17, 2014

Money, Power, Politics—and British Studies—at UT

William H. Cunningham

Bill Cunningham served for seven years as President of UT (1985-1992) and eight years as Chancellor (1993-2000). Some of the major issues he faced were affirmative action, fraternity hazing, Apartheid, and divestment protests. Yet he also found time to help sponsor British Studies. Among the prominent figures in his recently-published memoir is Dean Robert King, one of the original founders of British Studies and, in the view of Bill Cunningham, a reformist and effective Dean. Born in Detroit in 1944, Bill Cunningham took his B.A., M.B.A. and Ph.D. from Michigan State. He became a member of the UT faculty in 1971. He served as Dean of the College of Business Administration (1982-1985) before becoming President and later Chancellor. At present he is Professor of Marketing Administration, Red McCombs School of Business. He has served on many boards of directors including Southwest Airlines. He has recently stated on a point of present day controversy: ‘There seems to be some disagreement among the regents about the fundamental mission of UT as a major internationally prominent research university. Fortunately, a number of them understand that UT is a large, complex organization, and they are willing to listen carefully to campus and system officials before they make decisions.’

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[174] Dec 6, 2013

Christmas Party at the Littlefield Home

James Loehlin

James Loehlin reads passages from favorite Christmas writings.

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[175] Dec 6, 2013

Christmas Party at the Littlefield Home with Christmas Carols

James Loehlin

James Loehlin reads passages from favorite Christmas writings, followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers.

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[176] Nov 22, 2013

The Bombing of German Cities during the Second World War

Walter Wetzels

The bombing of German cities during the Second World War by the air forces of Britain and the United States entered its systematic and devastating phase in 1942. Virtually all major cities were destroyed beginning with Hamburg and ending with Dresden and Berlin. In 1997 W.G. Sebald, a German writer and academic, gave a series of lectures at the University of Zurich on ‘Air War and Literature’. He raised the question, why has there been no serious publication about this national disaster? Collective amnesia was useful in dealing with chaos at the time, but it also served as a cover for Germany’s early involvement in similar atrocities. Walter Wetzels was born in Cologne, Germany and emigrated to the United States in 1965. He received his Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University in 1968. For the next 28 years he taught at the University of Texas, including eight years as the Chairman of the Department of Germanic Studies. His research and publications deal with the relationship of science and literature during the European Enlightenment.

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[177] Nov 15, 2013

Dickens and Energy

Allen MacDuffie

Charles Dickens’s Bleak House was published originally in monthly parts 1852-53. The theme is a sustained satire on the abuses of the old court of Chancery, the delays and costs of which brought misery and ruin on virtually all those involved except, of course, the lawyers. The case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce comes suddenly to an end on the discovery that the costs have absorbed the whole estate in dispute. The novel can now be understood as part of an environmentally minded discussion of energy use and waste that first emerged in the middle decades of the nineteenth century. By reading the novel as an ‘alternative thermodynamic narrative’, it can be seen as one of the first imaginative representations of the second law of thermodynamics—in other words, the ‘entropy law’. Yet it tells also a radically different kind of story from the kind told by Victorian scientists. Just as Victorian thermodynamics emphasized ‘flaws’ in the natural order, so also did Dickens anchored his vision of dissipation in an urban environment, and in the ‘unsustainable fictions’ of his characters. Bearing in mind the revelations of subsequent scientific discoveries, Bleak House can be seen as a remarkable novel of the Victorian era as well as a work by Dickens that has enduring meaning for our own time. Allen MacDuffie joined the English Department in 2008. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard, where he wrote his dissertation under the direction of Elaine Scarry and Robert Kiely. His work has appeared in the journals English Literary History, Representations (the quarterly journal of humanities and interpretative social sciences), and the forthcoming PMLA (the journal of Modern Language Association of America). His book Victorian Literature, Energy, and the Ecological Imagination will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2014.

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[178] Nov 8, 2013

Ian McEwan’s Novels: Sex, Espionage, and Literature

Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth

The thirteen novels of Ian McEwan include his latest, Sweet Tooth (2012), and perhaps the most complex of them all, Child in Time (1987). In view of the present consciousness of government surveillance, these two novels can be seen as representing a writer different in kind from John le Carré and Ian Fleming. They place McEwan more in the tradition of Graham Greene. Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth is Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature. His father was a Mexican general and his mother a concert pianist. His Mexican heritage and its significance are apparent in courses that he has taught for four decades in Spanish and comparative literature. A poet as well as a scholar, he received the highest award in the College of Liberal Arts, Pro Bene Meritis, in 2006.

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[179] Nov 1, 2013

Shakespeare and Othello

Douglas Bruster

What difference does it make when a play was written? This talk, associated with the performance of Othello by the Actors From The London Stage, will focus on matters of timing in and around Shakespeare's great tragedy. In addition to its odd ‘double time’ scheme—by which there appears to be two clocks working in the play—Othello sits uneasily in its Oxford dating of 1603-1604. Close analysis of the text suggests a different position in the canon, and therefore a different story of Shakespeare's career. Douglas Bruster is a Shakespeare scholar. His research focuses on Shakespeare but with an emphasis as well on modern playwrights such as David Mamet and David Hare. His books on Shakespeare and early modern drama include Drama and the Market in the Age of Shakespeare, and Shakespeare and the Question of Culture, and Shakespeare and the Power of Performance. He has taught at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Paris.

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[180] Oct 25, 2013

The Stasi and Secret Files

Benjamin Gregg

Ben Gregg’s student career included a visit to East Germany. He later discovered that the Ministry for State Security had kept a secret file on him. The ‘Stasi’ were among the world’s most effective secret police. Another scholar, the British historian Timothy Garton Ash, wrote after reading his own secret file: “What you find is less malice than human weakness … less deliberate dishonesty than [an] almost infinite capacity for self-deception.” Gregg’s own file reveals as much and more: the aggressively petit bourgeois sense of self-righteousness and a high degree of conformity to established standards of behavior—but also a determination by the people of East Germany to cope as best they could with the problems of everyday life. After his B.A. from Yale in 1979, Ben Gregg went on to study for a D.Phil. from the Free University of Berlin and a Ph.D. from Princeton. He teaches social and political theory in the UT Department of Government. His books include Thick Moralities, Thin Politics (2003); Coping in Politics with Indeterminate Norms (2003); and Human Rights as Social Construction (2011). Next year he will publish The Human Rights State.

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[181] Oct 18, 2013

Who Blew the Bugle? The Charge of the Light Brigade and the Legacy of the Crimean War

Lara Kriegel

In 1964, a famous bugle came up for auction at Southeby’s in London. The instrument had once belonged to William Brittain, who allegedly sounded the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade at the Battle of Balaklava in October, 1854. Its sale reopened a vitriolic and longstanding debate about the identity of the man who had initiated the Charge of the Light Brigade. Why did the question of who blew the Balaklava bugle carry such weight, particularly 110 years on? How can one explain the enduring resonance of the Charge? Lara Kriegel is Associate Professor of History and English at Indiana University, Bloomington, where she also directs the Victorian Studies Program and serves as Associate Editor of the American Historical Review. She is the author of Grand Designs: Labor, Empire and the Museum in Victorian Culture. She is working on a book entitled War without Heroes: The Crimean Conflict and its Legacies.

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[182] Oct 11, 2013

Isaac Newton and the Birth of Money

James Scott

Isaac Newton worked at the Royal Mint from 1696 until his death in 1727, nearly as long as the 35 years he spent in Cambridge. He pursued his duties at the Mint energetically: prosecuting counterfeiters, leading the Great re-coinage, and taking an active role in debates over the birth of fiat money. Newton’s mathematical genius makes it all the more incongruous that, as Master of the Mint, he would continue a 500-year tradition of statistical folly that put the monetary system in peril. James Scott is Assistant Professor of Statistics at UT-Austin, jointly in the Department of Information, Risk, and Operations Management as well as the Division of Statistics and Scientific Computing. He is an alumnus of the Plan II Honors Program at UT, and did his post-graduate work in mathematics and statistics at Trinity College, Cambridge, and Duke University.

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[183] Oct 4, 2013

The Last Magician – Isaac Newton

Steven Weinberg

Lord Keynes once remarked, ‘Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians.’ Indeed, Newton spent much of his time on research in alchemy and biblical chronology. He was also good at making enemies, and he was not above fudging calculations to make them come out in agreement with astronomical observation. So how is it that Newton’s theories of motion and gravitation became the paradigm that all subsequent science has followed, as it became modern? Steven Weinberg holds the Josey Regental Chair of Science at UT. His research has been honored with the Nobel Prize in Physics and the National Medal of Science. He is a member of the National Academy of Science and the Royal Society of London. The author of both scientific treatises and books for general readers, he is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. His book on the pre-modern emergence of physics and astronomy, The Discovery of Science, is forthcoming.

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[184] Sep 27, 2013

Gypsies: Prejudice and Cultural Tradition

David Cressy

The political, legal, and cultural response to Gypsies from their arrival in England in the early sixteenth century caused widespread reaction against them as a community, with legal statutes of collective punishment balanced by a certain tolerance. Using previously unexamined records from the courts of Star Chamber and the Old Bailey, David Cressy will argue that local magistrates and communities came to terms with the Gypsies, notwithstanding deep-rooted hostility that sought their expulsion and execution. David Cressy is an historian of the social, cultural and political history of early modern England. His books include Birth, Marriage, and Death: Ritual, Religion, and the Life-Cycle in Tudor and Stuart England (1997) and England on Edge: Crisis and Revolution, 1640–1642 (2007), both published by Oxford University Press. He is probably the only historian in the country who holds the distinctive title George III Professor of British History.

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[185] Sep 20, 2013

The Economist

Aram Bakshian

Founded in 1843, The Economist now has 1.5 million subscribers, half of them in the United States. Such is its density that few readers probably manage to read it from cover to cover. Yet Aram Bakshian decided to read the magazine page by page in its entirety each week for a year. For the sake of intellectual curiosity, he aimed to assess its history, its quality, and its influence. One noticeable feature is the quirky obituary page: the magazine once ran an obituary on God. What is to be made of its success in expanding its circulation and the quality of its coverage? Aram Bakshian describes himself as a ‘lifelong wordsmith’ who plies his trade for the Republican National Committee. He served on the speechwriting staff of Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and later under President Reagan as Director of the White House Office of Speechwriting. He has taught at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and is Editor-in-Chief of the periodic journal The American Speaker.

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[186] Sep 13, 2013

Photography and the Working Class in the 1950's

Stephen Brooke

In the 1950's the photographer Roger Mayne took 1,400 photographs of Southam Street, a small street in London between the rail line west of Paddington and northeast of the Portobello market. A contemporary novelist described the district as ‘crazy little islands of slum habitation’ in affluent postwar London. Mayne’s photographs are now sometimes viewed with a nostalgia for a lost working-class world. In fact the photographs provide a visual chronicle of the dynamic changes in postwar London including the emergence of the ‘teenager’, the growth of multiracial communities, and above all the continuing vibrancy of working-class identity. Stephen Brooke is Professor of History at York University, Toronto. He is the author of Labour’s War (1992), and Sexual Politics: Sexuality, Family Planning and the British Left from the 1880s to the Present Day (2011). His articles have appeared in Past and Present and the American Historical Review. He was editor of Twentieth-Century British History 2004-11.

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[187] Sep 6, 2013

The Myth of Tarzan

Christopher Benfey

The legendary Tarzan is more complicated and engaging than is commonly assumed. Yet in some ways he is simplistic. Tarzan eventually discovers that he is not only a human being but also an aristocrat, Lord Greystoke. He rescues Africans in encounters with exploitative whites, though he does not have a high opinion of the Africans themselves. He has a condescending attitude towards women despite his obvious love for the American woman whom he eventually marries, Jane. What are we to make of Tarzan’s enduring popularity? Christopher Benfey is Andrew W. Mellon Professor of English at Mount Holyoke College. His books include A Summer of Hummingbirds (2008); The Double Life of Stephen Crane (1992); and Degas in New Orleans (1997). His most recent work is a family memoir, Red Brick, Black Mountain, White Clay (2012). His poems have appeared in the New Yorker and the Paris Review.

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[188] Aug 30, 2013

British Sea Power and Napoleon in the Novels of Patrick O’Brian

Henry Dietz

One of the remarkable aspects of the novels of Patrick O’Brian is his extraordinary grasp of the times and his inimitable portrayal of friendships. His novels take place against the background of the Napoleonic wars and the friendship of English Naval Captain Jack Aubrey and the Irish Catalan physician Stephen Maturin. The novels are well-researched and authentic in evocative language. Henry Dietz, Professor of Government, is a Founding Member of British Studies since 1975. He is renowned for his work on Andean South America, especially Peru. His areas of interest in Latin America embrace elections, civil-military relations, urban politics, and poverty. His books include Capital City Politics in Latin America: Democratization and Empowerment (2002).

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[189] May 10, 2013

Lincoln and Emancipation: the British and International Consequences

Richard Carwardine

During the American Civil War Abraham Lincoln stated that his paramount object was to save the Union, leading many since to question his reputation as ‘The Great Emancipator’. Emancipation and the nation’s unity were indivisible in Lincoln's mind, and it was for the fusion and pursuit of these two ideas that British and other foreign progressives of the time esteemed him so highly. What were the international repercussions of Lincoln’s actions? Even more basically, what were his actual motivations? Richard Carwardine, previously the Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford University, and now President of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, has a particular interest in the politics and religion of the Civil War era. His political biography, Lincoln: A Life of Purpose and Power, won the Lincoln Prize in 2004. An essay collection on The Global Lincoln, co-edited with Jay Sexton, appeared in 2011.

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[190] May 3, 2013

France and the British State and Empire, 1680-1940

Daniel Baugh

For more than two centuries the English people could not escape the reality that France was a dangerous adversary. Twice Louis XIV fought long wars in hopes of overturning the Revolution of 1688. England responded by achieving naval superiority, uniting with Scotland, developing an impressive financial system, and expanding commerce and colonies. France’s situation and conduct continued to shape British overseas expansion and peace settlements—even in the twentieth century when France became a necessary but worrisome ally. Daniel Baugh, Professor of Modern British History, Cornell University, received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania and his Ph.D. from Cambridge University. His major books include BritishNaval Administration in the Age of Walpole (1965) and The Global Seven Years War, 1754-1763: Britain and France in a Great Power Contest (2011).

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[191] Apr 26, 2013

Margaret Thatcher

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Lady Thatcher’s funeral a few days ago brought together bitter enemies who had not spoken to each other in years. They paid tribute to the longest-serving British Prime Minister of the twentieth century and the only woman to have held the office. She stood for deregulation, privatization of state-owned companies, and thereduction of the power of the trade unions. At one point she narrowly missed assassination by the IRA. President Reagan and the US Navy assisted her in the victory in the Falklands War of 1982, but she was a polarizing figure in America as well as Britain. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is a journalist and historian. He studied Modern History at New College, Oxford, and joined the Spectator in 1975. He writes regularly for the Spectator, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. His books include The Randlords (1995), The Controversy of Zion (1996), and The Strange Death of Tory England (2005).

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[192] Apr 19, 2013

Unsettled: Refugee Camps in Britain

Jordanna Bailkin

In the decades after the Second World War, the British created resettlement camps for Poles and Hungarians in the 1950s, Ugandan Asians in the 1970s, and Vietnamese refugees in the 1980s. A study of these camps reveals the instability of the welfare state, the imperial inheritances from an earlier era, the unpredictable problems of the Cold War, and the ambivalent attitude of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Jordanna Bailkin is Professor of European History at the University of Washington. She is the author of The Culture of Property (2004), and The Afterlife of Empire (2012) as well as articles on topics ranging from crime and tattooing in British India to the deportation of Irish and West Indian citizens from postwar Britain.

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[193] Apr 12, 2013

Writers, Readers, and Reputations

Philip Waller

Philip Waller’s major book is Writers, Readers, & Reputations: Literary Life in Britain 1870-1918. It presents a panoramic view of literary life in Britain over half a century before the First World War, revealing the authors’ relations with the reading public and tracing how reputations were made and unmade. The author will relate how the book came to be written, what it sought to accomplish, why it took on the character it did, and how critics have reacted to it and evaluated it. Philip Waller is a past Editor of the English Historical Review and a Fellow of Merton College, Oxford. He has also written Town, City, and Nation: England 1850-1914 (1983; 1991); and Democracy and Sectarianism: A Political and Social History of Liverpool 1868-1939 (1981). He also edited The English Urban Landscape for Oxford University Press in 2000.

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[194] Apr 5, 2013

Distant Connections: India and Australia in the Colonial Era

Sir Christopher Bayly

The colonial experience of India and Australia differed substantially. In the aftermath of European settlement and metropolitan policies, the themes include race, gender, colonial violence, ‘governmentality’, and political representation. Particular points of controversy include colonial and worldwars, the reform era of the 1830s, emerging nationalism, and the Great Depression, when the fate of India and Australia diverged markedly. C. A. Bayly is Vere Harmsworth Professor of Imperial and Naval History at Cambridge University. His books include Rulers, Townsmen, and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion (1983): Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World, 1780-1830 (1989); and Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870. With Tim Harper he has written two books on the Second World War in Asia and its aftermath, Forgotten Armies.

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[195] Mar 29, 2013

The History of Oxford University Press, 1896-1970

Wm. Roger Louis

In the three quarters of a century after 1896, Oxford University Press expanded to become a worldwide business with branches in Asia and Africa aswell as America. It surpassed all other university presses in sheer size, range of publication, and worldwide scope. The date 1896 is significant because of the creation of OUP New York. In 1970 the Press still retained many of its anachronistic nineteenth century characteristics and was anti-modern in outlook. It operated in extreme secrecy and seemed to be accountable only to itself. In the 1960s Oxford University launched a major inquiry into the affairs of the Press. The Press not only survived the inquiry but took on a new vitality, eventually modernizing itself into the publishing giant we know today as OUP. Wm. Roger Louis has recently published with Avi Shlaim The 1967 Arab-Israeli War: Origins and Consequences (Cambridge University Press, February 2013).

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[196] Mar 22, 2013

Jane Austen Between the Covers

Janine Barchas

Ready-bound books in sturdy no-nonsense cloth bindings first began to appear in the 1830s. With the advent of these so-called publishers’ bindings, book covers became transformed into a marketing canvas of sorts. Janine Barchas will trace the surprising history of the Austen cover—from Victorian schmaltz to Kindle-era nudity—while speculating about the range of marketing strategies and what they tell us about the shifting cultural opinion of Austen and her work. Janine Barchas teaches courses on Jane Austen in the English Department. She has recently published Matters of Fact in Jane Austen: History,Location, and Celebrity (2012), which tracks Austen’s allusions to glamorous landed estates, contemporary celebrities, and famous historical figures through the author’s choices of leading names and geographical settings. She recently published an article in the New York Times on the themes of her book.

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[197] Mar 8, 2013

Father and Sons: Edmund Gosse and J. R. Ackerley

Steven Isenberg

Edmund Gosse’s Father and Son (1907) and J. R. Ackerley’s My Father and Myself (1968) are compelling memoirs of the father and son genre by two accomplished men of letters. The theme is the burden of the secrets and mysteries, what was unspoken between father and son. Gosses’s evolution is one of an enclosed childhood to his own individuality. The shaping of Joe Ackerley’s identity and sexuality, is set out with touching candor. Both autographicalworks are distinguished in intelligence, style, and honesty. They speak of other times, but they have an enduring claim in how they take up matters of fathers and sons. Until recently Steven Isenberg has been the executive director of PEN, the human rights organizationdedicated to free expression and the promotion of literature. A life-long English major, he worked as Mayor John Lindsay’s chief of staff in the 1960s. He later became Executive Vice-President of the Los Angeles Times. He has taught legendary courses in the UT Liberal Arts Honors Program on twentieth-century British and American literature, literary journalism, and Watergate.

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[198] Mar 1, 2013

Pearl Buck and China

Hilary Spurling

Pearl Buck was the first person to make China accessible to the British as well as the American public, especially the latter. She recreated the lives of ordinary Chinese people in The Good Earth, published in 1932. Overnight it became a worldwide bestseller and was read in India and elsewhere in the British Empire but above all in America. Later, during the cultural revolution in China, she was denounced as an ‘American cultural imperialist’. Yet she carried on with her work, not only on China but on women’s rights, becoming a dedicated publicist against racism, sex discrimination and the plight of the thousands of babies born to Asian women left behind and unwanted wherever American soldiers were based in Asia. During her life, she combined the multiple careers of wife, mother, author,editor, and political activist. Hilary Spurling is a biographer, critic, and former literary editor of the Spectator. Her books include a two-volume biography of Ivy Compton-Burnett (1974), Paul Scott: A Life (1990), and a two-volume life of Henri Matisse (1998-2005) listed by the New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of the year. Pearl Buck in China was published in 2010. She is now writing a biography of Anthony Powell.

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[199] Feb 22, 2013

Sir Edmund Gibson and the British Raj

John Spurling

Sir Edmund Gibson joined the Indian Civil Service in 1910. He rose gradually in rank and transferred to the Political Service, working as the Indian Government's liaison and overseer with many Indian princes. Extracts from his diaries and letters convey what it was like to be part of the ‘machine’ that ran this vast imperial territory in the period leading towards its independence. We re-enter the past and look over the shoulder of one of the rulers of an extraordinary and increasingly tempestuous empire. John Spurling (Sir Edmund's great-nephew) is a playwright, critic, and novelist. After graduating from St. John’s College, Oxford, he helped administer a UNPlebiscite in the Southern Cameroons. His first novel, The Ragged End, was partly based on this experience, while his 30-odd plays include a trilogy on the British Empire. His most recent novel, A Book of Liszts, was published in 2011.

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[200] Feb 15, 2013

The Red Earl

Selina Hastings

John, Viscount Hastings (1901-1990), heir to an ancient earldom, was brought up as a hard-riding philistine, an unquestioning Tory expected to restore the family fortunes by marrying an heiress. Instead he ran off with a glamorous Italian Communist, first to Australia and the South Seas, then to California. There in 1931 he met Diego Rivera and became his assistant, accompanying him to Mexico, Chicago, and Detroit. He eventually returned to England only to infuriate his parents further by leaving almost immediately for the Spanish Civil War. Selina Hastings, daughter of the Red Earl, is a writer and journalist. She is the author of four biographies, of Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh, Rosamond Lehmann, and Somerset Maugham. She has also written books for children, including a complete retelling of the Bible. As well as the memoir about her father, she is working on a life of the novelist, Sybille Bedford.

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[201] Feb 8, 2013

Academics, Intellectuals, and Popular History

James Banner

No topic is of more intense interest among historians and intellectuals in general than the question ofhistorical scholarship and public discourse—of the application of deeply researched and informed history to public affairs, as well as its interest to members of the public. Many elements of this question have not been adequately addressed. Nor has responsibility for the rupture between academic and popular history been fairly apportioned. What is the situation, and what can be done to address shortcomings on both sides? James M. Banner, Jr., is a historian of the United States and the discipline of history. Formerly a member of the Princeton faculty, he is the author of books and articles on history, teaching, and public affairs, most recently Being a Historian: An Introduction to the Professional World of History (Cambridge). He was the co-founder, with Joyce Appleby, of the History News Service and has been a moving force behind the National History Center.

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[202] Feb 1, 2013

Dora Carrington and the Bloomsbury Circle

Anne Chisholm

Our understanding of the group of friends and lovers known as Bloomsbury has developed from decade to decade, especially from the 1960s. Dora Carrington has emerged from the shadow of Lytton Strachey as an artist of underrated talent and a woman of compelling originality. The 1995 film ‘Carrington’ fixed a certain image of her in the public mind. It needs to be changed and expanded on the basis of her unpublished letters and extracts from the film itself. Anne Chisholm is the biographer and critic who chairs the Royal Society of Literature in London. Her books include biographies of Nancy Cunard (1979),Lord Beaverbrook (with Michael Davie, 1992), Rumer Godden (1998), and Frances Partridge (2009). She reviews widely and has been a judge for the Booker and the Duff Cooper prizes. She is currently working on a new edition of the letters of Dora Carrington, painter and companion of Lytton Strachey.

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[203] Jan 25, 2013

The British Imperial State in the Eighteenth Century

Brian Levack

Modern scholars usually draw clear distinctions between states and empires, but until the second half of the eighteenth century the growth of the British Empire within the Atlantic world closely resembled the process of state building in Britain in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The distinction between the British state and the British Empire was the product of developments in India and America after 1765 and reflected the changing ethnic composition of the Second British Empire. Brian Levack is John E. Green Regents Professor in History. He is the author of Witch-Hunting in Scotland: Law, Politics and Religion (2008) and the editor of the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Witchcraft in EarlyModern Europe and Colonial America. His most recent book is The Devil Within: Possession and Exorcism in the Christian West (2013).

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[204] Jan 18, 2013

Unbecoming British? The Place of Post-Colonial Americans in the British Empire

Kariann Yokata

In the years after the Revolution, Americans celebrated the promise of a glorious future as an independent nation. At the same time they exhibited profound insecurity about their colonial past. In this age of uncertainty, Americans worked tirelessly to maintain asymmetrical relations with their former British patrons. The early American Republic did indeed represent the beginning of a new nation, but the new country also represented the waning of a colonial world. Kariann Akemi Yokota earned her graduate degrees in American history and Asian-American Studies at UCLA. From 2001-2011 she was Assistant Professor at Yale University. She is now Associate Professor of History at the University of Colorado, Denver. Her first book, Unbecoming British, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. Her current book project is American and European Encounters in the Transpacific World. It examines linkages between the transatlantic and transpacific regions in the early modern period.

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[205] Dec 14, 2012

Christmas Party at The Littlefield House with Christmas Carols

James Loehlin

James Loehlin reads the classic Christmas poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers.

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[206] Dec 14, 2012

Christmas Party at The Littlefield House

James Loehlin

James Loehlin reads the classic Christmas poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," and discusses the poem's origin and disputed authorship.

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[207] Dec 7, 2012

Sherlock Holmes versus James Bond

David Leal

Two iconic British fictional characters have experienced recent rejuvenations at the box office – Sherlock Holmes as portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. and James Bond as interpreted by Daniel Craig. Over the decades, many actors have played the roles of Holmes and Bond. The difference between the original stories and the subsequent movies fuels continuous debates. Both characters are resourceful individuals who adapt to the problems of new generations, but they also reinforce specific and conflicting understandings of the Britannic nation. What does it mean that these characters may be the best-known British subjects – living, dead, or fictional – across the globe? David Leal is Associate Professor of Government and Director of the Irma Rangel Public Policy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. His research interests include American politics, specifically Latino politics, as well as Mexican and Canadian politics, the politics of immigration, religion and politics, and the military and society. His worksinclude the co-edited volumes Immigration and Public Opinion, Latinos and the Economy, and Beyond the Barrio: Latinos and the 2004 Elections. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1998.

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[208] Nov 30, 2012

The Oxford and Cambridge University Presses

Daniel Raff

Both the Cambridge and Oxford University Presses underwent extensive restructuring in the late 1960s and 1970s that had enduring consequences. The two presses had many similarities. They were probably the two leading university presses in the world. Yet there were significant contrasts. OUP had branches throughout the world while Cambridge had but one major branch in New York City, which was closely controlled by the Cambridge Syndics. OUP New York on the other hand had a much higher degree of autonomy. OUP had a decentralized system while the Cambridge system was highly centralized. And though the two were the leading presses, OUP published some 850 titles a year while Cambridge published 250 at most. But they faced similar challenges. What brought about the radical reorganization of the two presses? Why do the changes of the 1960s and 1970s have ramifications to the present? Daniel Raff holds appointments in Management, History, and Law at the University of Pennsylvania. He is also a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He previously taught at Columbia, Harvard, and Magdalen College, Oxford. Much of his work in recent years has concerned the economic and business history of the book trade in the United States. His articles have appeared in the American Economic Review and the American Historical Review.

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[209] Nov 16, 2012

The Legacy of John Maynard Keynes

William Janeway

In the part of Keynes’s life as a public economist, there is one critical question. In assessing his failure to drive economic policy in the 1930’s, how relevant are his ideas to our plight today? The government is close to paralysis. There is widespread fear that initiatives to reduce unemployment will undermine business confidence and offset any positive effect from public spending. How would Keynes himself have addressed those issues and to what extent do his economic policies remain relevant? William Janeway is a venture capital investor. Over a forty year period he has built the Warburg Pincus Technology Investment company that has made critical contributions to the internet economy including Veritas Software and Nuance Communications. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Cambridge University, where he was a Marshall Scholar. He is the son of thelate novelist and critic Elizabeth Janeway and the late public economist Eliot Janeway. His recent book is Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy.

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[210] Nov 9, 2012

Bloomsbury Reassessed

Paul Levy

In Britain few educated people under 40 have even heard of the Bloomsbury Group. Apart from Virginia Woolf, hardly anyone can name any of its members. Yet as recently as the 1960s it was a rare week that went by without a media reference to this intellectual magic circle. Why were they so celebrated then? And why so little known now? Bloomsbury has affected our culture, though it has temporarily dropped out of the headlines. The Bloomsbury group seems uninteresting precisely because we have accepted their values as our own. Paul Levy was food and wine editor for the Observer in the 1980s and subsequently, to the present, arts correspondent for the Wall Street Journal. He is co-literary executor of Lytton Strachey’s estate and trustee of the Strachey Trust. His books include (ed.) Eminent Victorians: The Definitive Edition (2002); and (ed.) The Letters of Lytton Strachey (2005).

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[211] Nov 2, 2012

Colonial Prostitution: Brothel Clubs in British South East Asia

Philippa Levine

Alas, we will have to reschedule Steve Isenberg’s talk. He is celebrating Superstorm Sandy in New York City. Philippa Levine will talk instead on ‘Colonial Prostitution: Brothel Clubs in British South East Asia’

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[212] Oct 26, 2012

Tony Benn: The Making of a British Radical

Jad Adams

Tony Benn is at the same time one of the most popular and most controversial figures in British politics. He has been a leading figure in public life for more than sixty years and is now the undisputed godfather of the left. Yet once he was the best hope of the right-of-centre social democrats. Jad Adams, who had exclusive access to the voluminous Benn Archives over many years, analyses Benn’s political trajectory in terms of the Christiannon-conformist roots of British socialism. Jad Adams is a Research Fellow at the School of Advanced Study, University of London. He has specialized in work on radicals and nationalists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including the biography of veteran statesman Tony Benn first published in 1992 and recently updated to include the intervening twenty years. He has also written a composite biography of the Nehru dynasty and a biography of Emmeline Pankhurst. His Gandhi: Naked Ambition was published in the US last year under the title Gandhi: The Man Behind Modern India.

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[213] Oct 19, 2012

Rhapsody on a Darwinian Theme

Betty Smocovitis

Darwin’s theory of evolution encompassed natural evolution and ideas of genetics and heredity that have been debated since the nineteenth century. His thought also found expression in Anglo-American popular culture including music. Darwin’s life and patterns of thought continue to provoke controversy about the relationship between science and popular culture, but the musical dimension is among the most remarkable. Vassiliki Betty Smocovitis is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Florida. She holds a joint appointment in the Department of History and the Department of Biology. Her research interests include the history of evolutionary biology, genetics, and botany. She is currently working on a project that explores Darwinism in song, theater, and musical production.

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[214] Oct 12, 2012

The Evolution of the City of Bombay

Philip Stern

The entangled political and intellectual history of the British Empire in India can be traced to the Anglo-Portuguese conflict over the late seventeenth-century transfer of the colony of Bombay. At stake are definitions of natural and self-evident geographical phenomena: rivers, bays, islands, even the definition of Bombay itself. These controversies reflect the relationship between geography and law in the history of colonialism as well as the British sovereignty and government in Asia. British rule was intertwined with rival understandings of local history and geography, the growth of towns and cities, regional politics, and international law. Philip Stern is Assistant Professor of History at Duke University. An historian of the early modern British Empire, he holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. His publications include The Company-State: Corporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India (Oxford University Press 2011), which was awarded the American Historical Association’s Morris D. Forkosch Prize for best book in British history in 2011.

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[215] Oct 5, 2012

Scriptor Renatus: Anthony Trollope

Albert J. Beveridge, III

Why do some artists who are at the very top of their craft both in critical acclaim and popularity fall from their pinnacles—only to be restored in subsequent years? Anthony Trollope is a case in point. He made slow progress during the course of his early career in the post office (but can claim credit for the familiar pillar-box for letters), nor was he successful in politics. It took over twenty years for him to establish his tradition of the novel-sequence in England including, in the end, 47 novels. After his peak as a writer in the 1860s, his popularity began to decline, only to be substantially revived in the latter part of the twentieth century to the present.Albert Beveridge has been a Washingtonlawyer for almost fifty years. He co-founded and is Senior Counsel to one of the oldest and best-known environmental law firms in the country, now Beveridge & Diamond. He has served as President of the George C. Marshall Foundation and is presently General Counsel to the American Historical Association, a member of the National Council on the Humanities, and a doctoral candidate in history at Johns Hopkins University.

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[216] Sep 28, 2012

Ivy Compton-Burnett

Richard Davenport-Hines

Dame Ivy Compton-Burnett (1884-1969) was a novelist with unique idiom and intense subject matter whose powerful impact on her English novelist contemporaries is now largely forgotten. In sharp, vicious dialogues she depicted the lust for dominion, twisted desires, envy and hurt in upper-middle-class English families. Her books are parables of the human condition. No other writer of her time did more to illuminate the sources of human bravery, suffering, and cruelty.Richard Davenport-Hines is a past-winner of the Wolfson Prize for History and Biography, whose biographical subjectsinclude W.H. Auden, Marcel Proust, and Lady Desborough. He has also edited an anthology Vice, Hugh Trevor-Roper’s Wartime Journals, and Trevor-Roper’s correspondence with Bernard Berenson. He has written histories of syphilis and sexual oppression, drug-taking, the Gothic Revival, the sinking of the Titanic, and the Profumo Affair. He is a regular reviewer for the Spectator, Times Literary Supplement, and Literary Review.

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[217] Sep 21, 2012

Independence and Partition of India Reassessed

Sucheta Mahajan

The exit of the British from India took place against the background of eroding colonial power, a process heightened by the growing strength of the nationalist forces. The partition reflected the success and failure of the national movement—success in weakening colonial hegemony sufficiently to force the exit of the British, failure in not drawing in enough Muslims to the nationalist fold. These themes are worth re-examining in the light of newer trends in historiography and recent perspectives advanced by the Indian documentary series called Towards Freedom. Sucheta Mahajan is Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, and Visiting Professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio. Her books include Independence and Partition: The Erosion of Colonial Power in India (2000); India's Struggle for Independence (with Bipan Chandra, 2000); and The Murder of Mahatma Gandhi (2008). She is an editor of the Towards Freedom forthcoming volume that will deal with the year 1947.

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[218] Sep 7, 2012

The War Poems of Robert Graves

Tom Palaima

Robert Graves, a well-trained classicist, wrote many poems, essays, historical novels, and studies of mythology including his famous The White Goddess. Graves thought of himself chiefly as a poet. Yet he was always ambivalent about his ‘war poetry’ and even made successful efforts to suppress it. What were the peculiar qualities of Graves’ poems about war and their classical antecedents? One key is the distance Graves intentionally put between what other soldiers and he experienced during World War I and the themes of individual poems. Tom Palaima is the Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor of Classics and Director of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and three Fulbright awards, he has lectured widely and has long been a regular contributor to the Austin American-Statesman and the Times Higher Education.

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[219] Aug 31, 2012

Charlie Chaplin’s Forgotten Feature: A Countess from Hong Kong

Donna Kornhaber

A Countess from Hong Kong (1967) was the last film Chaplin ever made and one of only two that he directed but in which he did not appear. Pilloried by the press, the film can be seen in retrospect as a belated return to form. Absent the Tramp, Chaplin’s work as a director comes to the foreground, illuminating a distinctive and powerful approach to cinematographic technique that reaches back even to the era of his greatestsilent achievements. Donna Kornhaber is Assistant Professor in the English Department. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, her M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and her B.F.A. from NYU Film School. In addition to her academic work, she has worked professionally in film and has served as a contributor to the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times.

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[220] May 4, 2012

Writing the Biographies of A. J. P. Taylor and Hugh Trevor-Roper

Adam Sisman

Biographers are often thought to side with their subjects – so what does it mean to have written lives of two men thought to be rivals, even enemies? Adam Sisman will reflect on his biographies of two British historians, Hugh Trevor-Roper and A.J.P. Taylor, and consider whether one has helped him understand the other. He will also comment on the responses to his books, and how much he has learned from them. In his view, reviews can be occasionally if rarely useful. Adam Sisman is the author of A. J. P. Taylor (1994) and Boswell’s Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson (2000), which was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography. The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge was published in 2007. Hugh Trevor-Roper: The Biography (2010) has earned worldwide acclaim.

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[221] Apr 27, 2012

Napoleon Comes to America: The Publishing of Sir Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1827)

Michael Winship

In June 1827 Walter Scott published his nine-volume Life of Napoleon Buonaparte. Following upon his 1826 insolvency, this work was intended to make a profit. Scott announced in February that his Napoleon would be “published in ... Edinburgh, London, Paris, Leipzig, Berlin, and Vienna, on the same day,” and for the first time Scott negotiated for the foreign publication rights to his work. This seminar talk will pursue the context as well as the details of the publication of the work in the United States. Michael Winship is a bibliographer and historian of the book who has written extensively on American literary publishing. He edited and completed the final three volumes of Bibliography of American Literature, for which he received the bibliography prize of the International League ofAntiquarian Booksellers, and served as an editor of and contributor to the recently completed five-volume A History of the Book in America.

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[222] Apr 20, 2012

David Astor and the Observer

Jeremy Lewis

A scion of the famous family—his grandfather had left New York and settled in England—David Astor edited the Observer from 1948 to 1975. As a young man he persuaded Orwell and Koestler to write for the paper; in later years he famously denounced the Eden government over Suez, losing readers and advertisers as a result. He campaigned for decolonization, an end to apartheid, the abolition of capital punishment, and homosexual law reform. Combining charm and diffidence with steely resolve, David Astor made the Observer synonymous with good writing and liberal opinion. He helped to create the post-war consensus that prevailed until the arrival of Mrs. Thatcher. Jeremy Lewis has spent much of his working life as a London publisher, but has been a freelance writer and editor since 1989. The author of three volumes of autobiography, he has also published the authorized biography of Cyril Connolly, and the life of Tobias Smollett. He is the Editor of the Literary Review, and is currently writing a book about David Astor and the Observer.

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[223] Apr 13, 2012

The Victorian Historian Mary Anne Everett Green

Christine Krueger

Mary Anne Everett Green’s life spanned most of the nineteenth century. She won praise as an historian of 41 volumes of documentary history, which remain authoritative and indeed indispensable. Yet she is largely unknown to Victorianists and some feminist theories of historiography would preclude her career all together. Reestablishing Green’s reputation requires innovative methods of scholarship across several disciplines. Christine L. Krueger is Professor of English at Marquette University. She teaches Victorian literature, women’s literature, and literature and law. Her most recent book is Reading for the Law: British Literary History and Gender Advocacy (2010). She has published on gender and historiography, nineteenth-century religious rhetoric, and Victorian popular culture. She is writing a biography of Mary Anne Everett Green.

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[224] Apr 6, 2012

The Problem Family in Postwar Britain

Selina Todd

After the Second World War, the welfare state and full employment offered working-class families new opportunities for economic security. Yet those who did not respond to the challenge were castigated by social workers and politicians as 'problem families'. This debate reveals the allegedly dull, conformist years between the end of the Second World War and the mid-1960s. The period of the 1950s was in fact a transformative decade in social and political history. Selina Todd is a Lecturer in Modern British History and a Fellow of St. Hilda's College, Oxford. Her research interests include the experience and representation of working-class people and women in twentieth-century Britain. She is currently completing a manuscript on the history of the British working class since 1918. Her book, Young Women, Work and Family in England 1918-1950, was published in 2005 by Oxford University Press.

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[225] Mar 30, 2012

Editing the English Historical Review

George Bernard

George Bernard, Editor of the English Historical Review from 2001 to 2011, will reflect on the challenges, practical and principled, of editing a leading journal, and, paraphrasing Churchill's defense of democracy, offer a vindication of peer-review as the worst form of assessment except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time. Nothing does more to realize the potential of research than the constructive, critical evaluations of referees. G.W. Bernard is Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Southampton and Leverhulme Major Research Fellow. His books include The King's Reformation: Henry VIII and the Remaking of the English Church (2005); Anne Boleyn: Fatal Attractions (2010); and The Late Medieval English Church: Vitality and Vulnerability before the Break with Rome (2012). He is a past Vice-President of the Royal Historical Society.

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[226] Mar 23, 2012

Convicts in British India

Anand Yang

In the eighteenth century, the system of justice known as transportation included India as well as the better known destination of Australia. Banishment enabled the British to jettison their ordinary and political criminals. The flotsam and jetsam were salvaged and recycled into valuable laboring hands in their distant penal destinations. In India, these forced migrants invariably served terms of servitude that transformed them into a much needed labor force. Anand A. Yang is Professor of History and International Studies, University of Washington, Seattle. His books include Crime and Criminality in British India (1986); The Limited Raj (1989); and Bazaar India (1998). His forthcoming book is entitled Empire of Convicts. Anand Yang was born and grew up in India.

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[227] Mar 9, 2012

Anglo-Japanese Cultural Relations, 1868-1950

Sheldon Garon

Sheldon Garon will discuss how the two 'island empires' emulated each other's institutions and thinking at critical junctures. Not only did the Japanese state learn from Victorian Britain's efforts to mold a thrifty, hardworking populace, but the British in turn were inspired by Japanese 'national efficiency' in the Russo-Japanese War. Garon is the Nissan Professor of History and East Asian Studies at Princeton University.

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[228] Mar 2, 2012

Derek Jarman and British Films: Paintings, Poetry, and Prose

Michael Charlesworth

When he is remembered now, Derek Jarman (1942-1994) tends to be thought of as a film-maker and an activist for gay rights. To write a short critical biography of him involved trying to put the whole man together again. His activities, exuding an extraordinary freshness, were mostly accompanied by his own verbal commentary. This talk will look briefly at them all, show his unusual garden, and concentrate on his varied and prolific paintings. Michael Charlesworth is Professor of Art History at UT. When he is not engaged in research and teaching about nineteenth-century European art, he can usually be found deep in the perpetually unending task of demonstrating the national and international importance of the house and grounds of Wentworth Castle, near Barnsley in Yorkshire.

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[229] Feb 24, 2012

Poetry, Anthology, and Criticism: Michael Roberts and the BBC

Andrew Roberts

During much of World War II, the poet, anthologist, critic, and teacher Michael Roberts worked for the European Service of the BBC. From September 1941 he was in the Intelligence Department, examining the reception of BBC broadcasts to German-occupied and neutral Europe. In the latter part of the war he had a newly-created job, supplying material to editors of the clandestine press in Europe. This seminar talk will pull together the threads of his life in relation to the wartime broadcasting of the BBC. Andrew Roberts, son of Michael Roberts, is Professor of the History of Africa, University of London. He has worked in Uganda, Zambia, and Tanzania while spending his scholarly career at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He is a past editor of the Journal of African History. His publications include A History of Zambia (1976) and The Colonial Moment in Africa (1990). He is the editor of the Cambridge History of Africa, 1905-40 (1986).

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[230] Feb 17, 2012

Harry Potter and the Fantastic Journey

Susan Napier

It has been fourteen years since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone burst upon the scene, starting a revolution in children's literature and ultimately in popular culture worldwide. This lecture begins with a review of Harry Potter's place in the great tradition of English fantasy and will conclude with a discussion of the films, fan fiction, and the overall cultural impact and unique legacy of what might be called the "Harry Potter phenomenon." Formerly Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Texas, Susan Napier is Professor of Japanese Studies at Tufts University where she also teaches courses on science fiction, film, and fantasy. She is the author of four books, the two most recent of which are on Japanese animation. She is currently working on a book on Hayao Miyazaki, Japan's greatest fantasy animation director.

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[231] Feb 10, 2012

British Imperialism and American Nation-Building Compared

Jeremi Suri with comments by Philip Bobbitt (Law) and Bartholomew Sparrow (Government)

In American usage, nation-building is a self-conscious alternative to British imperialism, although many of the underlying ideas drew from British political thought. This seminar talk will focus on the similarities and differences in practice between British imperialism and American nation-building. The differences are in fact significant, and they explain the nature of the contemporary international system. Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair in Global Leadership at the University of Texas at Austin with joint appointments in the Strauss Center for International Security and Law, the Department of History, and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. He is the author of five books, most recently: Liberty's Surest Guardian: American Nation-Building from the Founders to Obama (2011).

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[232] Feb 3, 2012

Churchill, Roosevelt, and China

Ronald Heiferman

Midway through World War II, Churchill, Roosevelt and Chiang Kai-shek made decisions on China that they hoped would have lasting significance. Each of the parties at the Cairo Conference in 1943 came with their own agendas, frequently contradictory. Chiang Kai-shek aimed to obtain commitment in the war against Japan. Roosevelt hoped to buoy the ego and spirits of Chiang and to insure that the Kuomintang regime would not make a separate peace with Japan. Churchill had no real interest in meeting with Chiang in Cairo at all, but intended to make sure that no agreements would be reached that would in any way prejudice British colonial interests in Southeast Asia. Ronald Heiferman is Professor of History at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, and a Fellow of Berkeley College, Yale University. He is the author or co-author of more than a dozen books. His latest book, The Cairo Conference of 1943: Roosevelt, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang was published in February 2011. He has been awarded five National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Fellowships, including one at the University of Texas in 1991.

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[233] Jan 27, 2012

Henry Sacheverell and the Cult of Eighteen-Century Personalities

Brian Cowan

The 1710 trial of Dr. Henry Sacheverell initiated one of the most celebrated controversies of the eighteenth century. This seminar talk will discuss the ways in which his personality was presented in such things as statues, effigies, seal-dies, clothing, and other fashion accessories. The argument is that this form of celebrity politics can be understood as a transition between traditional monarchical or aristocratic forms of political celebrity and an emergent modern form of cult celebrity. Brian Cowan holds the Canada Research Chair in Early Modern British History at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec. He is the author of The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse (2005). He co-edits the Journal of British Studies with Elizabeth Elbourne. He is currently a Fellow at the Institute of Historical Studies at UT.

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[234] Jan 20, 2012

Round Table Discussion of 'The Iron Lady'

Donna Kornhaber

A five person round table discussion of the film, 'The Iron Lady,' by Phyllida Lloyd.

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[235] Dec 2, 2011

Christmas Party at The Littlefield House with Christmas Carols

James Loehlin and Barbara Myers

James Loehlin reads O. Henry's classic Christmas writing, "The Gift of the Magi," followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers.

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[236] Dec 2, 2011

Christmas Party at The Littlefield House

James Loehlin

James Loehlin reads O. Henry's classic Christmas writing, "The Gift of the Magi."

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[237] Nov 18, 2011

Locke and the Limits of Toleration

Al Martinich

The history of religious toleration in seventeenth-century England is a story of progress and regress, with toleration being extended or denied according to what religious group was in power, which not, and sometimes according to the religion of the monarch's spouse. Self-interest also played a role. At the same time, various intellectuals were giving principled arguments for toleration. John Locke, who comes near the end of this tradition, drew a sharp line between the proper realm of government and the proper realm of religion. But he could not find it within himself to tolerate Roman Catholics or atheists. Al Martinich is Roy Allison Vaughan Centennial Professor in Philosophy and Professor of History and Government at the University of Texas at Austin. Among his books are The Two Gods of Leviathan: Thomas Hobbes on Religion and Politics (1992); and Hobbes: A Biography (1999), which won the Robert Hamilton Book Award. He is co-editor of The Oxford Companion to Hobbes (OUP, forthcoming) and also editor of The Philosophy of Language, 6th ed. (OUP, forthcoming).

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[238] Nov 11, 2011

The History of Oxford University Press

Donald Lamm

The Oxford University Press is today the unrivalled university press throughout the world. One of its critics commented that it stands in relation to the academic world as B.P. does to that of industry. How can its unprecedented success over some five centuries be explained? How can one account for the growth of the branches in New York, Canada, Australia, South Africa, India, and other places in Asia and Africa? How has it managed to become so prosperous that Oxford University itself is now dependent on it? Donald Lamm is the former President and Chairman of the WW Norton Publishing Company, where he worked for 45 years. He graduated from Yale University in 1953. He has served as the chairman of the governing board of Yale University Press and as a trustee of both the Columbia University Press and the University of California Press. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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[239] Nov 4, 2011

Crime, Punishment, and Governance in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Nicholas Rogers

The mid-eighteenth century is usually associated with the 'Bloody Code', when the terror of the gallows was balanced by judicial discretion and mercy. This lecture will argue that the demobilization crisis of 1748-53 also saw the emergence of de-centered strategies of rule. Governance cannot be divorced from class notations of power. Nicholas Rogers is Distinguished Research Professor at York University, Toronto. His books include The Press Gang: Naval Impressment and its Opponents in Georgian Britain (2008). His forthcoming book is entitled Confronting the Crime Wave: Demobilization and Disorder in mid-Eighteenth Century Britain.

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[240] Oct 28, 2011

The Betrayal of Adam Smith

Eli P. Cox III

Adam Smith (1723-1790) sired economic man, characterized by Nobel Prize winning economists as essentially greedy, rational, and amoral. Smith would have been appalled by this misrepresentation of his ideas because he believed that a society prospers when the virtues of prudence, justice, benevolence, and self-command govern the behavior of a sufficient number of men engaged in commerce. The distinction between these opposing views is of more than scholarly interest because the effects of the view of economic man can be seen increasingly throughout American society. Eli Cox is the La Quinta Motor Inns Professor of Business and is a faculty member of The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Study of Core Texts and Ideas. His primary research interests are in marketing strategy, the design of product warnings, and quality management. He is author of Marketing Research: Information for Decision Making (1979) and Evaluating Complex Business Reports: A Guide for Executives (1984).

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[241] Oct 21, 2011

A New Grand-Transatlantic-Drama: Britain and the Anglo-American War of 1812

Troy Bickham

Although overshadowed by the Napoleonic Wars, the War of 1812 between the Britain and the new United States merits more attention. By placing the conflict in a global context, this seminar session will reveal how Britain, just as much as the United States, was a protagonist in the conflict. While the war was America’s bid for post-colonial sovereignty, it was also Britain’s attempt to block it and reassert control over North America. Troy Bickham is Associate Professor of History at Texas A&M University, where he specializes in the history of Britain and its empire in the long eighteenth century. His books include Savages within the Empire (2005), and The American Revolution as Seen Through the British Press (2008). He is currently completing a transatlantic study of the Anglo-American War of 1812.

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[242] Oct 14, 2011

Surprising Resilience: Historians of British Conservatism since 1945

Sir Brian Harrison

Anyone interested in the history of the 1960s will be puzzled at the variety, prosperity and resourcefulness of the history subsequently written about British Conservatism since 1945. This development is the more surprising, given the leftish sympathies of British arts and humanities university teachers since the early 1960s and Labour history's ongoing inspirational impact on the left. A multi-layered explanation-archival, social, political, institutional, and commercial-illuminates the surprising ways in which historical study advances on the conservative side as well as in other directions. Sir Brian Harrison has been based in Oxford for half a century. His most famous book is perhaps Drink and the Victorians (1971). He has recently completed a two-part work, Seeking a Role: The United Kingdom 1951-1970. He received his Knighthood as a distinguished historian and for his service in helping to publish the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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[243] Oct 7, 2011

Shakespeare and Home Front during World War II

Laurence Raw

The British Shakespearean actor Donald Wolfit's wartime King Lear is widely acknowledged as his crowning achievement. But little attention has been paid to the value of the production as propaganda during the war. By drawing on the Wolfit archive at the Harry Ransom Center, this illustrated presentation will show how Wolfit's Lear deliberately evoked Winston Churchill's view that Britain should look to its illustrious past as a way of coping with the present. Wolfit's production looked forward to the post-war future, envisaging a more egalitarian society free of the kind of class conflicts that had bedeviled Britain in the years leading up to the outbreak of war. Laurence Raw teaches in the Department of English at Baskent University, Ankara, Turkey. He was formerly British Studies Officer for the East and Central European Regions of the British Council. He is the author of Exploring Turkish Cultures (2011), and A View of the Turkish Stage (2009).

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[244] Sep 30, 2011

The Royal Wedding and the Making of a Modern Princess

Lindsey Schell

The April 2011 nuptial celebration of Prince William and Catherine Middleton offered a once-in-a-generation opportunity to revel in the grandeur and pomp of British ceremony at its best. Through the inevitable comparisons of Catherine with her husband's late mother, Princess Diana, we see an evolving model for the modern European princess. As both commoner and Royal, Catherine must carefully balance the expected glamour of her position and indeed the promoting of herself, with the role of the People's Princess, ever in touch with the masses from which she rose to become the Duchess of Cambridge. Lindsey Schell is the Librarian for English Literature and Women's Studies at the University of Texas Libraries. She has a bachelor's degree from Tufts University in history and women's studies, as well as a master's in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. With a lifelong fascination with the British royal family, she does not identify herself as a royalist.

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[245] Sep 23, 2011

What’s for Dinner on a Desert Island: Feast and Famine in The Tempest

Leonard Barkan

If one dips below the surface of The Tempest, even slightly, one discovers that the question of food and drink is intriguingly pervasive. No surprise, since the early modern literature about unknown worlds beyond Europe was often obsessed with the question of what (or who) was eaten in those far-off places. Caliban’s menu, Stephano’s wine cask, the sumptuous banquet that magically appears and disappears in front of the hungry travellers: these add up to a significant dimension of the play. Leonard Barkan is University Professor and Chair of the Department of Comparative Literature at Princeton University, where he has taught courses on subjects including Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Narcissus, and Comedy. His books include Michelangelo: A Life on Paper, which was published in November 2010. The recipient of the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he writes often on the subject of food and wine.

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[246] Sep 16, 2011

Poverty, Politics, and Roast Beef: Poor Relief and the Nation in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain

Nadja Durbach

In the 1830s and 1840s the British government forbade paupers from eating roast beef at festive occasions even in workhouses where the food would have been donated by philanthropists. As the place of last resort for those dependent on welfare, workhouses offered only the basics necessary for survival. Excluding paupers from celebrations firmly demarcated citizens entitled to roast beef from those deprived of participating in this ritual of national belonging. Nadja Durbach is Associate Professor of History at the University of Utah and author of Spectacle of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture (2009), and Bodily Matters: The Anti-Vaccination Movement in England (2005). Her current project explores the symbolic and material importance of beef-eating to concepts of citizenship and national identity in nineteenth-century Britain.

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[247] Sep 9, 2011

The Territory of My Imagination: Rediscovering Dan Jacobson’s South Africa

Geoffrey Davis

Since Dan Jacobson left South Africa in 1954 to settle in England he has produced a range of novels, critical essays, autobiographical writings, and travelogues. In spite of the intellectual and critical challenges his writings pose, Jacobson’s work has attracted little scholarly attention. It is worthwhile pursuing a rediscovery of Jacobson’s work through a discussion of the role that South Africa plays in his fictional and non-fictional writing. Jacobson exemplifies the expatriate who refuses to put his emotional and intellectual origins behind him and whose consciousness remains South African. Geoffrey Davis has recently retired from his Chair of English Literature at the University of Aachen, Germany. He holds degrees from the universities of Oxford, Aachen and Essen. He is currently chair of the European Association for Commonwealth Literature and Language Studies. His most recent publication is a co-edited volume entitled Voice and Memory: Indigenous Imagination and Expression (2011).

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[248] Sep 2, 2011

The Scots, Irish, English, and Welsh in the Making of Texas

Marian Barber

Conventional wisdom holds that it was newcomers from other parts of America who shaped Texas history. But immigrants from Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales have played an equally important role, from Hugo Oconor, who represented the Spanish crown in the eighteenth century, to Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, to the defenders of the Alamo. They also fostered key elements of the economy, including ranching, railroads, and oil, though the relationship was not always a happy one. In fact, it was English investors who were the objects of the state's late nineteenth-century Alien Land Law, aimed at keeping Texas out of Britain's informal empire. Marian J. Barber is the Associate Director of the National History Center, an initiative of the American Historical Association. A Junior Fellow of British Studies, she received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. She is currently revising for publication her dissertation, 'How the Irish, Germans, and Czechs Became Anglo: Race and Identity in the Texas-Mexico Borderlands.'

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[249] Aug 26, 2011

The Oxford of Maurice Bowra and Hugh Trevor Roper

David Leal (Government)

In unorthodox vein, this seminar session will draw on two recent biographies to discuss teaching at Oxford in the first half of the twentieth century. The two biographies, both outstanding, are by Leslie Mitchell, Maurice Bowra, and Adam Sisman, Hugh Trevor-Roper. Bowra was the classical scholar and legendary Warden of Wadham College renowned for his wit and conversation. Trevor-Roper was the towering Regius Professor of History famous for his devastating attacks on fellow historians. Both Bowra and Trevor-Roper represented Oxford traditions that from today's vantage point seem virtually extinct-the Oxford of Brideshead. Paul Woodruff will discuss Bowra, Roger Louis will comment on Trevor-Roper, and David Leal will ask whether there are any enduring legacies in the tutorial method, and more generally in Oxford's elite system of education, that have enduring relevance for teaching in the twenty-first century.

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[250] May 6, 2011

Degenerations of Ruling Elites? Recent American and British Patterns

John Higley

Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) theorized boldly, if depressingly, that all societies are ruled by elites that inevitably degenerate. These degenerations lead to profound economic-political crises in which sweeping circulations of elites occur, only to have the degenerative process begin anew. Pareto's theory has intuitive appeal, but its application to concrete cases is difficult. How well does it capture recent elite patterns in America and Britain, such as the onset of the economic crisis and the elite circulations now unfolding? John Higley holds the Jack S. Blanton Chair in Australian Studies and heads the Research Committee on Political Elites of the International Political Science Association. His recent books includeElite Foundations of Liberal Democracy (2006), and Democratic Elitism: New Theoretical and Comparative Perspectives (2010).

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[251] Apr 29, 2011

Henry James and the Erosion of British Power

Priscilla Roberts

Although Henry James is usually considered an apolitical writer, throughout his life he paid close attention to national politics and international relations. Over the course of three to four decades, James's fictional interpretation of the relationship between his American and European characters altered dramatically. These changes corresponded with his perception of shifts in the international balance of power and specifically the decline of British resources and influence. Priscilla Roberts is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Hong Kong, specializing in American and international history. She has published extensively on Anglo-American and Chinese-American relations. Her most recent book is the edited collection Lord Lothian and Anglo-American Relations, 1900-1940 (2010).

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[252] Apr 22, 2011

The Grand Illusion: Britain and the United States

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Far from being the equal world power that Churchill fondly supposed in 1946, England became what would have appalled him: a client state. Harold Macmillan, Prime Minister 1957-1963, also hoped that the British would be 'Greeks to their Romans' since the Americans were a 'great big, vulgar, bustling people' who must be guided and mentored as the Roman emperors had been, supposedly, by the Greeks. More recently Tony Blair sent British troops to fight alongside the Americans 'to keep the United States in the international system'. These were curious illusions. In fact Britain had become a dependency of the United States and George W. Bush's relationship to Blair resembled that of master to servant. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is a journalist and author. He studied Modern History at New College, Oxford, and joined the Spectator in 1975. He writes regularly for the Spectator, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic Monthly. His books include The Randlords (1995), which was a History Book Club Choice in 1996, The Controversy of Zion(1996), and The Strange Death of Tory England (2005). His most recent book is Yo, Blair! (2006).

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[253] Apr 15, 2011

Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling

Andrew Lycett

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling epitomized Britain's imperialist heyday. But they were contrasting characters with differing attitudes towards many things including America. Their disparities surfaced after both lost sons as a result of the First World War: Conan Doyle retreating into spiritualism, Kipling adopting a religious-tinged stoicism that drew on his upbringing in multi-faith India and was reflected in his often neglected later short stories. After an early career as a journalist, Andrew Lycett specialized in foreign reporting (his first book was a biography of Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi). Over the last two decades he has written a number of acclaimed literary lives including those of Ian Fleming, Rudyard Kipling, Dylan Thomas and Arthur Conan Doyle. These works have a historical approach reflecting his training as an historian at Oxford.

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[254] Apr 8, 2011

Harold Macmillan and the Wind of Change

Joanna Lewis

Harold Macmillan promoted the view that as Prime Minister 1957-1963 he had been a triumphant liberator of British colonies in Africa. He especially recalled his speech to the South African Parliament when he warned Afrikaners of the Wind of Change blowing through the continent. In fact the historical record reveals a more modest, messy, contradictory, and farcical Macmillan whose ideas were shot through with racial prejudice characteristic of his generation. Joanna Lewis is Lecturer in International History at the LSE. She previously taught at Cambridge. She is Welsh. Her recent articles include 'Nasty, brutish and in shorts? British Colonial Rule, Violence and the Historians of Mau Mau', in the Round Table, (2008); and 'Daddy Wouldn't Buy Me a Mau Mau', in Mau Mau and Nationhood (2003). Her books include Empire State-building: War and Welfare in Colonial Kenya, 1925-53 (2000).

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[255] Apr 1, 2011

The United States, 1783-1861: Britain's Honorary Dominion?

A. G. Hopkins

Standard accounts of the period from the achievement of United States independence in 1783 to 1861 present a self-contained and neo-Whiggish story of irreversible liberty and democracy. If the United States is treated as a newly decolonized country, however, an alternative perspective comes into focus. The internal political, economic, and cultural history of the Republic during this period bore the marks of powerful external forces, as they did in other settler states, and the struggle for liberty and democracy had to compete with the demands of viability and development. The story is unfamiliar and perhaps unappealing, but it gives the United States a new distinction by placing it at the head of the process of decolonization that was to reach its climax in the second half of the twentieth century. Tony Hopkins, formerly The Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at Cambridge, and currently an Emeritus Fellow of Pembroke College, holds the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas. He is the author, with Peter Cain, of the prize-winning study, British Imperialism, 1688-2000 (1993). His recent books are Globalization in World History (2002), and Global History: Interactions between the Universal and the Local (2006).

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[256] Mar 25, 2011

Fiction and the Archives: The Art and Craft of the Historian

Deborah Harkness

British history exerts a powerful pull on the popular imagination as evidenced by movies, television shows, and the items for sale in bookshops. But where does history end and fiction begin? By drawing on both tales from the archives (including a plagiarist in the early Royal Society) and her experiences in writing fiction, Deborah Harkness will discuss the perils and promise of new historical methodologies and writing trends that blend the craft of the historical writer with that of the creative writer. Deborah Harkness is Professor of History of Science and Medicine at the University of Southern California. Her most recent scholarly book, The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution (2008), won both the Snow Prize of the North American Conference on British Studies and the Pfizer Prize of the History of Science Society. Her first novel, A Discovery of Witches, has just been published.

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[257] Mar 11, 2011

The Special Relationship

Philip Bobbitt

What is the current status of the 'special relationship' that has defined so many British and American political and strategic policies? Have the war in Iraq and the 'War on Terror' affected this relationship to its detriment? What is the future of this often symbiotic relation? Despite what might be amnesia on the American side, and occasional aversion on the British side, does this relationship continue to be based on a common cultural, political and philosophic heritage or is it more hard-headed than that? Philip Bobbitt is now Herbert Wechsler Professor of Jurisprudence at Columbia and Director of the Center for National Security there-but he continues to teach at the UT Law School and the LBJ School. He has worked in the federal government in all three branches, and during six administrations, most recently as Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the NSC during the Clinton administration. His books include The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace and the Course of History (2002) and Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-first Century (2008).

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[258] Mar 4, 2011

Brent Scowcroft, Mrs. Thatcher, and National Security

Bartholomew Sparrow

In one of the most important achievements of the first Bush administration-the peaceful reunification of Germany-National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft was utterly opposed by British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Yet the disagreement masked a remarkable closeness between Scowcroft and the British. Throughout his career Scowcroft repeatedly acted in concert with them and maintained an effective special relationship. Bat Sparrow is Professor of Government. He is the author of From the Outside In: World War II and the American State (1996), Uncertain Guardians: The News Media as a Political Institution (1999), and The Insular Cases and the Emergence of American Empire (2006). He is currently writing a biography of Scowcroft.

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[259] Feb 25, 2011

George Bernard Shaw: Modernist

David Kornhaber

George Bernard Shaw has been called 'the modernist that never was', a progressive Edwardian preserved in the modernist era. Yet Shaw's copious canon of plays and his writings on the theatre itself can challenge definitions of modernism. What did Shaw have to say to his modernist contemporaries? Did his works help to change the understanding of art's relationship to the world at the dawn of the modernist epoch? David Kornhaber is Assistant Professor of English. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and his A.B. from Harvard College. He has served as the assistant editor of Theatre Survey, as an affiliated writer with American Theatre, as a theatre critic for The Village Voice, and as a contributor to the Theatre section of The New York Times.

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[260] Feb 18, 2011

Demonic Possession in Early Modern Britain

Brian Levack

In the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries a number of people in England and Scotland went into violent convulsions, experienced severe contortions of their bodies, exhibited preternatural strength, vomited pins and other foreign objects, and spoke in languages previously unknown to them. The prevailing explanation of these so-called possessions was that demons had invaded their bodies and seized control of their physical movements, senses, and mental faculties. Unwilling to attribute such symptoms to supernatural forces, skeptical contemporaries and modern scholars have argued that these demoniacs were either suffering from mental or physical illnesses or were pretending to have been possessed. This talk will explore the possibility that demoniacs were either consciously or unconsciously following scripts that were encoded in their religious cultures. Brian Levack, a founding member of British Studies, is the John E. Green Regents Professor in History and Distinguished Teaching Professor. His most recent book is Witch-Hunting in Scotland: Law, Politics, and Religion (2008). He is completing a book on demonic possession in early modern Europe.

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[261] Feb 11, 2011

Nabobs: Empire and the Politics of National Identity in Eighteenth-Century Britain

Tillman Nechtman

Controversy swirled around the East India Company during the eighteenth century. At its center were the company's employees, the 'nabobs'. Popular attacks on the nabobs took the form of political cartoons, public protests, songs, jokes, and witty slanders. They were often focused on the material objects that nabobs brought home from empire-imperial souvenirs such as jewelry, artwork, foods, and exotic animals. The East India Company controversy, commonly seen as a fight over the proper management of empire, should be viewed as part of a broader dialogue about British identity. Tillman Nechtman is an Assistant Professor of History at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where he teaches British and British Imperial History. His research has appeared in such journals as History Compass, The Journal of Women's History, and The Journal of Eighteenth-Century Studies. His first book Nabobs: Empire and Identity in Eighteenth-Century Britain appeared in 2010.

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[262] Jan 28, 2011

Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscape

Lisa L. Moore

The debate on the relationship between the sister arts of gardening, painting, and poetry in eighteenth-century England is usually conducted without reference to women writers or artists. Restoring the sister to the concept of the sister arts involves a little-noticed tradition in which women artists used the conventions of the bawdy garden and botanical sexual classification to express love for other women. Lisa Moore is Associate Professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies. She is the author of Dangerous Intimacies: Toward a Sapphic History of the British Novel (1997) and the forthcoming Sister Arts: The Erotics of Lesbian Landscape.

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[263] Jan 21, 2011

Naked Colonialism: Displaying the Unclothed Body

Philippa Levine

The British in the nineteenth century thought remarkably frequently about the state of nakedness. By the end of the century it had become something of a by-word for savagery. Twentieth-century school books informed the children of Britain that nakedness was a condition equated with the tropical colonies as well as other exotic but disturbing and dangerous locations. Yet at the same time nudity, seen perhaps best in classical statuary, was extolled as the very basis of proper high art. Philippa Levine is a historian of Britain and the British Empire. Her recent book, The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset, has been translated into Italian and Japanese. Other recent publications include The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics (2010), Gender, Labour, War and Empire in Modern Britain. Essays on Modern Britain(2009) and Beyond Sovereignty: Britain, Empire and Transnationalism, 1860-1950 (2007).

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[264] Dec 3, 2010

Christmas Party

Dr. Roger Louis

The 35th Anniversary of British Studies and the 15th Anniversary of the Society of Junior Fellows. Comments by Founding Members of British Studies and Senior Junior Fellows, including Diana Davis (now at the University of California, Davis).

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[265] Nov 19, 2010

The End of Empire in the Middle East and the Literary Imagination

Phyllis Lassner

Much critical attention has been given to the political and cultural reaction of indigenous peoples to British imperialism, but what has been the creative response of British writers, especially women writers? Phyllis Lassner will focus on the literature of the Middle East and will discuss how British women have offered crucial perspectives on the end of empire on such issues as gender, race, World War II, and the Holocaust. Phyllis Lassner is Professor in the Jewish Studies, Gender Studies, and Writing Programs at Northwestern University. She is the author of two books on the Anglo-Irish writer Elizabeth Bowen. Her other works include British Women Writers of World War II (1998); Colonial Strangers: Women Writing the End of the British Empire (2004): and most recently, Anglo-Jewish Women Writing the Holocaust (2008).

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[266] Nov 12, 2010

Margaret Thatcher and the End of the Cold War

Archie Brown

Margaret Thatcher's anti-Communist credentials were never in doubt. Her closest advisors encouraged her natural animosity from the moment she entered office. Yet her attitude towards the Soviet Bloc underwent a remarkable change at the end of the 1980s. To what extent did the personal and political relationship between Thatcher and Gorbachev affect the end of the Cold War? Archie Brown is Professor of Politics at Oxford University and Fellow of St. Antony's College, Oxford. In 1990-91 he was a Visiting Professor at UT as the Frank C. Erwin, Jr. Centennial Chair in Government. His books include The Gorbachev Factor (1996), Seven Years that Changed the World: Perestroika in Perspective (2007) and, most recently, The Rise and Fall of Communism (2009).

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[267] Nov 5, 2010

The Great Age of Confusion: Australia in the Wake of Empire

James Curran

With the sudden disappearance in the 1960s and 1970s of the familiar coordinates of the British world, Australians were cast into the realm of the unknown. How did they go about the task of remodeling the image of national life when traditional British ideas, habits, and symbols-even the national anthem-seemed to be obsolete? James Curran is a Senior Lecturer in History at Sydney University. His books include The Power of Speech: Australian Prime Ministers Defining the National Image(2004). He is presently a Fulbright Scholar based in the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.

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[268] Oct 29, 2010

From the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Mexico: What We Know About BP

Robert Vitalis

The aggressive expansion of oil rights helps to explain the history of BP from its beginning as the Anglo-Persian Oil Company to the present. It is a company that has weathered many controversies and disasters to become a global giant that operates today in over 80 countries. What does the history of BP tell us about the current Gulf crisis and about our ongoing dependence on fossil fuels? Formerly a member of the UT Government Department, Robert Vitalis teaches political science at the University of Pennsylvania. His books include 'When Capitalists Collide: Business Conflict and the End of Empire in Egypt' (1995) and 'America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier' (2006), which was chosen by the Guardian as the book of the year.

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[269] Oct 22, 2010

Aneurin Bevan: Pragmatist and Prophet of the Old Left

Kenneth O. Morgan

Nye Bevan is an established hero of Labour. Yet he was also claimed by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown for New Labour, above all as founder of the National Health Service. Is this a credible view of this ferocious critic of capitalist wisdom? Bevan's democratic socialism was certainly no colorless 'middle way' but rather vividly libertarian. It linked Old Labour values with New Labour communitarianism, the world of Attlee with that of Blair. Lord Morgan is Honorary Fellow of The Queen's College, Oxford, and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Wales. His books include 'The People's Peace: Britain since 1945' (1990) and the recent biography 'Callaghan: A Life' (1997). His Oxford History of Britain has sold over 600,000 copies. He is a Fellow of the British Academy.

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[270] Oct 15, 2010

Approaching the Golden Anniversary: Doris Lessing's 'The Golden Notebook'

Roberta Rubenstein

Early in Doris Lessing's 'The Golden Notebook' the protagonist Anna expresses to her friend Molly what might be regarded as the author's own tongue-in-cheek synopsis of the novel: 'Men. Women. Bound. Free. Good. Bad. Yes. No. Capitalism. Socialism. Sex. Love. . . .' During the half-century since Lessing published her masterpiece in 1962, the situation of women has changed significantly. Are the novel's aesthetic, social, and political dimensions still persuasive? Roberta Rubenstein is Professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C., where she teaches courses on British modernism, twentieth-century women's fiction, and feminist theory. She has published more than thirty articles and book chapters on modern and contemporary writers including Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing, Margaret Drabble, and John Fowles. Her books include 'The Novelistic Vision of Doris Lessing' (1979) and 'Virginia Woolf and the Russian Point of View'(2009).

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[271] Oct 8, 2010

From the Kingdom of God to the Third World

Jeffrey Cox

Jeffrey Cox's interest in the relationship between religion and empire began in his days as an undergraduate at Rice University, when the Baptist Student Union sent him to be a Student Missionary in Vietnam during the summer of 1968, shortly after the Tet offensive. He has subsequently devoted much of his career to studying the missionary experience in the former British Empire, above all in India. Making scholarly judgments on the history of missionaries involves highly charged, competing master narratives-some of them celebratory, some of them anti-imperialist, all of them demanding ethical, moral, and political judgments as well as scholarly ones. How did Jeffrey Cox come to terms with these issues in the Third World as well as in America? Since receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1978, Jeffrey Cox has taught at the University of Iowa. His publications include Imperial Fault Lines: Christianity and Colonial Power in India, 1818-1940 (2002); and The British Missionary Enterprise since 1700 (2008). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.

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[272] Oct 1, 2010

The British Empire and Comparative Decolonization

Crawford Young

British decolonization, especially its African phase, can be placed in comparative context by contrasting its relative coherence with the disorderly disengagement of three smaller imperial powers: the Netherlands, Belgium, and Portugal. In the African territories, despite an unrealistic attraction to multi-territory federations and special status for settler populations, the British decolonization record contrasts sharply with the costly wars and international crises attending the transfer of power in the three other cases. Crawford Young is the Rupert Emerson Professor of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he began teaching in 1963. His books include The African Colonial State in Comparative Perspective (1994); The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State (1985); The Politics of Cultural Pluralism (1976); and Politics in the Congo (1965). He is a member of the Scholars' Council at the Library of Congress and a Past President of the African Studies Association.

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[273] Sep 24, 2010

Rating "A Midsummer Night's Dream"

Doug Bruster

'A Midsummer Night's Dream' leads a double life. Regularly performed for children as a harmless piece of fun, it is also interpreted as a brutal commentary on power and desire. How should we reconcile these differences? What should the fantasy world of 'Dream' be rated? Addressing these questions may tell us a great deal about the erotic appeal of theater, power, and dreams themselves. Douglas Bruster is a Professor of English at UT. After graduating from the University of Nebraska with a B.A. in English, History, and Latin, he received his M.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard. He is presently editing 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' for Cengage Learning. He is married to the medievalist Elizabeth Scala, who has somehow persuaded their two daughters that Chaucer comes before Shakespeare.

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[274] Sep 17, 2010

Accident and Artistry in "The Third Man"

Donna Kornhaber

All film is collaborative, but 'The Third Man' is unusually so. Bringing together a legendary set of international contributors, the film is marked by a mixture of artistic temperaments and styles. The unique combination of circumstance, accident, and artistic vision make it compelling. Often considered one of the greatest films, 'The Third Man' is also an exemplar of how the collaborative process in filmmaking engenders meaning. Donna Kornhaber is a Lecturer in the UT English Department. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University, her M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University, and her B.F.A. from NYU Film School. In addition to her academic work, she has worked professionally in film and has served as a contributor to the Arts & Leisure section of the New York Times.

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[275] Sep 10, 2010

Kipling and America

Thomas Pinney

Rudyard Kipling had a love-hate relationship with the United States, never resolved. He married an American woman, and built a house in Vermont, where two of his children were born and where he wrote The Jungle Books (1894-95), The Seven Seas (1896) and Captains Courageous (1897). But he left the country in disgust, and for the last half of his life refused to set foot in it again. What lay behind all this? And why should we care? Thomas Pinney is William M. Keck Distinguished Service Professor and former chairman of the Department of English at Pomona College. He has also taught at Hamilton College and at Yale. He has edited the letters of Lord Macaulay in six volumes and of Rudyard Kipling in another six, and is the author of a two-volume history of wine in America. He is currently editing a volume of Kipling's complete poems.

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[276] Sep 3, 2010

Reacting to the Past: How I Came to Love Teaching Edmund Burke

Larry Carver

'Then don't use compulsion', I said to him, 'but let your children's lessons take the form of play. You will learn more about their natural abilities that way.' -Socrates, The Republic. 'Reacting to the Past' introduces students to major ideas using role-playing to replicate the historical context in which ideas acquire significance. In 'Burke and Rousseau and the French Revolution' students prepare by reading history and works by Rousseau and Burke. They are assigned roles, not least Burke himself but perhaps above all Rousseau. The classroom becomes the National Assembly. Students write and give speeches, scheming in and out of class to win. This method of teaching has weaknesses as well as strengths, but it is a powerful pedagogy. Larry Carver is a Professor of English and Director of Liberal Arts Honors. He has taught 'Reacting to the Past' since 2005. In the English Department he teaches the Restoration as well as eighteenth century British poetry and drama. He is an authority on the eighteenth-century Earl of Chesterfield, author of the famous letters to his son. Some members of the British Studies seminar will remember Larry Carver bringing a previous lecture to a dramatic conclusion by quoting Dr. Johnson denouncing Chesterfield's letters as teaching 'the morals of a whore and the manners of a dancing-master'.

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[277] Aug 27, 2010

The Balfour Declaration

Jonathan Schneer

In November 1917, the Balfour Declaration promised to support the establishment of a homeland for Jews in Palestine. Most historians treat the lead-up to the Declaration as a triumphal progress. In fact Chaim Weizmann's campaign to win the British governing elite over to Zionism nearly misfired. The Prime Minister, David Lloyd George, almost betrayed Weizmann, the Jews-as well as the Arabs and Armenians-in favor of the Turks. Jonathan Schneer earned his B.A. from McGill University and his Ph.D. from Columbia. He taught at Boston College and Yale University before becoming Professor of Modern British History at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His books include London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis (1999); and The Thames: England's River (2005). His Balfour Declaration: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict was published earlier this year.

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[278] Apr 30, 2010

The Myth of Goths and Vandals in British Architecture

Bernard Porter

Victorian Gothic is the only architectural style that originated in England. It then spread out into the wider world. But it was contentious at the time, provoking a famous and ill-tempered 'Battle of the Styles' in the 1850s. It has been much misunderstood ever since. Two popular myths are that it was mainly a nostalgic and escapist style, and an attempt at a 'national' one. In fact it was basically neither of these, but the conflicting views help to explain its international reach. Bernard Porter is Professor of History at Newcastle. He has also taught at Cambridge, Hull, Yale, Sydney and Copenhagen universities. His famous book on the history of the British Empire is entitled The Lion's Share. He has also written on Secret Service history, and is a regular contributor to the London Review of Books. He is presently completing a book on 'The Battle of the Styles'.

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[279] Apr 23, 2010

The Post-Twilight of the British Empire on the Zambian Copper Belt

J. L. Berry

By the 1960s the Central African Copper Belt was the largest supplier of copper and cobalt to the world. John Berry arrived in Zambia in July 1966, when it was still essentially a colonial society. The next six years saw threats of secession, the creation of a one-party state, and the nationalization of the mines, which underpinned 98% of the national economy. At the same time Zambia lost control of much territory to Rhodesian, Angolan and Mozambican guerilla groups. He will give a personal, autobiographical view of these events and their background. John Berry is a geologist who worked in Zambia for the Anglo-American Corporation of South Africa from 1966-1972, and in Houston for Shell Oil until 1999. He grew up in Ipswich, England. He was encouraged by his family to attend college in North America, where he earned degrees at the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia.

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[280] Apr 16, 2010

French and British Colonial Heroes in Africa

Berny Sèbe

The study of imperial heroes provides valuable insight into the very nature of imperialism in its French and British manifestations. In both countries explorers, missionaries, officers, and administrators manufactured and 'packaged' acts of heroic valor for home consumption. The brave if misguided historic figures such as Marchand and Kitchener can best be understood in relation to the socio-cultural traditions of the two countries, which had distinct political and commercial aims. Berny Sèbe is a Lecturer in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Birmingham. His interests include the decolonization of the Sahara as well as the cultural history of the French and British empires. He is presently co-editing Echoes of Empire, a collection of essays assessing the two empires in Africa. In 2007 he was a participant in the decolonization seminar organized in Washington, D.C., by the National History Center of the American Historical Association.

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[281] Apr 9, 2010

Australia and the World Population Problem, 1918-1954

Alison Bashford

After the First World War-and despite the millions dead-there was a new concern about the prospect of world overpopulation. For many experts involved, the issue was fundamentally about space: where would and could people go, on a newly crowded earth? Empty lands came under international scrutiny, and first on every list was Australia. Claimed by the British but subsequently under-cultivated and under-populated, according to many demographers and economists, Australia's very sovereignty was, surprisingly, up for question. Alison Bashford is an historian of science and colonialism at the University of Sydney and Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard. Her books include Purity and Pollution (1998), Imperial Hygiene (2004), and Griffith Taylor: Visionary, Environmentalist, Explorer (2008). She is currently co-editing The Oxford Handbook of the History of Eugenics, with Philippa Levine.

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[282] Apr 2, 2010

A Journey through James Joyce's Ulysses

Phillip Herring

Readers of Ulysses are often put off not only by the difficulty of the novel, but also irritated by those Joyce scholars who communicate their ideas on a level incomprehensible to the general public. Yet it need not be opaque. Phillip Herring will introduce the novel by describing the artistic experimentation occurring in music, the novel, and the visual arts before 1922, when Ulysses was published. Joyce was well aware of innovation in the arts, adapted what he learned, and went on to create in his novel dazzling experiments in language and form that delight and baffle us to this day. Phillip Herring, a native Texan, is Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has taught at the University of Virginia, the University of Texas at Austin, and was a Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge. His books include Joyce's 'Ulysses' Notesheets in the British Museum (1972); Joyce's Uncertainty Principle (1987); Djuna: The Life and Work of Djuna Barnes (1995); and The Collected Poems of Djuna Barnes (2005). He is now beginning a book entitled 'The Homeric Joyce'.

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[283] Mar 26, 2010

Scotland and Slavery

T. M. Devine

The rapid industrial development of the Scottish economy in the eighteenth century had its economic base in the trade of tobacco, cotton, and sugar, all crops produced on American and Caribbean plantations that relied on slave labor. But Scottish involvement went well beyond trade. Many of the plantations that produced these commodities were owned by wealthy Scots. The transformation of Scotland in the eighteenth century was brought about in part because of the Scots' intimate connections with transatlantic slave-based plantation economies. T. M. Devine is the Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish History at the University of Edinburgh, the first Chair (1908) established in the subject. He has published nearly 30 books. In 2003 he was awarded the Royal Gold Medal and is the only historian elected to all three national academies in the British Isles. His articles include 'The Break-Up of Britain? Scotland and the End of Empire', in Penultimate Adventures with Britannia.

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[284] Mar 12, 2010

Modern History through Arab Eyes

Eugene Rogan

So much of what the Arab world has undergone in the past five centuries is common to human experience around the globe. Nationalism, imperialism, revolution, industrialization, rural-urban migration, the struggle for women's rights-all the great themes of human history in the modern age have played out in the Arab world. Yet there are many things that make the Arabs distinct. Westerners would have a very different understanding of the Arab world were they to see it through the eyes of Arab men and women who described the times in which they lived. Eugene Rogan is an American who spent the 1970s in Beirut and Cairo before returning to the United States for graduate school. He studied economics at Columbia and Middle Eastern history at Harvard, where he completed his doctorate in 1991. He has taught the modern history of the Middle East at Oxford since 1991. He is the Director of the Middle East Centre at St. Antony's College, Oxford. His latest book is The Arabs: A History, published in 2009.

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[285] Mar 5, 2010

Somerset Maugham: A Life Under Cover

Selina Hastings

For nearly sixty years Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was the most famous English writer in the world. The author of Of Human Bondage (1915) and The Razor's Edge (1944), Maugham for half a century was constantly photographed, filmed, and interviewed. Yet his personal life was largely kept hidden. Although married, he was predominantly homosexual in an age when homosexual practice in Britain was against the law. By the time of his death his reputation as a literary figure had already declined spectacularly but his novels are still read throughout the world because of their spell-binding stories. After a happy student life at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, Selina Hastings worked as assistant literary editor at the Daily Telegraph (1968-1982) and then as literary editor of Harpers & Queen (1987-1995). She is the author of four biographies, Nancy Mitford (1985), Evelyn Waugh (1994), Rosamond Lehmann (2002), and The Secret Lives of Somerset Maugham (2009), and for children she has retold a number of classics, among them The Canterbury Tales, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Bible.

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[286] Feb 26, 2010

The First Modern Revolution: Reappraising The Glorious Events of 1688

Steve Pincus

The Revolution of 1688-89 is often described as England's un-revolutionary revolution. Where continental Europeans and non-Europeans transformed their regimes in bloody and radical upheavals, the English sensibly and calmly agreed to rid themselves of the absolutist and Catholic James II. This national myth has comfortably reinforced stories of British exceptionalism. Unfortunately it is completely wrong. Instead England's Glorious Revolution was a radically transformative and modern event that set the blueprint for subsequent revolutions and in so doing laid the framework of the modern liberal state. Steve Pincus is Professor of History and International and Area Studies at Yale University, where he also serves as Chair of Yale's Council on European Studies and Director of Graduate Studies in History. He has published on English politics, culture, and society in the seventeenth century. He is now working on a new book on the origins of the British Empire 1580-1780, and the New Oxford History of Later Seventeenth Century England.

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[287] Feb 19, 2010

The Possibility of Civil War over Ireland in 1914

Samuel R. Williamson

In July-August 1914 a distinguished and controversial Anglo-Irish officer, General Henry Wilson, found himself among British cabinet and parliamentary members on the verge of a civil war over Ireland. At the lowest ebb in civil-military relations, he pressed for entry into the rapidly expanding European war. The British military presence in Europe probably rescued the French at the Battle of the Marne and may have prevented a civil war in Britain and Ireland. Wilson was eventually killed by an IRA gunman on his London door steps in June 1922. Samuel R. Williamson, Jr., is President Emeritus of the University of the South. His works include The Politics of Grand Strategy: Britain and France Prepare for War, 1904-1914; Austria-Hungary and the Origins of First World War; and July 1914: Soldiers, Statesmen, and the Coming of the Great War with Russel Van Wyk. He has taught at the U.S. Military Academy, Harvard University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and at the University of the South at Sewanee.

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[288] Feb 12, 2010

Virginia Woolf and the Russians

Roberta Rubenstein

In 1919, Virginia Woolf wrote, 'The most inconclusive remarks upon modern English fiction can hardly avoid some mention of the Russian influence, and if the Russians are mentioned one runs the risk of feeling that to write of any fiction save theirs is a waste of time.' Roberta Rubenstein, who has transcribed Woolf's reading notes on Dostoevsky, Chekhov, Tolstoy, and Turgenev, will argue that the giants of Russian literature influenced Woolf significantly during the formative years of her career and in her development of Modernist writing techniques. Roberta Rubenstein, Professor of Literature at American University in Washington, D.C., teaches courses on modernism, twentieth-century women's fiction, and feminist theory. Her recent books include Virginia Woolf and the Russian Point of View (2009). Her Reminiscences of Leonard Woolf, based on her friendship with Virginia Woolf's husband, was published as a Bloomsbury Heritage monograph (2005). She and her husband, Charles R. Larson, co-edited Worlds of Fiction, an anthology of international short stories.

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[289] Feb 5, 2010

What Hath God Wrought

Daniel Howe

Beginning with the message used by S.F.B. Morse to demonstrate his electric telegraph in 1844, this talk will address the multifaceted Anglo-United States relationship in the mid-nineteenth century (then as now, 'special', though sometimes its very existence has been called into doubt). Cultural, economic, and geopolitical issues united and divided the two English-speaking countries. The lecture will conclude with an assessment of the consequences of industrialization in both countries. Daniel Walker Howe, born in Utah, specializes in the intellectual and religious history of the United States. Having served time as Rhodes Professor of American History at Oxford, he has reverted to being Professor of History at UCLA. His essays include 'Why the Scottish Enlightenment was Useful to the Framers of the American Constitution'. His most recent book is What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 2008.

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[290] Jan 29, 2010

The British and Vietnam

Marilyn Young

To the Americans at the time, the British dimension of the war in Vietnam was famous, or infamous, for two reasons. The first was the success of the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, in evading a troop commitment. Consequently Dean Rusk said that next time there was an invasion of England 'we wouldn't do a damned thing about it'. The second, which will be the focus of this lecture, was the advice given by Sir Robert Thompson, head of the British Advisory Mission to Vietnam. Thompson was the leading authority on counter-insurgency in Malaya. He advised the creation of strategic hamlets similar to those that had been effective in bringing the emergency in Malaya to a close. He was, according to one of the prominent American critics of the war in Vietnam, Noam Chomsky, 'one of Britain's gifts to the Vietnamese people'. Marilyn Young is Professor of History at New York University. A graduate of both Vassar and Harvard, she brings to the subject of the British in Vietnam a distinctive Brooklyn voice. One prominent member of the American establishment recently referred to her as a 'flaming radical'. In addition to her numerous works on Vietnam, her books include The New American Empire.

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[291] Jan 22, 2010

The British Vampire's Slavic Roots

Thomas Jesus Garza

Bram Stoker can be credited with creating the modern Western vampire, but his vision of the legendary monster would not have been possible without the historical accounts of real-life figures from Eastern Europe. Tom Garza will reveal the origins and history of the vampire in Europe and Britain from the nineteenth century through the twentieth. The myth pervades popular culture to the present day. Thomas Jesus Garza is University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of Slavic and Eurasian Studies and the Director of the Texas Language Center. He received his Ed.D from Harvard University in foreign language education. He teaches courses in Russian language, culture, and literature, including a popular course on the history of the vampire. He is working on a book on Russian and Mexican contemporary film.

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[292] Dec 4, 2009

'The Gift of the Magi'

Maeve Cooney

A reading of O. Henry's classic Christmas story 'The Gift of the Magi'.

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[293] Nov 20, 2009

The British Side of the American Revolution

Maya Jasanoff

No topic in modern British history is seen as differently on either side of the Atlantic as the American Revolution. Americans triumphantly champion the patriots who won the war. But what about the American loyalists, who never wanted independence from Britain in the first place? Sixty thousand loyalists (with 15,000 of their slaves) left the thirteen colonies to resettle across the British Empire, in Canada, the Caribbean, Sierra Leone, and beyond. Maya Jasanoff will trace the global loyalist diaspora to show how the refugees cast into relief a transformative moment when they rebuilt their lives abroad. After their loss in America, the loyalists mirrored Britain's own striking resurgence from defeat to become the greatest imperial power in the nineteenth-century world. Maya Jasanoff is Associate Professor of History at Harvard University, where she teaches courses on British history since 1750. Her research on American loyalists marks a shift in settings from her first book, Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850 (2005), which looked at imperial expansion in India and Egypt through the lives of art collectors. Her essays and reviews have appeared in publications including the London Review of Books, the Guardian, and the New York Review of Books.

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[294] Nov 13, 2009

Pyrrhic Victory? England and the Great War

John Gooch

The theme of 'Pyrrhic Victory' concerns itself first and foremost with popular remembrance of slaughter, waste, futility, and purposelessness. How did the idea of 'Lions led by Donkeys' become embedded in the historical literature and the literary imagination? In recent years there has been a revolution in historical thinking about command, strategy, and commanders. A critical assessment of England and the Great War must finally include the question of national identity as well as military efficiency, and the evolution of the methods that eventually manifested themselves in the Second World War. John Gooch is Professor of International History at the University of Leeds. He was educated at King's College, University of London, where he took a First in History and a Ph.D. in War Studies. He has published over a dozen books, including Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War (with Eliot Cohen), and most recently Mussolini and His Generals: The Armed Forces and Fascist Foreign Policy, 1922-1940. He is presently completing a survey of war in the twentieth century and a study of Italy in the First World War.

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[295] Nov 6, 2009

The Radical Critique of Colonialism

Peter Cain

In his book on John A. Hobson, Peter Cain argues that there is a radical tradition denouncing the iniquity of imperialism. Jeremy Bentham played a prominent part in identifying the origins of modern imperialism in the eighteenth century. After examining Bentham's main contribution and demonstrating the richness and power of his ideas, Peter Cain will compare Bentham's work with Hobson's Imperialism: A Study (1902), the most famous statement of the radical case. The argument is that Bentham's thought was seminal in making Hobson's own contribution so distinctive and interesting. Peter Cain is Research Professor of History at Sheffield Hallam University. He is presently at work on a book on the intellectual history of empire in Britain from 1850 to 1914. His books include Hobson and Imperialism: Radicalism, New Liberalism and Finance, 1887-1938, and his famous work with A. G. Hopkins, British Imperialism, 1688-2000.

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[296] Oct 30, 2009

Murder Most Foul

Sir Harold Evans

When Harold Evans was Editor of the Sunday Times in the 1970s, his chief foreign correspondent, David Holden, was assassinated in Cairo. At 53, Holden was an experienced Middle East reporter and broadcaster. Who might have murdered him in December 1977? And why? Scotland Yard immediately investigated the case along with the police in Cairo. It quickly became apparent that there was an intelligence dimension involving the CIA and, to the chagrin of Evans, a spy within the office of the Sunday Times. The case has never been resolved, but there are recently declassified CIA and other documents that provide further clues. With Harry Evans as a latter-day Agatha Christie, the drama appears to be reaching a conclusion. Sir Harold Evans was Editor of the Sunday Times for 14 years, 1967-1981. Evans became famous for his crusading style of investigative reporting, bringing to public attention stories and scandals often officially denied or ignored. He has subsequently served as editor-in-chief of the Atlantic Monthly press and editorial director of US News and World Report as well as president and publisher of Random House. His books include The American Century (1988) and his recent autobiography, My Paper Chase, to be published in the United States in November. He is the husband of Tina Brown.

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[297] Oct 23, 2009

Bloomsbury Reassessed

Betty Sue Flowers

The discussion will focus on a significant recent book, Mrs. Woolf and the Servants, but each of the participants will address the question of the reason for the enduring significance of Bloomsbury.

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[298] Oct 16, 2009

The Decline and Fall of Whig Imperialism, 1756-1783

James M. Vaughn

In between the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756 and the conclusion of the War for American Independence in 1783, the British Empire shifted from Atlantic commercial and colonial expansion to political dominion and territorial conquest in Asia. Accompanying this shift was the abandonment of the long-standing British ideal of an 'empire of liberty' in favor of an avowedly despotic and military imperialism. Why did the British Empire undergo such a dramatic transformation in ideology and practice? This lecture will argue that the imperial transformation was the symptomatic expression of a wide-ranging crisis in British state and society. This crisis ultimately caused the death of Whig Britain and, with it, the decline and fall of Whig imperialism. James M. Vaughn is an Assistant Professor of History and a Junior Fellow in British Studies. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is an historian of eighteenth and nineteenth-century Britain. He is working on a book that examines mid-eighteenth-century British politics and the transformation of the East India Company from a commercial corporation into a territorial empire on the Indian subcontinent.

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[299] Oct 9, 2009

Effective Teaching

Bob Woodberry

Round Table Discussion From time to time the British Studies seminar dedicates a session to subjects of universal importance at the University of Texas. Nothing could be more important than effective teaching. This session will hear brief accounts of effective teaching techniques, successes and failures in the classroom, and the fate of the traditional lecture.

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[300] Oct 2, 2009

John Milton and the Embodied Word

John Rumrich

Milton in Areopagitica defines 'a good Booke' as 'the precious life-blood of a master spirit imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life.' Oddly, the definition though often quoted and even engraved on library walls, has never been explained. How are we to understand the equation between 'a good book' and 'lifeblood', specifically the 'lifeblood of a master spirit'? John Rumrich is A. J. and W. D. Thaman Professor of English. He is the co-editor of the Norton critical edition of Seventeenth Century British Poetry (2006) and the Modern Library edition of The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton (2007). He teaches early modern poetry and drama in the English Department.

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[301] Sep 25, 2009

Love in a Time of Terror: King Lear and the Potential for Consolation

Elizabeth Richmond-Garza

King Lear is a huge play and a painful one. It asks us to think hard about how we treat our parents and how we wish to be treated as we grow old. In certain periods the world seems violently chaotic, and at the same time parents and children feel out of touch. These two fears combined in Shakespeare's day and perhaps also come together in ours. Whenever King Lear is popular, as it is today, it speaks to us about terror and about whether our families can ease our anxieties. Almost four hundred years later, the play remains unforgettable and therapeutic for all generations. A Junior Fellow in British Studies, Elizabeth Richmond-Garza is also Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor of English and Director of the Program in Comparative Literature. She holds degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, Oxford University, and Columbia University. She writes on Orientalism, Cleopatra, Oscar Wilde, Renaissance drama, the Gothic, and literary theory, and she works actively in eight languages. She has won most of U.T.'s major teaching prizes and recently received the new Board of Regents Outstanding Teaching Award.

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[302] Sep 18, 2009

Gilbert and Sullivan: The Curious Persistence of Savoyards

Louise Weinberg

The Savoy Operas continue to beguile audiences in America if not in England. Why do one's English friends tend to be cool to Gilbert and Sullivan? And why do one's American friends seem to adore them? The ultimate question, perhaps, is why those who adore them do. Louise Weinberg will provide some of the answers. There will be recorded musical excerpts to recall to us the fun and glory of G & S. Louise Weinberg is the Bates Professor at the U.T. Law School, where she teaches such unmusical subjects as Federal Courts and Constitutional Law. Her books include The Supreme Court and the Coming of the Civil War (forthcoming). She is somewhat notorious (since she claims she cannot sing) for bursting into song whenever Gilbert & Sullivan are mentioned.

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[303] Sep 11, 2009

Wedgwood Gothic

Samuel Baker

In the mid-eighteenth century, the partners Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Bentley established in their pottery business a model for modern industry and mass marketing. Yet while Wedgwood's innovations were crucial to the industrial revolution, in fashioning his earthenware Wedgwood drew significantly on neoclassical and gothic traditions. Wedgwood's partner, Bentley, a leading connoisseur of classical culture whose learning informed Wedgwood's forms and their decoration, also fostered the talent of a young girl who would grow up to be the novelist most responsible for the gothic revival in fiction: Ann Radcliffe. What does it mean for our understanding of gothic literature to see its incubation in this very British milieu of early industrial neoclassicism? Samuel Baker is an Associate Professor of English and a Junior Fellow of British Studies. He was an undergraduate at Columbia, received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, and has just returned from a year as a Fellow at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities. His first book, Written on the Water: British Romanticism and the Maritime Empire of Culture, will be published later this year.

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[304] Sep 4, 2009

Forgiving Emily Brontë

John Farrell

John Farrell ENGLISH Ever since Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights in 1847, many readers and critics have attempted to improve or correct what they perceive as its rough-hewn and carelessly executed narrative. The novel simply leaves too many crucial gaps in its story. Who is Heathcliff? How did he become polished and rich? How did Catherine Earnshaw's ghost end up in a complete stranger's dream? How can Nelly Dean recall in word for word detail the conversations of so many characters over so many years? Beginning with Charlotte Brontë's alarmed reaction, responses to Emily's novel have celebrated its powers while patronizing its many flaws. There is a long tradition of forgiving Emily Brontë for not getting her story straight, either narratively or politically. After all was the book not published the year before The Communist Manifesto? How could it begin with raging revolt and end with a radiant portrait of bourgeois bliss? There's much here, or so it seems, to forgive. John P. Farrell, Professor of English, has taught Victorian literature in the UT English Department for thirty-one years. He has published many essays on the major Victorian authors including four on the Brontës. His current project is entitled 'From Wuthering Heights to Wessex Heights in Washington Heights'.

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[305] Aug 28, 2009

The Devil in Kingsley Amis

Peter Green

What makes a good satirist? What skills elicit laughter? Could the secret be an accurate, uncommitted eye for social foibles? Peter Green investigates Kingsley Amis as a nice test case. The only son of prudish lower-middle-class parents, elevated by scholarships into a world he viewed and chronicled as an alien zoo (with an attractive petting section), Amis wrote book after witty book to pay for the sex that shaped his plots and the drink in which he finally drowned. Details appall; the genius remains elusive. Peter Green, Dougherty Professor of Classics at U.T. and one of the founding members of British Studies, also writes on English literature in periodicals such as the New Republic, where the present lecture with the title 'Drink and the Old Devil' had its first genesis as a review-article. He is the author of numerous books on ancient Greece, including Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography (1991).

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[306] May 8, 2009

'If you were regular black . . . ': Slavery, Miscegenation, and Racial Anxiety in Britain

Cassandra Pybus

Cassandra Pybus Visiting Fellow, U.T. Institute of Historical Studies The abolitionist movement in Britain was powerfully motivated by fear that the personal and moral violations of the slave empire would seep out of the colonies and contaminate the metropole. By taking the troubled and troubling character of Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights as an example, Cassandra Pybus considers how this fear was realized through the stealthy infiltration of 'home' by the children of masters and their African slaves. Cassandra Pybus holds the Australian Research Council Chair in History at the University of Sydney. She is currently making a documentary film on Wuthering Heights along the theme of the lecture. Her books include Epic Journeys of Freedom: Runaway Slaves of the American Revolution and their Global Quest for Liberty (2006); and Black Founders: The Unknown Story of Australia's First Black Settlers (2006).

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[307] May 1, 2009

Such, Such, Was Eric Blair

Barbara Harlow

'Such, Such, Was Eric Blair' Julian Barnes Barbara Harlow Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth Julian Barnes has prepared a lecture for the next Britannia volume on George Orwell, the famous pen name of Eric Blair. His argument is that Orwell denounced the Empire, which pleased the Left; Communism, which pleased the right; and the misuse of language, which pleased everyone. He was known for straight thinking and honest writing. Yet he once wrote that all art or writing to some extent is propaganda. Did Orwell live up to his own standards of accuracy or did he too sometimes succumb to his own subjective aims? Julian Barnes alas will not be able to attend but an abbreviated version of his lecture will be read. Barbara Harlow and Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth will respond. Julian Barnes is the novelist, essayist, and critic. His most recent book is Nothing to be Frightened Of. Barbara Harlow is Professor of English and an authority on English literature in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She has done research in South Africa and Egypt and is perhaps the leading University of Texas faculty member in the national protest against the CIA's use of torture. Miguel Gonzalez-Gerth is a founding member of the British Studies seminar, a poet, and the internationally recognized authority on the Mexican revolution and the Spanish civil war. He regularly teaches a course on Orwell.

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[308] Apr 24, 2009

Darwin's Cookbook

Weslie Janeway

Weslie Janeway CAMBRIDGE Although the existence of Emma Darwin's recipe book has long been known to students of Darwiniana, it has seldom received much attention. As part of the celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth, food historian and geneticist Weslie Janeway places the cookbook in the context of family letters, diaries, and household accounts to create a window into the social history of Victorian cookery and the Darwin home. Weslie Janeway studied political science at Columbia and Brown universities before working in the finance industry. In 2006 she moved to Cambridge, England, to study genetics. She not only writes about food history, but also works in a stem cell laboratory in Cambridge and serves as a Trustee of The Jackson Laboratory, a genetics research institute in Bar Harbor, Maine. She is the co-author of Mrs. Darwin's Recipe Book: Revived and Illustrated.

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[309] Apr 17, 2009

Sir Keith Hancock and the Question of Race

Saul Dubow

Saul Dubow SUSSEX UNIVERSITY Sir Keith Hancock (1898-1988), one of the distinguished practitioners of British economic history, combined breadth of vision, geographical scope, and imaginative reach. His biography of J. C. Smuts of South Africa has changed the lives of graduate students at the University of Texas. Yet he was evasive on the issue of race. This lecture will argue that in the latter part of his life Hancock presented a refined apology for white paternalism in South Africa. Saul Dubow is Professor of History at the University of Sussex. His recent research pursues the theme of colonial science, race, and the ideology of empire. His recent books include A Commonwealth of Knowledge: Science, Sensibility, and White South Africa (2006).

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[310] Apr 10, 2009

Britain's Global Empire

John Darwin

John Darwin NUFFIELD COLLEGE, OXFORD 'Once the British Empire became world-wide, the sun never set on its crises', wrote its shrewdest historian. By the 1830s, at latest, the British Empire had indeed become a global system. Macaulay had urged his countrymen to see Clive and Hastings as the British Cortes and Pizarro. But not until Sir John Seeley's Expansion of England (1883) did British historians begin to see the empire as a global phenomenon. This lecture will discuss Seeley's extraordinary influence, the muted 'revisionism' of the inter-war years, and the history wars that have raged over the study of British imperialism since the 1950s. John Darwin is Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford. His After Tamerlane: the Global History of Empire since 1405 was published in 2007. His The Empire Project: the Rise and Fall of the British World-System will be published this year by Cambridge University Press.

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[311] Apr 3, 2009

Hardy and Eliot

Betty Sue Flowers

Tribute to Betty Sue Flowers 'Hardy and Eliot' Dan Jacobson Betty Sue Flowers Tom Staley Dan Jacobson has prepared a lecture for the next Britannia volume on the poetry of Thomas Hardy and T. S. Eliot. His argument is that Hardy is the greater of the two poets. Dan Jacobson alas will not be able to attend but an abbreviated version of his lecture will be read. Betty Sue Flowers and Tom Staley will respond. The session will be a tribute to Betty Sue Flowers, who has been a British Studies stalwart since the founding of the seminar in 1975. As members of the seminar will probably know, she is retiring as Director of the LBJ Library and moving to New York City. We will miss her at the Friday afternoon seminar sessions and will always look forward to the times she can be with us while visiting Austin.

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[312] Mar 27, 2009

A. J. Balfour and His Critics

Ferdinand Mount

'A. J. Balfour and His Critics' Ferdinand Mount R. J. Q. Adams LONDON TEXAS A&M The original plan for this seminar session was to have a debate between Ferdinand Mount, the former editor of the TLS, and R. J. Q. Adams, whose recent and acclaimed book on Balfour has stimulated a most interesting range of critical response. Sir Ferdinand will not be able to attend, but an excerpt from his review of the book will be read-to give Quince Adams an opportunity to respond to his critics and to reflect on the art of historical biography. Balfour was one of the remarkable political figures of the twentieth century, Prime Minister 1902-06 and the author of the two declarations bearing his name, the Balfour Declaration of 1917 promising British support of a Jewish national home in Palestine and the Balfour Declaration of 1926 setting the basis for the British Commonwealth of Nations.

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[313] Mar 13, 2009

Churchill, Roosevelt, and Ireland

Warren Kimball

Warren Kimball RUTGERS UNIVERSITY During the Second World War, Churchill believed that Irish neutrality threatened British security, specifically Atlantic shipping and the war against German U-boats. At the same time, he believed or rather hoped, that the English-speaking peoples would stand together. For Franklin Roosevelt, Irish neutrality not only challenged the conviction that American national security required British survival against Hitler but also raised divisive and potentially serious political issues at home. Irish-Americans were a powerful voting group. The episode illustrates the different styles of leadership. Churchill wanted to be direct and even belligerent towards Ireland but the Cabinet and FDR held him back. FDR was typically indirect, never confronting the Dublin government while refusing to restrain those who believed the Irish Republic should join the alliance against Germany. Warren Kimball is the editor of the three volumes of Roosevelt-Churchill correspondence published by Princeton University Press. His books include The Juggler: Franklin Roosevelt as Wartime Statesman.

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[314] Mar 6, 2009

Trevor-Roper and Scotland

Brian Levack

'Trevor-Roper and Scotland' 'In Scotland, the apparatus of Celtic tribalism has been assumed, and formalized, by those whose ancestors regarded the Highland dress as a badge of barbarism and shuddered at the squeal of the bagpipe.' Discussion led by Brian Levack and Roger Louis Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre) was one of the notable historians of the twentieth century, perhaps most widely known for one of his early books, The Last Days of Hitler published in 1947. Much later, in 1983, he made the disastrous mistake of authenticating a forged set of Hitler's diaries. His reputation has never quite recovered from the Hitler diary episode, but he remains one of the great historical essayists of our time, above all for his limpid and penetrating style, malicious wit, and sharp historical intelligence. One of his books remained unpublished at the time of his death in 2003: The Invention of Scotland, which has now been published posthumously. Highly critical of the Scots, or the Scotch as he calls them, Trevor-Roper argues that constitutional, literary, and cultural myths of ancient Scotland were invented much later. In the case of the kilt, it was a sartorial custom concocted by an Englishman. The presentation on Trevor-Roper will begin with a lecture by Roy Foster of Oxford University but presented in his absence in abbreviated form by Roger Louis. Brian Levack will comment.

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[315] Feb 27, 2009

Origins of Scottish Nationalism: The Trial of Thomas Muir

George Scott Christian

George Scott Christian ENGLISH AND HISTORY Historians have extensively studied the influence of the French Revolution on late eighteenth-century Irish society, but what of the Scottish experience during the revolutionary period? Scotland seethed with similar political, social, and economic tensions in the 1790s, convincing British ministers such as Pitt and Dundas that 'North Briton', rather than Ireland, was ripe for a Jacobin insurrection. The 1793 sedition trial of Thomas Muir, a well-to-do Glaswegian lawyer and leader of the reformist Scottish Friends of the People, may have demonstrated the British government's determination to quell incipient revolt, but it ultimately contributed to the re-emergence of a Scottish nationalism that transcended Jacobitism and rejected inferior status in the British state. George S. Christian is a lawyer and an adjunct Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin. As a lawyer he has represented clients before the Texas Legislature and various executive agencies for more than twenty years. A former Plan II student, he has received the degrees of B.A., J.D., M.A., and Ph.D. from U.T. He has been a Junior Fellow in British Studies since 2001. His current project is a study of late eighteenth-century Scottish radicalism.

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[316] Feb 20, 2009

Philip Francis and the Challenge to the British Empire

Linda Colley, CBE

'Philip Francis and the Challenge to the British Empire' Philip Francis was a critic of the excesses and contradictions of the British Empire in four continents. He supported the American and French revolutions and was an articulate opponent of slavery. But he was also, in the view of his critics, a duplicitous and hopeless rake. How can his significance be assessed? Linda Colley's books include Britons: Forging the Nation.

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[317] Feb 19, 2009

Colonial Independence

Sir David Cannadine

'Colonial Independence' The British phrase 'transfer of power' conveys the impression of an orderly and smooth transition from colonies to new nations possessing sovereign independence. In fact the liquidation of the British Empire was often violent, creating states that were sometimes not only unstable but also unviable. How does the balance sheet look if freed from teleological assumptions such as progress into freely associated states known as the Commonwealth? David Cannadine's books include The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy.

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[318] Feb 13, 2009

The Bertrand Russell Collection: The One that Got Away from the HRC

Albert Lewis

Albert Lewis R. L. Moore Project In the late 1960s Bertrand Russell decided to sell his rich collection of books, letters, manuscripts, and memorabilia, reflecting many aspects of his long and illustrious life. The Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin was a prospective buyer, but McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, captured the papers. Plans were started at McMaster in 1969 for a scholarly edition, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. Albert Lewis will discuss the history of the project as well as the controversial aspects of Russell's life. In the late 1960s Albert Lewis was working toward his Ph.D. in history of mathematics at the University of Texas. Subsequently he was curator of history of science at the HRC. From 1984 until 1997 he worked on the team of the Russell Editorial Project at McMaster. This was followed by eleven years on the Charles S. Peirce editorial project at Indiana University. He is now in Austin working on the Legacy of R. L. Moore Project in the Educational Advancement Foundation.

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[319] Feb 6, 2009

Inventing Iran, Inventing Iraq: The British and Americans in the Middle East

Karl Meyer

Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac NEW YORK TIMES AND CBS In the shaping of the modern states of Iraq and Iran, Americans as well as the British played a significant part: Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell, and, in the American era, the CIA's Miles Copeland and Kim Roosevelt. They helped to enthrone rulers in a region whose very name, the 'Middle' East, is an Anglo-American invention. The aim of the lecture will be to restore to life the colorful figures who for good or ill gave us the Middle East in which Americans are enmeshed today. Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac are co-authors of Tournament of Shadows: The Great Game and the Race for Mastery in Central Asia (1999); and Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East (2008). Karl Meyer is a distinguished journalist of The New York Times and Washington Post; Shareen Brysac is an equally distinguished journalist and producer of prime-time documentaries for CBS.

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[320] Jan 30, 2009

The Swinging Sixties in Britain

Dominic Sandbrook

Dominic Sandbrook London Even today, the 1960s are usually seen as an unprecedented age of dramatic change, sweeping aside old conventions and ushering in a 'cultural revolution' that changed British life forever. Dominic Sandbrook believes that there is a much more complicated picture of an anxious, often highly conservative society in which change came slowly-or, according to many at the time, not at all. Did British politics really change during the supposedly 'Swinging Sixties'? Did the youth culture of the Beatles and the Rolling Stones actually embody a new age? Was there really a sexual revolution? And what really happened during the supposedly pivotal year of 1968? Educated at Oxford, St. Andrews, and Cambridge, Dominic Sandbrook has been a lecturer in history at the University of Sheffield and senior fellow at the Rothermere American Institute, Oxford. He is now a writer and newspaper columnist, his work appearing regularly in the London Evening Standard, Daily Telegraph and Sunday Times. His first book, a life of Senator Eugene McCarthy, was published in 2004, but he is best known for his two best-selling books on Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, Never Had It So Good (2005) and White Heat (2006). He has recently finished a history of America in the 1970s (to be published by Knopf in 2010).

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[321] Jan 23, 2009

Glasgow in the 1950s

Bernard Wasserstein

'Glasgow in the 1950s' Bernard Wasserstein University of Chicago Since the Second World War, Glasgow, the 'second city of the empire', has suffered a dramatic fall. Today it is Britain's poorest, most indebted, and most socially troubled metropolis. Its population has dwindled by nearly half. Its staple industries have vanished. Other British cities too have declined, but in none has the downward spiral seemed so precipitous. Drawing on his memories of Glasgow in the 1950s, and in particular of three institutions with which he was intimately associated, Bernard Wasserstein will explore the causes and nature of this story of urban decay and will discuss the prospects for Glasgow's more recent efforts to reinvent itself as a commercial and cultural hub. Bernard Wasserstein was born in London in 1948 but spent most of his childhood in Glasgow. He was educated at Balliol and Nuffield Colleges, Oxford. He has taught at Oxford, Sheffield, and Glasgow Universities, and at Brandeis and the University of Chicago where he is now Ulrich and Harriet Meyer Professor of History. He is the author of nine books, including The British in Palestine (1978), Britain and the Jews of Europe, 1939-1945 (1979), The Secret Lives of Trebitsch Lincoln (1988), Herbert Samuel (1992), and, most recently, Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time. He has spent the past year in Europe on a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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[322] Dec 5, 2008

Carols from the Christmas party at the new Campus Club

Barbara Myers

Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers

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[323] Dec 5, 2008

Christmas party at the new Campus Club

James Loehlin

Passages from Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol

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[324] Nov 21, 2008

Eye of the Storm: London's Place in the First Great Depression, 1873-1896

Mark Metzler

In recent years economists have assessed the great depression in the last three decades of the nineteenth century as the 'first globalization boom' rather than as an era of depression. This work of scholarly revision does not fit well with the full documentary record of the time. Why is it that people thought they were depressed if in fact they were not? Or, who was depressed and who was not? What did depression mean for Britain and the British Empire? How does financial turbulence then compare with the financial turbulence now? Mark Metzler, an Associate Professor of History and Asian Studies, teaches the history of the other island empire, Japan. His book Lever of Empire: The International Gold Standard and the Crisis of Liberalism in Prewar Japan (2006) tells the story of Japan's adherence to the British gold standard and its culmination in the Great Depression of the 1930s. His work-in-progress is entitled The First Great Depression, 1873-1896: Globalization and Global Crisis.

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[325] Nov 14, 2008

Dean Acheson: The Creation of a New World Order and the Problem of the British

Robert McMahon

Dean Acheson was one of the most important, accomplished, and consequential diplomats in American history. He played a decisive part in the conceptualization and creation of a new, American-dominated world order in the wake of the Second World War. He assumed an equally critical role in the development of an overall strategy for containing the Soviet challenge while simultaneously rebuilding the military, economic, social, and political strength of the West. But his relationship with the British is ambiguous. How does he emerge from an evaluation of central role played by Britain as obstacle as well as a partner in Acheson's statecraft? Robert J. McMahon is the Ralph Mershon Distinguished Professor of History at Ohio State University. His books include The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction (2003); The Limits of Empire: The United States and Southeast Asia since World War II (1999); and Cold War on the Periphery: The United States, India, and Pakistan (1994). He served as President of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations in 2001.

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[326] Nov 7, 2008

The Orange Order in Northern Ireland

Eric Kaufmann

Eric Kaufmann LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS The Orange Order is a mass-member association dedicated to upholding Protestantism and the British connection. Formed in 1795 in the north of Ireland, it soon spread to Britain and the colonies. Though outwardly religious in nature, it has always functioned as a secular institution of British-Protestant ethnicity and Unionist politics. In the last half century, the Orange Order has been buffeted by social and political change. Yet the Order's decline does not reflect any waning of 'ethnic' Unionism or sectarianism in general, but rather a shift in Unionist culture from deference to a defiance that leads younger Unionists to reject established institutions. Eric Kaufmann is Reader in Politics and Sociology at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is the author of The Orange Order: A Contemporary Northern Irish History (2007). He is also the author of The Rise and Fall of Anglo-America (2004) and the editor of Rethinking Ethnicity: Majority Groups and Dominant Minorities (2004).

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[327] Oct 31, 2008

Prelude to the Sixties

Sir Brian Harrison

Sir Brian Harrison OXFORD When did 'the Sixties' emerge as a concept rather than as a series of events? Four essential trends or ideas must be taken into account. When asked to provide a hint about the nature of the concept itself, without tipping his hand too much, Sir Brian Harrison said that this must be the difference between an Oxford and a Texas lecture. In Oxford the audience comes to find out. So, come to discover the antecedents of the 1960s or remain forever in blissful ignorance-unless you catch the recorded version for the BBC on the British Studies website. Sir Brian Harrison has been based in Oxford for half a century. He began as an historian of Victorian Britain, but has steadily moved forward in his interests and publications, and is about to publish with Oxford University Press the two concluding volumes in the 'New Oxford History of England'. His most famous book is perhaps Drink and the Victorians (1971). He received his Knighthood as a distinguished historian and for his service in helping to publish the new Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

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[328] Oct 24, 2008

Churchill and the Jews

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

Winston Churchill's commitment to the cause of Zionism was one of the constant loyalties of his long career-or was it? His attachment to Zionism was something all Israelis and friends of Israel can cite with pride-or was it? On closer examination, the story of Churchill and Zionism is not as simple as Churchillian (and Zionist) enthusiasts have sometimes suggested, and the terms in which he did express his support for a Jewish state were not only anachronistic at the time but may indirectly explain some of the difficulties that Israel faces today. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is an English journalist and author, a former literary editor of the Spectator who now writes for the Guardian and the Times Literary Supplement as well as the New York Times and the New York Review of Books. His books include The Strange Death of Tory England, the short polemic Yo, Blair!, and The Controversy of Zion: Jewish Nationalism, the Jewish State and the Unresolved Jewish Dilemma, which won the American National Jewish Book Award. He is now writing a study of Winston Churchill's reputation during his life and afterwards

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[329] Oct 17, 2008

After the Cold War

Sir Adam Roberts

What were the causes and consequences of the end of the Cold War? The perspectives of the school of historians of International Relations at Oxford provide the key to understanding the complex nature of the post-Cold War era. Paradoxically, the historians who came closest to foreseeing the end of the Cold War were those who made few if any claims to a 'scientific' approach. Their idea of forecasting was based, at the very most, on John Stuart Mill's modest concept of 'a certain order of possible progress'. Since the end of the Cold War, simplistic interpretations of how it ended have contributed to narrow understandings of international order. The spirit of imposed universalism that fled from Moscow has flourished as never before in Washington. Adam Roberts is Montague Burton Professor of International Relations at Oxford University. He has written and taught extensively on issues relating to the use of force, international law, and international organization. His latest book is The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945 (2008).

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[330] Oct 10, 2008

Romantic British Culture and Botany in India

Theresa Kelley

'Romantic British Culture and Botany in India' Theresa Kelley UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN At first sight the scientific theme of botany may seem to be a rather exotic subject in the context of the British Raj, but in fact it played a major part in late-eighteenth century Romantic British culture. The relations in India between British botanists and Indian botanical illustrators convey an intricate and surprising array of influences that challenge the claim, offered by Indian as well as European historians of science-and especially postcolonial theorists-that the work of botanizing India during this period was wholly shaped and directed by British expertise. Theresa Kelley is the Tiefenthaler Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her books include Wordsworth's Revisionary Aesthetics (Cambridge, 1988) and Reinventing Allegory (Cambridge, 1997). She has held fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the John D. Simon Foundation for her current book project, 'Clandestine Marriage: Botany and Romantic Culture'. She taught Romantic literature in the English department at UT from 1988 to 1999.

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[331] Oct 3, 2008

Conan Doyle: An Assessment beyond Sherlock Holmes

Richard Jenkyns

'Conan Doyle: An Assessment beyond Sherlock Holmes' Richard Jenkyns OXFORD Arthur Conan Doyle's newly published letters make clear that he wanted to be remembered as a champion of spiritualism and as a historical novelist, though it is Sherlock Holmes who continues to capture the public imagination. But recent biographies and critical studies have presented a more rounded view of Conan Doyle, his beliefs as well as his work, which reveals both imagination and style. His medical training played a critical part in his career by enabling him to follow a logical progress from a collection of symptoms and rival diagnoses to ultimate conclusion and explanation. The Sherlock Holmes part of his life was relatively short. How does Conan Doyle emerge, as a man and a writer, in relation to the social currents of his time, from politics and war to spiritualism? Richard Jenkyns is Professor of the Classical Tradition, Oxford University, and Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall. His work has focused mostly on classical influences, especially in nineteenth-century Britain, and on Latin poetry and Roman cultural history. He has published eight books including The Victorians and Ancient Greece (1980), Dignity and Decadence: Victorian Art and the Classical Inheritance (1991), Virgil's Experience (1998), Westminster Abbey (2004), and A Fine Brush on Ivory: An Appreciation of Jane Austen (2004). He is currently writing a book entitled God, Space, and City in the Roman Imagination.

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[332] Sep 26, 2008

'Reconciliation in The Winter's Tale: The Literary Friendship of Robert Greene

John Rumrich

'Reconciliation in The Winter's Tale: The Literary Friendship of Robert Greene and William Shakespeare' John Rumrich ENGLISH On October 1-4, The Actors From the London Stage will perform The Winter's Tale in Austin and Winedale. John Rumrich will provide some of the background and context by presenting the case for Robert Greene. A leading light of English literature in his own time, the sixteenth-century author Robert Greene is now best remembered for his characterization of the young Shakespeare as an 'upstart crow'. But the connection with the bard is actually much closer: Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale adheres more strictly to Greene's prose romance Pandosto than do any other of his plays to their source material. As a prologue to the production by the Actors from the London Stage, John Rumrich will examine Greene's relationship to the 'upstart crow' and how it figures into Shakespeare's late drama of guilt and reconciliation. Co-editor of the Norton critical edition of Seventeenth Century British Poetry (2006) and the Modern Library edition of The Complete Poetry and Essential Prose of John Milton (2007), John Rumrich teaches early modern poetry and drama in the English Department.

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[333] Sep 19, 2008

Julian Amery: A Nineteenth Century Relic in

Sue Onslow

'Julian Amery: A Nineteenth Century Relic in A Twentieth Century World?' Sue Onslow LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS The active political career of Julian Amery, the notoriously right-wing Member of Parliament, spanned the end of Empire and the transformation in British domestic politics. A politician of immense energy and drive as well as considerable intellectual ability, he held passionate views on Britain's place in the world, which he championed through both overt and covert means. Paradoxically he also held pronounced and consistent liberal views on British involvement in Europe, capital punishment, and social and economic policy, which set him at odds with the Tory diehard wing of his party. Sue Onslow has taught international history at LSE since 1994. She has written on British party politics and British foreign policy on such issues as Suez, Rhodesia, and South Africa. Her forthcoming edited book, White Power, Black Liberation, and the Cold War in Southern Africa will be published next year. She is co-editor of Britain and Rhodesia: Road to Settlement 1977-1980 to be published by the Institute of Historical Research.

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[334] Sep 12, 2008

Cardigan Bay

John Kerr

'Cardigan Bay' John Kerr SAN ANTONIO John Kerr is a lawyer and novelist who lives in San Antonio. His recent novel Cardigan Bay is set in Ireland and Wales as well as England, and deals with the love affair of an American woman and a British army officer against the background of Irish neutrality and the IRA. The intricate plot includes the failed assassination of Hitler in 1944. Based on scrupulous research, the book demonstrates a commitment to factual accuracy in its portrayal of wartime London and the planning of the allied invasion of Europe. The author will discuss the twin challenges of persuading readers to make an emotional commitment to the protagonists while reassuring them of the care the writer has taken to establish the historical context. An alumnus of Stanford University with a degree in History, and of the University of Texas Law School, John Kerr is President of the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research. He is Chairman of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation in Fredricksburg, and a member of the Advisory Board of the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Texas.

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[335] Sep 5, 2008

The Question of Intervention in Iraq, 1958-59

Roby Barrett

'The Question of Intervention in Iraq, 1958-59' Roby Barrett MIDDLE EAST INSTITUTE On 14 July 1958, Iraq began its transformation from a British colonial creation and client state to a fundamental and enduring component of the American presence in the Middle East. The July revolution not only damaged American confidence in Britain's ability to manage regional affairs in the Middle East but also convinced President Eisenhower that the events in Iraq constituted a highly complex interaction of political, economic, and social forces into which decision-makers in Washington had little insight or understanding. With a firm hand on their collar, Eisenhower prevented the British from intervening. Non-intervention would appear in retrospect to have been a wise and judicious decision, perhaps an eternal lesson. Roby Barrett is a Senior Fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington D. C. He has had over thirty years of government, business and academic experience in the Middle East and Africa, providing defense and security policy and technology support to government and aerospace customers. He is a former Foreign Service Officer in the Middle East. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and is the author of The Greater Middle East and the Cold War (2007).

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[336] Aug 29, 2008

Ted and Sylvia

Betty Sue Flowers

'Ted and Sylvia' Round Table Discussion The recent publication of Letters of Ted Hughes, edited by Christopher Reid (Faber & Faber 2007), provides an opportunity to discuss the poetry of both Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath as well as to gain perspective on Sylvia's suicide and the subsequent controversy about the reasons. All of the participants are members of the UT English Department. Judith Kroll, whose Chapters in a Mythology: The Poetry of Sylvia Plath (1976, revised edition 2008) has won international recognition, will open the discussion. Judith Kroll Kurt Heinzelman Betty Sue Flowers Tom Cable

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[337] Apr 25, 2008

What Did Darwin Mean in The Origin of Species? An Englishman and a Frenchman

Keith Francis

'What Did Darwin Mean in The Origin of Species? An Englishman and a Frenchman Debate Evolution' Keith Francis BAYLOR UNIVERSITY Charles Darwin purported to solve the mechanism of evolution in The Origin of Species through his concept of 'natural selection'. Many natural philosophers and scientists of the 1860s and 1870s, both English and French, agreed with the general principles of natural selection but remained undecided about its ramifications for humans. Science came into direct conflict with faith. George Henslow, an English botanist, and Armand de Quatrefages, a French anthropologist, responded by attempting to reconcile evolution with religious belief. At the time these were two representative views, English and French respectively, but they struck a chord of science versus religion that resounds to the present. Keith Francis is Associate Professor of History at Baylor University where he teaches nineteenth and twentieth century British history. His first book on Darwin was published by Greenwood Press in 2007 and was entitled Charles Darwin and The Origin of Species. He is now working on a book about immigration from Grenada to Britain and back to Grenada from 1950 to 2005.

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[338] Apr 18, 2008

The Retreat of the Raj: Radicals and Reactionaries in Britain

Pillarisetti Sudhir

'The Retreat of the Raj: Radicals and Reactionaries in Britain' Pillarisetti Sudhir AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION In the period following the First World War, the voices of imperialism and anti-imperialism in Britain ranged across the political spectrum. The role Britain should play in India was the subject of much of this debate, which was taking place as the Indian national movement gathered momentum and intensified. The timing is significant. The impact of currents in Britain would be felt as changing policy in India. The question is how the debate in England can be situated in the political and economic context of the drive toward the decolonization of the Raj. Pillarisetti Sudhir is the editor of Perspectives, the newsmagazine of the American Historical Association. He received his PhD in South Asian history from the University of London for his thesis ('British Attitudes to Indian Nationalism, 1922-1935') submitted through the School of Oriental and African Studies. He taught in universities in India before moving to the United States, and has also taught South Asian history at George Mason University and at the U.S. State Department's Foreign Service Institute. He is the editor of Interrogating Modernity: Culture and Colonialism in India (Calcutta, 1993).

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[339] Apr 11, 2008

Mountbatten and the Partition of India

Narendra Singh Sarila

'Mountbatten and the Partition of India' Narendra Singh Sarila PRINCE OF SARILA The evidence of Lord Mountbatten's part in the division of India continues to unfold, and with it the worldwide repercussions of the partition. Mountbatten played upon the fears of both Nehru and Jinnah as well as of the Americans that the Soviet Union not only might expand its influence on the subcontinent but also might establish control over the oil of the Middle East. When Mountbatten learned that the Indian National Congress would not join in the 'Great Game' against the Russians, he settled for those who would, in other words, Jinnah and his followers in the Muslim League. Mountbatten more than anyone else was responsible for partition. More than sixty years later it is possible to find in the partition of India the roots of Islamic terrorism sweeping the world today. Narendra Singh Sarila is (so we believe) the first maharaja ever to have visited the University of Texas. As a young head of a princely state, he was Mountbatten's military aide-de-camp in 1947. He has served as India's Ambassador to Spain, Libya, and France. He is the author of The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India's Partition, which became a bestseller in India after its publication last year.

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[340] Apr 4, 2008

Invisible Hands in the Eighteenth Century

Dror Wahrman

'Invisible Hands in the Eighteenth Century' Dror Wahrman INDIANA UNIVERSITY The late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries marked a new and important departure in Western inquiry into the phenomena of harmony, causality, and chance. The unprecedented dramatic financial crises of the 1720s, among them the South Sea Bubble, drove some Englishmen to reconsider questions of randomness and chance, human agency versus divine providence. Social, theological and scientific developments of the time enhanced the revolution in ideas. These advances in thought eventually became important components of European understanding of order and disorder in the work of Adam Smith, Marx, and Darwin. Dror Wahrman is Ruth N. Halls Professor in the Department of History and Director of the Center for Eighteenth-Century Studies at Indiana University. He attended the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv University, and completed a Ph.D. at Princeton University, where he was the last student of Lawrence Stone (and thus will no doubt be pleased to answer questions about the famous feud between Stone and Hugh Trevor-Roper). His The Making of the Modern Self (Yale, 2004) won both the Ben Snow Prize from the North American Conference on British Studies and the Louis Gottschalk Prize from the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

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[341] Mar 28, 2008

The Emergence of Academic Disciplines

James Turner

'The Emergence of Academic Disciplines' James Turner NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY The nineteenth century witnessed the development of different approaches to scholarship. The rather abstruse notion of 'philology' gave birth to the modern academic disciplines that we group together today as the 'humanities' and the 'social sciences'. These include not only disciplines with fairly obvious literary and historical roots, such as classics and comparative literature, but also, for instance, anthropology, art history, and religion. In view of their common origins in the nineteenth century, what led to the distinction between the humanities and the social sciences? James Turner teaches in the History Department and the doctoral program in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests lie in American and modern British intellectual history, especially the history of universities and academic knowledge. His recent books are The Liberal Education of Charles Eliot Norton (1999), The Sacred and the Secular University (with Jon H. Roberts, 2000), and Language, Religion, Knowledge (2003). He is currently writing a book on the origin of the modern humanities, from classical antiquity to the early twentieth century, with a focus on modern Britain and North America.

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[342] Mar 21, 2008

Comparing British and American "Empires"

A. G. Hopkins

'Comparing British and American "Empires"' A. G. Hopkins HISTORY The events of September 11 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003 generated a considerable debate about the nature of American power in the world at the start of the twenty-first century. Participants gravitated towards one of two positions: one declared that the United States was an empire that stood in a long tradition reaching back to Great Britain and beyond even to Rome; the other held that the United States was not an empire and that analogies with previous imperial powers were mistaken, not least because they ignored the exceptional qualities that had shaped the history of the United States. What emerges from a study of the debate is that Britain, unsurprisingly, was an empire but that the United States, more controversially, is not. The British Empire functioned at a time when the process of globalization encouraged the creation of empires; the United States became pre-eminent in world affairs at a time when globalization entered a phase that was incompatible with empire-building. Tony Hopkins, formerly The Smuts Professor of Commonwealth History at Cambridge, and currently an Emeritus Fellow of Pembroke College, holds the Walter Prescott Webb Chair in History and Ideas. He is the author, with Peter Cain, of the prize-winning study, British Imperialism, 1688-2000 (1993, second edn. 2001). His recent books are Globalization in World History (2002), and Global History: Interactions between the Universal and the Local (2006).

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[343] Mar 7, 2008

The American Colonies and the Atlantic World

Stephen Foster

'The American Colonies and the Atlantic World' Stephen Foster NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY The colonial period is easily the most coherent and self-confident field in the broader study of American History. Yet this historiography has not been characterized by consensus. The first practitioners of early American history debated whether the colonies were a proto-nation or if they were entirely shaped by their status as units within the first British Empire. Between the 1970s and the 1990s, further criticism came from Ethnohistory, Gender, and the New Cultural History. Bringing the discussion up to date: What are the changes in scholarly priorities over the last decade in British and American history that give hope for heading towards a broader and still more nuanced approach to the history of early America? Or, negatively put, is the subject headed toward fracture at the hands of proponents of rival methodologies? Stephen Foster is Distinguished Professor of History at Northern Illinois University. He is currently editing a multi-authored Companion Volume to the original Oxford History of the British Empire that will deal with the history of British North America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His books include The Long Argument: English Puritanism and the Shaping of New England Culture (1991). He wrote the chapter on the historiography of colonial America for the Oxford History of the British Empire.

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[344] Feb 29, 2008

Wilson's Curse: Self-Determination, the Cold War, and the Challenge of Modernity in the "Third World"

Jason Parker

'Wilson's Curse: Self-Determination, the Cold War, and the Challenge of Modernity in the "Third World"' Jason Parker TEXAS A&M The dissolution of the British Empire and its European counterparts coincided with the main events of the Cold War. Yet the relationship between the superpower conflict and the independence of the Third World should not be taken for granted. Fundamental questions of modernity, identity, and nationhood-questions that defined decolonization and are associated with the Cold War-in fact long predated it. The Cold War would superimpose a strategic and ideological struggle onto the Third World's battle to be free from European domination in the 1950s and 1960s. But this process began much earlier. The widespread failure of post-colonial federations demonstrates the extent to which peoples under colonial rule had developed their own visions of self-determination from the time of Wilson and the aftermath of the First World War. Jason Parker is an Assistant Professor of History at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He is the author of Brother's Keeper: The United States, Race, and Empire in the British Caribbean, 1937-1962, forthcoming, Oxford University Press, as well as articles in the Journal of African American History, and the International History Review. He is currently at work on a history of the United States and the Cold War in the Third World, and on a comparative study of postwar Third World federations.

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[345] Feb 22, 2008

The British "Establishment" and the Chatham House Version of World Affairs

Roger Morgan

'The British "Establishment" and the Chatham House Version of World Affairs' Roger Morgan EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY, FLORENCE Founded in 1920, and closely connected with the Council on Foreign Relations, London's Royal Institute of International Affairs (based at Chatham House), is widely regarded as part of what has been described by Henry Fairlie, A.J.P. Taylor and others as the British 'Establishment'. The late Professor Elie Kedourie accused it of promoting a 'Chatham House Version' of events, notably of Middle Eastern history. What is the overall assessment of Chatham House's record? Is there an element of conspiracy, or at least of a closed elite as a quasi-learned society, as a provider of intelligence on world affairs, and as a think-tank locked on foreign policy? Roger Morgan studied at the Universities of Cambridge, Paris and Hamburg, and obtained his Ph.D. at Cambridge with a thesis on nineteenth-century German history. From 1968 to 1974 he was one of the directors of the research programme at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), and he was later a Professor of Political Science at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy. He has held visiting appointments at several universities, including Columbia, Harvard and UCLA, and is the author or editor of several books on German, European, and international subjects, including (as editor) The Study of International Affairs (1972).

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[346] Feb 15, 2008

Strategic and Cultural Triangulation: Britain, the United States, and Europe

Michael Brenner

'Strategic and Cultural Triangulation: Britain, the United States, and Europe' Michael Brenner UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH The quest for a common 'Western' identity to orient the global policies of the western democracies is a hallmark of our time, revealing both a heightened sense of common 'civilizational' traits and an awareness that resemblances can be deceiving. Strategic tensions are evident from clashes over Iraq, the frustrated process of 'building Europe' in the European Union, and Britain's irresolute attempts to serve as a hinge between the two sides of the Atlantic. Equally significant, if less prominent, is the cultural manifestation of this quest for common identity, in the form of the permeation of institutions across Europe by American mores and philosophies. It is instructive to consider these strategic and cultural phenomena together. Michael Brenner is Professor of International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. His books include Terms Of Engagement and Toward A More Independent Europe. He has held that most glorious of all academic appointments, Research Fellow at the Brookings Institution. And he has been Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the National Defense University.

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[347] Feb 8, 2008

Zionists, Indian Nationalism, and British Schizophrenia in Palestine

Lucy Chester

'Zionists, Indian Nationalism, and British Schizophrenia in Palestine' Lucy Chester UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO The last decade of British rule in Palestine was characterized by Britain reorienting from Zionist to Arab interests. Britain feared Indian protests against anything that might be viewed as infringing on the rights of Arab Palestinians. Indian Muslims supported Palestinian Muslims; Indian non-Muslims identified with Arabs through a common bond of anti-colonialism. One contentious issue was the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish States. The Zionists who would create the State of Israel in 1948 therefore took a keen interest in India in the 1930s and 1940s, seeking to win support of the Indian National Congress and hoping at least to neutralize Indian sympathy with the Arabs. British rule in Palestine was schizophrenic in the sense of contradictory promises and responses, almost as if the colonial state was disintegrating into loss of touch with reality. This is a subject rich in irony in view of the British aim to avert partition; but partition was what they got in both India and Palestine. Lucy Chester is Assistant Professor of History and International Affairs at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she teaches courses on British imperialism and on contemporary South Asia. She is presently completing a book on the 1947 partition of India and Pakistan and the creation of the Indo-Pakistani boundary.

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[348] Feb 1, 2008

The Search for Balthazar Solvyns and an Indian Past: The Anatomy of a Research Project

Robert Hardgrave

'The Search for Balthazar Solvyns and an Indian Past: The Anatomy of a Research Project' Robert Hardgrave University of Texas - Government Every book has its own story. Every research project has a genesis and evolution. Robert Hardgrave's A Portrait of the Hindus: Balthazar Solvyns and the European Image of India, 1760-1824, published three years ago, completed a project that had its inception in a chance encounter in 1966. The search for Solvyns combined detective work, the serendipity of hours in libraries and archives, and discovery. How did the parts of the project come together? What was involved in telling a complex and engaging story of a little known Flemish artist and his portrayal of the people and culture of Calcutta more than 200 years ago? Robert Hardgrave is the Temple Professor Emeritus in the Humanities, Departments of Government and Asian Studies, at the University of Texas. His publications include The Nadars of Tamilnad: The Political Culture of a Community in Change (1969, 2006), India: Government and Politics in a Developing Nation (7th ed., 2008), various articles and books on Solvyns, and, as a founding member of the British Studies Seminar, an autobiographical essay in Burnt Orange Britannia. He taught at UT from 1967 until his retirement in 2001.

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[349] Jan 25, 2008

New Year's Eve 1900: Oscar Wilde and the Masquerade of Victorian Culture

Elizabeth Richmond-Garza

'New Year's Eve 1900: Oscar Wilde and the Masquerade of Victorian Culture' Elizabeth Richmond-Garza ENGLISH AND COMPARATIVE LITERATURE Oscar Wilde and the late Victorians are often seen as stiff, formal, and inauthentic. Yet this very artificiality lies at the heart of their attempts to define what it meant to be both British and modern, and to connect traditional ideas about race, gender, and culture with contemporary realities. Though Oscar Wilde might have seemed superficial or shallow in character, in fact he was a profoundly Victorian figure. Elizabeth Richmond-Garza is Director of the Program in Comparative Literature. A Distinguished Teaching Professor, she is an Associate Professor of English and one of the original Junior Fellows in British Studies. Trained in Greek as well as modern aesthetics, she works in eight languages. Her research concentrates on Orientalism, the Gothic, Cleopatra, Oscar Wilde, and European drama. She is currently finishing a study of decadent culture at the end of the nineteenth century entitled 'Masquerade: Wilde, Individualism, and the Fin-de-Siècle'.

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[350] Jan 18, 2008

Henry Morton Stanley and the Exploration of Africa

A. G. Hopkins

'Henry Morton Stanley and the Exploration of Africa' Roger Louis, Diana Davis, A. G. Hopkins UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS Henry Morton Stanley was not only the greatest of the Victorian explorers but also the first to traverse Africa and to crack the system of the Nile, Zambezi, and Congo rivers. He played a part in the creation of the notorious Congo Free State of Leopold II, King of the Belgians. Yet his life and his contribution to history have remained controversial until Tim Jeal's magisterial work, which holds a place of its own in recent biographical writing. Round Table Discussion on Tim Jeal's new biography, Stanley: The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer Diana Davis (Geography) A. G. Hopkins (History) Roger Louis (History)

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[351] Dec 7, 2007

Black and White Christmas: The Deep South in the Eighteenth Century

Helena Woodard

‘Black and White Christmas: The Deep South in the Eighteenth Century’ Helena Woodard English Department Helena Woodard is Associate Professor of English and a Junior Fellow in British Studies. She has taught at U.T. since 1991. Her courses include eighteenth-century British literature and African-American literature. She is the author of 'African-British Writings in the Eighteenth-Century: The Politics of Race and Reason' (1999) and articles on African American women’s writings. More recently she has examined heritage sites, museums, and short stories that seek to recover the slave past. Followed by Christmas Carols led by Barbara Myers This year’s Christmas party does not coincide with U.T. commencement exercises and thus no academic regalia – we shed a tear at the thought of not seeing the festive colors, but perhaps next year.

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[352] Nov 30, 2007

The Challenge to Churchill's Wartime Leadership by Sir Stafford Cripps (The "Red Squire")

Gabriel Gorodetsky

'The Challenge to Churchill's Wartime Leadership by Sir Stafford Cripps (The "Red Squire")' Gabriel Gorodetsky TEL AVIV UNIVERSITY A country gentleman, Sir Stafford Cripps, ascetic, vegetarian, and a devout Christian with a lucrative law career, cut an incongruous figure in British politics of the 1930s. By the time the Second World War broke out, his radical position, radical even among Labour's most radical politicians, made him an outcast. It was only his appointment as Ambassador to Moscow in 1940 that secured for him a prominent position in the War Cabinet and later a key role in Attlee's Labour Government as the powerful Chancellor of the Exchequer. A sharp critic of Churchill's political vision, Cripps foresaw conflict among the Allies. He hoped to devise a common strategy and to formulate clear guidelines for the post-war settlement. The rivalry between Churchill and Cripps provides a glimpse into their political personalities but its significance lies much deeper. The war was a springboard for both to advance their political visions. For Cripps it marked his ascendancy and introduction into high office, while for Churchill it signified a struggle for political survival as well as for fulfillment as Britain's wartime leader. The positions continue to serve as archetypes of the extremes of modern British national identity. Gabriel Gorodetsky holds the Rubin Chair for Russian Studies at Tel Aviv University. He wrote his dissertation at Oxford University and has been a Visiting Fellow at All Souls Oxford. His books include Stafford Cripps in Moscow, 1940-42: Diaries and Papers (2007).

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[353] Nov 16, 2007

The Elusive Brian Moore: His Stature in Modern Literature

Christopher Ricks

'The Elusive Brian Moore: His Stature in Modern Literature' Hermione Lee and Christopher Ricks OXFORD Brian Moore (1921-1999), the Belfast novelist, immigrated in 1948 to Canada and subsequently moved to the United States. His novels include The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1955), the story of a lonely, alcoholic, Belfast spinster, The Managan Inheritance (1979), which deals with an American journalist in search of his Irish heritage, and Black Robe (1985), about a Jesuit missionary in the New World, subsequently made into a film. The HRC holds the Moore papers. Moore's novels always combine a humane directness, a power immediately to engage, with a sense of how the literary inheritance need not come out sounding 'literary'. Moore was never haughty yet he knew that there is no substitute for knowledge and that the novelist has a right to be, on occasion, teasingly or searchingly allusive. Hermione Lee is the Goldsmiths' Professor of English Literature at Oxford University. Her books include Virginia Woolf, and, most recently, Edith Wharton. Her published editions and anthologies include the works of Trollope, Kipling, Willa Cather, and Eudora Welty. Christopher Ricks is Professor of Poetry at Oxford University and Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Boston University. His work ranges from Keats to Tennyson to T. S. Eliot and includes an examination of the lyrics of Bob Dylan entitled Dylan's Visions of Sin.

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[354] Nov 9, 2007

Book Launch: Penultimate Adventures with Britannia

Roger Louis

Book Launch: Penultimate Adventures with Britannia The meeting on Friday November 9 will be a book launch for the next Britannia volume, which is entitled Penultimate Adventures with Britannia. The Britannia series thus appears to be reaching a dramatic point. It began with Adventures with Britannia (1995), followed by More Adventures with Britannia (1998), Still More Adventures with Britannia (2003), and Yet More Adventures with Britannia (2005). This will cause a certain tension with future titles. After Ultimate Adventures with Britannia, what next? Post-Ultimate Adventures with Britannia? The book launch for Penultimate Adventures with Britannia will be accompanied by wine and a brass band, and with the announcement of the new Junior Fellows for 2007-2008. This is an important occasion, a celebration, in the history of British Studies. Please try to attend.

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[355] Nov 2, 2007

"Who knows the Empire whom only the Empire knows"? Reconnecting British and Empire History

Martin Wiener

'"Who knows the Empire whom only the Empire knows"? Reconnecting British and Empire History' Martin Wiener RICE UNIVERSITY In recent years the common practice of studying British history as separate from the history of the empire has been vigorously challenged. But this challenge has come from one direction only. Scholars have studied at length the ways that the empire shaped Britain, but few have acknowledged the reciprocal ways that the empire was shaped by its being British. Indeed, if Britain proper was 'imperial', the empire was distinctively 'British'. This talk looks at one important facet of the 'Britishness' of the British Empire by examining the way English notions of the 'rule of law' helped to shape imperial life. Martin Wiener is the Mary Gibbs Jones Professor of History at Rice University. He is the author of Between Two Worlds: The Political Thought of Graham Wallas (1971), and English Culture and the Decline of the Industrial Spirit, 1850-1980 (1981). His more recent books include Reconstructing the Criminal: Culture (1990), and Men of Blood (2004). He is now writing a book on criminal justice overseas tentatively entitled Inter-Racial Homicide and Criminal Justice in the British World, 1870-1935. The lecture will be the keynote address to the British Scholar Conference

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[356] Oct 26, 2007

Britain and the End of Empire in South East Asia in the Era of the Vietnam War

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones NOTTINGHAM UNIVERSITY This lecture will discuss the approach to the dissolution of the British Empire taken by Harold Macmillan, the Prime Minister who held office during the critical era of decolonization. The theme will be the way in which Britain transformed the empire in South East Asia in the 1960s by helping to create the new state of Malaysia. The talk will also bring to light new evidence concerning British nuclear weapons in the Far East as well as the circumstances of closing the great Singapore naval base, and will draw connections with the American war in Vietnam. Matthew Jones received his D.Phil at St Antony's College, Oxford, and is now Professor of American foreign relations at the Nottingham University. He is the author of Britain, the United States, and the Mediterranean War, 1942-44 (Macmillan, 1996), and Conflict and Confrontation in South East Asia, 1961-1965: Britain, the United States, Indonesia, and the Creation of Malaysia (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

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[357] Oct 19, 2007

The Secret History of Penguin Books

Jeremy Lewis

Jeremy Lewis LONDON The secret history of Penguin Books is mainly the story of Allen Lane, who founded the publishing firm in 1935. The Penguin series became famous before World War II with the publication of red-covered Penguin Specials that alerted the British public to the menace of Hitler. During the war Penguins became soldiers' companions throughout the world. But later Penguin would test the boundaries of propriety with the publication of Lady Chatterley's Lover. The ensuing controversy would land Allen Lane on trial at Old Bailey. The trial was one public episode in a history that has been as mysterious as it is notorious. Many of Lane's secrets remained secret until Jeremy Lewis's book in 2005. Jeremy Lewis has spent much of his working life as a London publisher, but has been a freelance writer and editor since 1989. The author of three volumes of autobiography, he has also published the authorized biography of Cyril Connolly, and the life of Tobias Smollett. Penguin Special: The Life and Times of Allen Lane is his most recent book. He is the Editor-at-Large of the Literary Review, and is currently writing a book about Graham Greene and his family.

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[358] Oct 12, 2007

Playboys of the West of England: Medieval Cosmopolitanism and Familial Love

Dan Birkholz

Dan Birkholz ENGLISH The 32 love-lyrics, known as the Harley Lyrics, have long been recognized for their excellence. Many scholars regard them as the finest literature in English between Beowulf and the Age of Chaucer. Yet fewer and fewer critics deal with the Harley Lyrics, in part because their language is difficult to render but also because they have proven resistant to the historical practices long dominant in literary medievalism. No one knows how a cosmopolitan school of vernacular poetry came suddenly to flourish in backwater Herefordshire a half-century before the late 14th-century 'triumph of English'-but this lecture will explain the far-reaching significance of this literary-historical and geographical case study. Daniel Birkholz is Assistant Professor of English. He received his B.A. from Carleton College, his M.A. from the University of Toronto, and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. His first book, The King's Two Maps: Cartography and Culture in Thirteenth-Century England (2004), was awarded the Nebenzahl Prize. He is now at work on a book that melds medieval literary study and cartographic analysis with documentary biography and historical reconstruction: We Have to Invent Him: Harley Lyrics, Hereford Maps, and the Life of Roger de Breynton, c.1300-1351.

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[359] Oct 5, 2007

How "Special" is the Special Relationship?

Mark Oaten

Mark Oaten, M.P. It seems the special relationship between Britain and the United States requires re-evaluation every time there is a change in leadership in either country or whenever there are major strains over particular political issues-Iraq, for example. Mark Oaten will look back at the evolution of the relationship between America and Britain over the last half century. What have been its characteristics from Roosevelt and Churchill to Bush and Blair? What was its low point? Suez? What was its high point? Reagan and Thatcher? To what extent has the war in Iraq damaged relations between the two countries? How can one assess the future of the special relationship in the new era of Gordon Brown? A Liberal Democrat, Mark Oaten has represented Winchester since 1997. In the May 1997 general election, Oaten won the Winchester constituency by a mere two votes. Consequently, the result was declared invalid and in a special by-election, held in November 1997, he convincingly won the seat with a majority of 21,556. Oaten was Chairman of the Liberal Democrats for two years (2001-03) and Shadow Home Secretary for two years (2003-06). He is the chief party spokesman on terrorism, immigration, police, and prison reform. He is the author of Coalition: The Politics and Personalities of Coalition Government (2007).

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[360] Sep 28, 2007

Macbeth and the Simple Truth

Eric S. Mallin

Eric S. Mallin ENGLISH This year, in early October, The Actors From the London Stage troupe perform Macbeth at UT. It is one of Shakespeare's briefest plays, his shortest tragedy by nearly a thousand lines. It features other peculiarities as well: a tragic hero who is also, unquestionably, a criminal; a tragic heroine whom most audiences don't much like; and a political situation that can be described as murkily and purposely amoral. These features can combine in performance to make Macbeth the most recognizably modern of tragedies, suggestive of a cramped, pressured world at war with no one to root for, and no redeeming outcome to be found. But the play also famously has witches, spells, and an atmosphere of occult wickedness. It therefore tempts us to expect the triumph of good over evil, and it makes us long for simple, virtuous truth to win the day over the polluted, ambiguous times. Can the truth prevail? This lecture will consider the part of Macbeth that constitutes one of Shakespeare's most uncanny meditations on politics and meaning. Eric S. Mallin is Associate Professor of English. He is a scholar of Shakespeare and early modern drama, and an award-winning teacher, having received the President Associates' Teaching Excellence Award, the Texas Exes Teaching award, and several others. He holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University and has written books on historical 'inscription', and on atheism in Shakespeare's plays, as well as articles on Shakespeare and popular cinema.

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[361] Sep 21, 2007

The Story of Frances Stevenson and David Lloyd George

Susan Pedersen

Susan Pedersen COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Lloyd George's love for Frances Stevenson, his mistress and secretary, carried with it unique political advantages. She was a loyal, efficient, and effective political ally in a partnership that endured for three decades. She helped at every stage and was a vital part of his success. The unusual thing about the relationship was not so much its emotional and sexual context as the political advantages it offered to both parties. It gave her a measure of authority in a male world. Her influence can be detected in Britain's social history. The female secretary, and not just the suffragist, helped open up the political world. Susan Pedersen is Professor of History at Columbia University. She received her B.A. and Ph.D. at Harvard University, where she was a member of the faculty from 1988 until 2003. Her books include Family, Dependence, and the Origins of the Welfare State: Britain and France, 1914-1945 (1994) and Eleanor Rathbone and the Politics of Conscience (2004). She is now writing a history of the mandates system of the League of Nations.

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[362] Sep 14, 2007

A Victorian Orientalist: John Frederick Lewis

Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams John Frederick Lewis (1805-76), a British painter, lived in Cairo from 1841 to 1851. His painting, 'An Intercepted Correspondence', however, was executed in 1869, eighteen years after he had returned to England. The painting is an excellent example of the Orientalist genre. But it is also much more. Its various layers-the narrative, the interpretive, and the hidden or personal-will be the subject of the lecture. Caroline Williams has been under Egypt's spell since 1962, when a visit to Cairo led to graduate studies in Middle East history at Harvard University and Islamic art and architecture at the American University in Cairo. Her publications and research interests range from The Islamic Monuments in Cairo: The Practical Guide (now in its 5th edition) to articles on the European artists and photographers who discovered Egypt in the nineteenth century. Most recently she has begun a study of contemporary Egyptian painters.

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[363] Sep 7, 2007

Saving Coleridge's Endangered Albatross

Robin Doughty

Some 200 years before Al Gore and Live Earth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote of the consequences of crime against birds and beasts. In 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner', the epic of a seafarer who brings disaster upon his ship by killing one of the greatest of all seabirds, the albatross, Coleridge penned some of Western civilization's most enduring lines: 'He prayeth well, who loveth well/Both man and bird and beast./He prayeth best, who loveth best/All things both great and small'. Today the albatross is one of the most endangered birds in the world. Robin Doughty will assess recent international efforts to save the huge birds from extinction. In recent visits to Australia, New Zealand, and South America, he has gathered information on individuals, governments, non-governmental organizations and international agencies attempting to reduce losses of deep-water seabirds through industrial fishing. Both a poet and a scientist, Doughty earned his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1971, the same year he came to the University of Texas. His nine books include Return of the Whooping Crane and Endangered Species: Disappearing Animals and Plants in the Lone Star State. His poem 'Ponds' includes the following lines: 'These wide-wings stretch and teeter. Their needle beaks tap soft earth, pluck worms, insects too small to see except by ruffled jousters'.

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[364] Aug 31, 2007

A. J. Balfour's Achievement and Legacy

R. J. Q. Adams

'A. J. Balfour's Achievement and Legacy' R. J. Q. Adams TEXAS A&M Born in 1848, Arthur James Balfour was the scion of two great families, the Scottish Balfours and the English Cecils. 'AJB' became Prime Minister in 1902. Despite high hopes, his Government lasted only three years. Subsequently, after a stormy time as leader of the Opposition, Balfour resigned in 1911, thinking his career was near its end. But he was quite wrong. Ahead lay the war years and a return to government-the Admiralty, the Foreign Office, the Balfour Declaration, the Paris Peace Conference, the Washington Naval Conference, and the 1926 Imperial Conference. It is a remarkable record for a politician still largely remembered as a dilettante and a failure. Behind it all was an extraordinary man, an exceptional career, and certainly a remarkable life. R. J. Q. Adams received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and is Peters Professor of History at Texas A&M University. His books include Europe, 1890-1945: Crisis and Conflict (2003), Bonar Law (1999), and British Politics and Foreign Policy in the Age of Appeasement, 1935-1939 (1993). His newest work, Balfour: The Last Grandee, will be published in November 2007. He is now writing a book about the world of George V.

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[365] May 4, 2007

Lloyd George, the French, and the Germans

Kenneth O. Morgan

The reputations of Britain's two great wartime leaders, David Lloyd George and Winston Churchill, have known contrasting fortunes since their deaths, not least because of their attitudes towards France and Germany. Lloyd George saw himself as a pro-French politician: France appealed to the old radical, anti-militarist republican in him. But he was also sympathetic to Germany, seeing it as embodying social welfare and national efficiency. As prime minister during the First World War, he inevitably became close to France, especially through his bitter-sweet relationship with its wartime premier, Clemenceau. At the Paris peace conference in 1919, Lloyd George seemed strongly anti-German, but in fact he fought consistently for moderate peace terms, while at the same time attempting to satisfy French security needs. After falling from power in 1922, he was commonly seen as pro-German, and critical of French intransigence on frontiers and reparations. This culminated in his notorious visit to meet Hitler in 1936, a high-point of appeasement for the old war leader. In 1941 Churchill even compared him with Petain. Yet his attitude towards the French and Germans did show consistency of purpose and perhaps underlines his reputation for statesmanship. Lord Morgan was Fellow and tutor, The Queen's College, Oxford, 1966-89, and Vice-Chancellor, the University of Wales, 1989-95. He has written 30 books on nineteenth and twentieth century Britain, including the Oxford Illustrated History of Britain (over 750,000 copies sold), a history of modern Wales, and biographies of Keir Hardie, Lloyd George, James Callaghan and Michael Foot (Harper Collins, March 2007).

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[366] Apr 27, 2007

D. H. Lawrence and the ''Spirit'' of Mexico

Charles Rossman

Lawrence is often lauded for his ability to capture in words the 'spirit of place'. But in fact, to the extent that place embraces people as well as landscape, Lawrence's collection of essays Mornings in Mexico reveals him as earnest but not entirely successful in his attempt at trans-cultural understanding. Mornings in Mexico is a complex blend of acute perception, learned stereotypes, and an imposition of Lawrence's ideology and impatient temperament on the Mexican places and people that he discusses. In the early 1960s, Chuck Rossman was a Peace Corps volunteer in Ecuador, after which he taught in Lima Peru. He finished his Ph.D. at the University of Southern California in 1968, and joined the UT English faculty in the same year. He spent a year as a Fulbright Professor at the University of Mexico in the early 1970s. At UT, his main teaching focus has been Plan II honors and 20th-century English literature. His major scholarly interests include D. H. Lawrence, James Joyce, the European novel, and recent Latin American fiction.

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[367] Apr 20, 2007

The Myth of Malicious Partition: The Cases of Ireland, India, and Palestine

Geoffrey Wheatcroft

The British had no wish to partition Ireland or India-or Palestine-and indeed resisted doing so as long as possible. In the end partition, for better or worse, appeared ineluctably to be the only practical answer. The disparate cases of Ireland, India, and Palestine had this in common: none had ever been a politically united territory-except under British rule. Thus the argument of this talk is that partition is not a function of imperialism but of nationalism-which will lead to further reflections on nationalism, its causes and its consequences. Geoffrey Wheatcroft is a journalist and author. He studied Modern History at New College, Oxford, and joined the Spectator in 1975. He writes regularly for the Spectator, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Atlantic Monthly. His books include The Randlords (1995), which was a History Book Club Choice in 1996, The Controversy of Zion (1996), and The Strange Death of Tory England (2005). His most recent book is Yo, Blair! (2006).

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[368] Apr 13, 2007

Empire in the 21st Century English Imagination

Stephen Howe

In the past few years, debate over the 'memory' and legacies of Empire has gained a new, ever higher profile in British public consciousness-and indeed distinctively in that of England, since related developments in Scotland and elsewhere have taken increasingly divergent paths. Dramatic political shifts, and unprecedented soul-searching about national identity and history, contributed to the scholarly debate on the imperial past. This lecture will map these transformations, bringing together arguments from historical interpretation with ones from political life, public history, and popular culture. Stephen Howe is Professor in the History and Cultures of Colonialism, Department of Historical Studies, University of Bristol. His books include Anticolonialism in British Politics (1993), Afrocentrism (1998), Ireland and Empire (2000) and Empire: A Very Short Introduction (2002). The Intellectual Consequences of Decolonization is forthcoming from Oxford, as is his edited collection New Imperial Histories from Routledge.

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[369] Apr 6, 2007

William Wilberforce and the Emancipation of Slaves

Cassandra Pybus

In her celebrated new book, Epic Journeys of Freedom, Cassandra Pybus traces the experiences of black Americans who claimed their freedom during the American Revolution. In this talk she will discuss William Wilberforce and the black settlers of Sierra Leone. Cassandra Pybus teaches at the University of Sydney. She has published more than ten books on Australian and American history including The Devil and James McAuley, which won the 2001 Adelaide Festival Prize for Non Fiction. The session will also provide an opportunity for a discussion of the movie, 'Amazing Grace'.

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[370] Mar 30, 2007

All Souls and Oxford in 1956: Reassessing the Meaning of the Suez Crisis

Roger Louis

'All Souls and Oxford in 1956: Reassessing the Meaning of the Suez Crisis' Roger Lewis University of Texas What was it like to be alive and well in Oxford in 1956, when Khrushchev and Bulganin were greeted by students chanting 'Poor Old Joe' to the tune of the Volga boat song, when Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal Company, when Britain, France, and Israel invaded Egypt? Lord Halifax, in the citadel of privilege, learning and influence of All Souls College, remarked that the problem was the Prime Minister's obsession: Anthony Eden had always had 'a thing about dictators'. In view of Halifax's reputation as an appeaser in the 1930s, the comment is both comic and consistent. It raised the question on everyone's mind. What to do about a charismatic Arab nationalist who had plunged a dagger into the heart of the British Empire, into Britannia herself? Or had he? Roger Louis is the author or editor of some thirty books, the most recent of which is Ends of British Imperialism: The Scramble for Empire, Suez and Decolonization (reviewed in the current issue of the New York Review of Books). He has given Chichele Lectures at All Souls in 1990, 2002, 2003, and 2006. A past President of the American Historical Association, he is the director of the AHA's National History Center. He is a member of the Scholar's Council at the Library of Congress and the Chairman of the Historical Advisory Committee of the US Department of State. Much more important and to the point, as director of British Studies he pays the penalty of having to give a lecture himself when there is a cancellation in the program.

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[371] Mar 23, 2007

T. E. Lawrence, Reputation, and Honor's Decline

Bertram Wyatt-Brown

'T. E. Lawrence, Reputation, and Honor's Decline' Bertram Wyatt-Brown University of Florida No figure in twentieth-century Anglo-American history is so enigmatic, intriguing, and charismatic as Thomas Edward Lawrence of Arabia. Although long upheld as a model British hero, his reputation came under furious assault in the 1950s at the hands of biographer Richard Aldington. Aldington's purpose was not only to destroy Lawrence's renown but also to challenge the British ruling class and its code of Edwardian principle and martial honor. Winston Churchill stoutly defended Lawrence as his heroic exemplar. Yet the old order was fading fast. In his classic film, 'Lawrence of Arabia' (1962), David Lean incorporated both the chivalric and the emotionally twisted Lawrence, reflecting both Aldington's baleful interpretation and the more iconic perspective. Nevertheless Lawrence's significance as a military strategist and literary artist as well as a complex personality with remarkable insight and introspectiveness justify his current revival. That resurrection comes when American military strategists finally have rediscovered his wisdom about conducting counter-insurgency. Bertram Wyatt-Brown is the Richard J. Milbauer Professor at the University of Florida and Visiting Scholar, Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of ten books including the famous Southern Honor: Ethics and Behavior in the Old South. He is currently writing a book entitled Who Owns the Dead? The Hazards of Biography and Memoir, in which T. E. Lawrence's career will be one of the chapters.

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[372] Mar 16, 2007

Britain and World Peace in the 21st Century

David Atkinson

'Britain and World Peace in the 21st Century' David Atkinson Member of Parliament There are already lessons to be learned from Iraq. These lessons should be incorporated into the long-term foreign policy goals of both Britain and the United States. While the importance of the Special Relationship should be emphasized when pursuing freedom and democracy in the world, both countries must now reassess the 'New World Order', as it was called following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and enable the United Nations to be more effective in promoting the provisions of its Charter. The UN's regional organizations can resolve threats and conflicts with reference to the Security Council only as a last resort. The experience of such institutions has been remarkably successful in Europe following centuries of conflict and can be applied to every continent or region, especially the Middle East. Until his recent retirement, David Atkinson was a Conservative Member of Parliament representing the Bournemouth East constituency. He has served as Chairman of the External Relations Committee of the Council of Europe, and leader of the European Democrats for seven years. In addition to his accomplished international portfolio, Mr. Atkinson spearheaded important legislation in the House of Commons including the Millennium Bill and the Traveller Law Reform Bill. He retired at the last British general election after 28 years in the House of Commons.

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[373] Mar 9, 2007

Shakespeare's English Rhetoric: Mingling Heroes and Hobgoblins in A Midsummer Night's Dream

Jenny Mann

'Shakespeare's English Rhetoric: Mingling Heroes and Hobgoblins in A Midsummer Night's Dream' Jenny Mann Cornell University Shakespeare is often said to have 'transfigured' his reading, producing A Midsummer Night's Dream, for example, out of fragments borrowed from Plutarch, Ovid, and Chaucer and transported into a new theatrical space. This talk identifies the new space as the garden of English rhetoric, a place where Greek figures of speech are turned into English fairy tales. Jenny C. Mann teaches early modern English literature at Cornell University. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Newberry Library, and is currently working on a book project titled Outlaw Rhetoric: Fashioning Vulgar Eloquence in Early Modern England.

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[374] Mar 2, 2007

Wordsworth and Coleridge

Adam Sisman

'Wordsworth and Coleridge' Adam Sisman London The friendship of Wordsworth and Coleridge produced a collaboration generally acknowledged to have inspired the Romantic Movement in England-yet it ended in acrimony and disappointment. This creates an enduring biographical conundrum: interpreting either of the two men sympathetically almost inevitably means showing the other in a bad light. Though there have been excellent biographies of each, biographical writing has been bedeviled by partisanship. 'Why do people have to like Wordsworth and hate Coleridge, and vice versa?' asked Edmund Blunden. By concentrating on the friendship rather than the individuals, there lies an opportunity to write about friendship itself, about rivalry and jealousy, and about egotism. Adam Sisman is the author of A. J. P. Taylor (1994) and Boswell's Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson (2000), which was awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for biography. The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge is to be published in March 2007.

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[375] Feb 23, 2007

The Earl of Strafford and Wentworth Castle

Michael Charlesworth

'The Earl of Strafford and Wentworth Castle' Michael Charlesworth University of Texas Wentworth Castle, for decades relatively unknown in the world of British Heritage preservation, appeared on the BBC's popular 'Restoration' program and was awarded an unprecedented restoration grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund in 2003. Neglect in the twentieth century left the gardens run down, yet still reflecting the intentions and life of their eighteenth-century designer. After several years of careful and costly work, the gardens will open to the public in Spring 2007. Sir Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford (1672-1739), initially began designing the Yorkshire house and its 500-acre landscape gardens with parkland as the result of a bitter feud with another branch of the Wentworth family. A soldier and diplomat in the service of King William III and Queen Anne, Thomas Wentworth was made the 1st Earl of Strafford in 1711. Determined to create an estate suitable for a man of his importance, he designed a garden that combined the useful and the beautiful in an expression of power and prosperity. Strafford designed his domain to be his monument. By studying how he created and shaped Wentworth Castle, can we achieve a richer historical understanding of his achievements as a statesman and a patron of architecture? Michael Charlesworth is an Associate Professor of Art and Art History. He has written about garden history and the Gothic revival. His book Landscape and Vision in Nineteenth-Century Britain and France will be published in February 2008.

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[376] Feb 16, 2007

Animal Feelings and Feelings for Animals in Chaucer

Susan Crane

'Animal Feelings and Feelings for Animals in Chaucer' Susan Crane Columbia University In Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer offers sharp and surprising insights about human relationships with other animals. While it might appear that a little dog, a cock, and a falcon simply help Chaucer to comment on human society, bonds of sympathy between humans and animals reveal a deeper curiosity about animals themselves, and about what kinds of relationships are possible with them. Rather than seeing animals as sharply different from humans, in line with philosophical thought of his time, Chaucer explores human-animal connections through the commonplace experience of feeling for animals. The Prioress weeps over her pet dogs, the Nun's Priest laments the plight of a vain rooster, and in the Squire's Tale a princess rescues a falcon in distress. What does it mean to pity animals, or to feel compassion for their suffering? Susan Crane is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. Her books Insular Romance (1986), Gender and Genre in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales (1994), and The Performance of Self (2002) discuss feudal thought, chivalry, magic, sexuality, honor, and faith in medieval literature and culture. A book in progress will ask how medieval people understood animals and their place in creation.

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[377] Feb 2, 2007

Round Table Discussion 'The Queen'

Bryan Roberts

Round Table Discussion 'The Queen' Elizabeth Cullingford ENGLISH Karen King AMERICAN STUDIES Roger Louis HISTORY Bryan Roberts SOCIOLOGY

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[378] Jan 26, 2007

The Headmaster's Shakespeare: John Garrett

Paul Sullivan

John Garrett was a self-made apostle of high culture. In the late 1930s, as a headmaster, he made his name by bringing the practices of public schools such as Eton and Harrow to a new state school in suburban London. He hired remarkable teachers (Rex Warner for classics, the painter Claude Rogers for art), and capitalized on associations with W. H. Auden and T. S. Eliot to bring distinction to his curriculum. In 1943 his triumphs won for Garrett the headmaster's job at Bristol Grammar School, where he built a tradition of annual performances of Shakespeare-and a record of admissions to Oxford and Cambridge in a manner similar to that of 'The History Boys'. John Garrett's work coincided with a national movement that aimed to spread the advantages of secondary education, epitomized by the public schools and their privileged access to the ancient universities. Success brought ironic changes, emblematic of wider shifts in British society: Garrett, at Oxford a member of a fashionably leftist circle, moved steadily to the political right as he climbed the professional ladder. Bristol Grammar School, which once provided a number of 'free places' in return for state funding, is now a fully independent-that is, private-school. Paul Sullivan defended his dissertation, Ludi Magister: The Play of Tudor School and Stage, in 2005. His essay, 'Playing the Lord: Tudor Vulgaria and the Rehearsal of Ambition' has been accepted for publication by ELH (English Literary History, Johns Hopkins University Press).

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[379] Jan 19, 2007

Empire and British Culture

Bernard Porter

It is wrong to regard imperialism as an important part of British domestic culture and society. Whatever the British Empire represented to the world at large, a majority of Britons had only vague ideas about empire, if any, for most of the nineteenth century. Around 1900, the Empire burst into the public perception in a way that made many Britons uneasy. Many opposed imperial expansion and the Boer War. When the British came under serious pressure to decolonize in the mid-twentieth century, the public will to maintain the Empire no longer existed. Its dissolution caused surprisingly little trauma, in part because the general public had never really been interested in it. Bernard Porter's The Absent-Minded Imperialists (2004) was awarded the Maurice D. Forkosch Prize of the American Historical Association. His other books include Critics of Empire (1968) and The Lion's Share: A Short History of British Imperialism 1850-1995 (3rd edn., 1996).

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[380] Dec 8, 2006

Burnt Orange Britannia - One Year Later

Don Graham

A Missing Contributor! Don Graham is the J. Frank Dobie Regents Professor of American and English Literature. His most recent books are Kings of Texas: The 150-Year Saga of an American Ranching Empire and Lone Star Literature: From the Red River to the Rio Grande. He is a frequent contributor to Texas Monthly.

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[381] Dec 1, 2006

The Defence of Inhumanity: British Military and Cultural Power in the Middle East

Priya Satia

In the years after the First World War, the British confronted a series of rebellions throughout the Empire, from India to Ireland. Straining under the triple burden of increasingly recalcitrant subject peoples, straitened means, and a critical public at home, the imperial state searched for creative solutions to counter-insurgency. In the newly conquered territory of Iraq, it invented a new system of colonial policing known as 'air control', in which the Royal Air Force patrolled the country, and bombarded villages and tribes to put down unrest and subversive activities. It was in Iraq that the British first practiced, if never perfected, the technology of bombardment. The British cultural imagination about 'Arabia' shaped surveillance practices in Iraq, inspiring the invention of the air control regime on aesthetic as much as practical grounds. The vision of a romantic, inscrutable, and chivalric Arabia-and the British claim to a special appreciation of those qualities-also helped defend the regime's violent excesses before a critical and curious public. Priya Satia is Assistant Professor of British History at Stanford University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2004. Her forthcoming book is entitled The State That Couldn't See: A Cultural History of British Intelligence-Gathering in the Middle East, 1900-1932.

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[382] Nov 17, 2006

Has It Been a Success? Britain in the United Nations

Marrack Goulding

Britain, despite being a prominent founder of the United Nations and a Permanent Member of the Security Council, was from the outset wary of the United Nations. The UN Charter alluded discreetly to decolonization, causing unease among the European colonial powers. By the mid-1960s, the problem of decolonization had been largely replaced by the Cold War as the major obstruction to implementation of the Charter. The end of the Cold War moved Britain and its allies into a different and easier phase, one in which the British found the United Nations to be a useful instrument in bringing to an end at least some armed conflicts, in part through UN peacekeeping. The principles and practices of the United Nations evolved constantly and with a certain consistency. Britain actively participated in shaping these changes, but not always positively-especially in decolonization. After the dissolution of the European and Russian empires and the end of the Cold War, however, Britain has been able to contribute significantly to the functioning of the United Nations as well as the genuinely noble goal of peacekeeping. Marrack Goulding is a specialist on the Middle East, having spent twenty-six years in the British Diplomatic Service. He then became the UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping (1986-1993), and Political Affairs (1993-1997). In 1997 he left the United Nations to become Warden of St. Antony's College, Oxford.

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[383] Nov 10, 2006

The Power Elite: C. Wright Mills and the British

John Summers

C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), the political sociologist and influential intellectual, had a little to say about a great many subjects, and a lot to say about a few subjects of great importance. In his major books, The New Men of Power (1948), White Collar (1951), The Power Elite (1956), and The Sociological Imagination (1959), he laid down a social theory that many readers have viewed as characteristically American. Mills was raised and educated in Texas. Throughout his career, he nurtured cosmopolitan aspirations. This was especially true in the last phase of his life, for example through his visits to London. Mills built friendships with E. P. and Dorothy Thompson, Ralph Miliband, and Stuart Hall. The magnitude of his influence in Britain, far greater than previously recognized, provides a new perspective on his life and times. John H. Summers is Lecturer on Social Studies at Harvard University. In 2006 he received his doctorate in American intellectual history from the University of Rochester. His writing has appeared in the Journal of American History, The Nation, and The New York Times Book Review. His biography of C. Wright Mills is forthcoming from Oxford University Press.

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[384] Nov 3, 2006

So What's Been Done About John Donne Lately?

Kate Gartner Frost

Nearly a century ago T. S. Eliot praised John Donne's 'unification of sensibility', inaugurating a great surge in interest in that witty seventeenth century poet. With the rise of postmodernism, academic interest in Donne waned. But a small cadre of scholars persisted. As a result, scholarship has gone far beyond the familiar Jack Donne, conflicted by his sexuality and mired in outmoded learning. The lost Lothian portrait of Donne has been recovered, revealing a youthful poet who just may have flirted with treason. Donne's supposed self-serving conversion has been debunked, and Anne Donne's presence in the Songs and Sonets ratified. In addition to these new historical and biographical insights, new editions of Donne's works are appearing, among them the Variorum edition of the poetry, which is proving one of the major efforts of textual scholarship of our era. Kate Gartner Frost is the author of Holy Delight: Typology, Numerology, and the Autobiographical Tradition in John Donne's 'Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions'. She will serve as President of The John Donne Society in 2008.

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[385] Oct 27, 2006

White Settlers and Black Mau Mau in Kenya

John Lonsdale

Few studies of the causes and outcomes of the Mau Mau insurgency in post-Second World War colonial Kenya manage to be sympathetic to the predicaments of both British settlers and African colonial subjects. At the time most British commentators attributed the insurgency to African irrationality and superstition. Historians since have tended to blame settler oppression. Yet the crisis in Kenya can be understood as a clash between two forms of economic and social development precariously enjoyed by both settlers and Africans. Themes worth pursuing are the expansion and contraction of social boundaries, and the maintenance of proper behavior and community obligation. How were these issues debated by the white settlers at the time? By black Africans? John Lonsdale is Professor of Modern African History, University of Cambridge. He is currently completing work on the decolonization of Kenya and the political thought of the country's first President, Jomo Kenyatta. He is co-author (with Bruce Berman) of Unhappy Valley: Conflict in Kenya and Africa. He has edited South Africa in Question and is General Editor of the Cambridge University Press series in African Studies.

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[386] Oct 20, 2006

The British Empire and the British World

John Darwin

In recent years, the existence of a 'British World' has become perhaps the most influential framework through which historians in Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere have examined the social and cultural linkages that bound their societies together in the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century. What was the 'British World', and what was its connection with that much more familiar structure of power and influence, the British Empire? How far was the 'Britishness' that was thought to unite the component countries of the British World a source of strength and cohesion in the imperial system? Or was its real significance to divide and embitter Britain's imperial subjects along the fault line of race? This lecture assesses the impact of this new historical approach and discusses the tensions that may have existed between the world of 'Britishness' and the bonds of empire. John Darwin has been a Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford, since 1984. He is the author of Britain, Egypt and the Middle East (1981) and Britain and Decolonization (1988), and is a contributor to the Oxford History of the British Empire. His book, After Tamerlane: the Global History of Empire, will be published next spring.

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[387] Oct 13, 2006

The Life and Art of Feliks Topolski

Daniel Topolski

Members and friends of British Studies will have seen the Feliks Topolski paintings of Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, and many others in the Tom Lea Rooms and elsewhere in the Harry Ransom Center. Born in Poland in 1907, Topolski studied at the Warsaw Academy of Art and settled in England in 1935. An artist with the interests and powers of a reporter, an anthropologist, and a historian, he captured events from Indian independence to the Vietnam War. His work is at once satirical, affectionate, and psychologically penetrating. Daniel Topolski, who often traveled with his father, will talk about the artist's life and work, and the current exhibition at the HRC. His BBC radio series, 'Topolski's Travels', won the 1993 Travelex Radio Award. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2004 Athens Olympics, he served as the BBC's commentator for rowing events.

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[388] Oct 6, 2006

The Afterlife of Hamlet

James Loehlin

Hamlet, always one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, has been continually reinvented on the stage. Hamlet anticipates the enduring relevance of the play when he speaks of the Players as the chroniclers of the time who 'hold the mirror up to nature'. Hamlet remains an inexhaustible text in part because of its own concern with interpretation and the ambiguity of human speech and action. Hamlet himself has been the focus of centuries of intense speculation, daring actors, audiences, and critics to 'pluck out the heart of his mystery'. He has been a Renaissance prince, an Enlightenment rationalist, a suicidal and passionate Romantic, a Freudian neurotic, and an existential rebel. The history of our responses to Hamlet contains parallels to the play itself, as its elusive hero moves from a medieval to a modern world. James Loehlin is Associate Professor of English and Director of the Shakespeare at Winedale program. Each summer he takes students into the Texas countryside, to the Winedale Historical Center, to study and perform three Shakespeare plays. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Shakespeare and modern drama, and has written on Shakespeare and Chekhov. In 2005 he won the Chad Oliver Teaching Award in Plan II and a President's Associates Teaching Award.

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[389] Sep 29, 2006

Defining the Middle East and the Clash of Civilizations

John O. Voll

Fifty years ago British scholarship in Islamic studies moved from Orientalism to 'area studies'. At the beginning of the 21st century a similar change is taking place. Synthesizing the global and the local has the potential to transcend abstract theory and narrow area studies-if the Middle East can be seen in the larger geographical context of the Indian Ocean. Such a configuration, which is still artificially divided by area specialists, would help to restore more comprehensible dimensions of British as well as Islamic history. In much British and American scholarship, and official policy of the two governments, 'civilization' remains a basic unit. In the 1990s, major debates involving Islamic Studies concerned the 'clash of civilizations' between the Islamic and Western worlds. These debates have an archaic tone because of the obsolescence of 'civilization' as an effective conceptual unit of analysis. As in the case of the definitions of the 'Middle East' and the 'Indian Ocean', the development of more effective units for analysis is a primary requirement for the new era of Islamic studies. John O. Voll is Professor of Islamic History and Associate Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding of Georgetown University. His books include The Society of Muslim Brothers (1969), Islam: Continuity and Change in the Modern World (1994), and Islam and Democracy (1996).

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[390] Sep 15, 2006

Somerset Maugham and "Englishness"

Selina Hastings

At the height of his fame, Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was the most famous English writer in the world. His plays, novels, and short stories were translated into almost every known language. To his millions of readers he became synonymous with a particular type of Englishness: courteous, conventional, and urbane. He seemed to be the quintessential English gentleman. It was an image that Maugham took care to foster. Yet in many respects Maugham's personality was a pastiche, effectively disguising a mass of contradictions. Born and brought up in France, he claimed to be happiest in London, a city he spent a lifetime escaping. A devastating satirist of English society, he was also passionately patriotic, risking his life for his country in both world wars. A married man and a father, he was also an undercover homosexual very much aware of long shadow cast by the trial of Oscar Wilde. After a happy student life at St. Hugh's College, Oxford, Lady Selina worked as assistant literary editor at the Daily Telegraph (1968-1982) and then as literary editor of Harpers and Queen (1987-1995). She has written three biographies, Nancy Mitford (1985), Evelyn Waugh, (1994), and Rosamond Lehmann (2002). She is a regular reviewer for the Sunday Telegraph and the Times Literary Supplement.

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[391] Sep 8, 2006

All Imaginable Excuses: Australian Deserters and the Fall of Singapore

Peter Stanley

The fall of Singapore in February 1942 is a defining moment in both British and Australian history. Popular nationalist accounts in Australia emphasize Churchill's 'betrayal'. Australians increasingly see Singapore's surrender as marking-in the words of Prime Minister John Curtin at the time-as the start of a 'battle for Australia'. The fiftieth anniversary of the surrender saw a controversy over claims that many Australian soldiers had deserted before the surrender. What is the substance of these claims? What is their significance for Australia's sense of national identity and its relationship with Britain? Peter Stanley is Principal Historian at the Australian War Memorial (Australia's national military museum) where he has worked since 1980. He has published 18 books including Quinn's Post, Anzac, Gallipoli, Tarakan: An Australian Tragedy, White Mutiny, and For Fear of Pain: British Surgery 1790-1850. His forthcoming book, 1942: Battle for Australia? will be published by Penguin.

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[392] Sep 1, 2006

Tony Harrison's 'v.'

Kurt Heinzelman

In 1984-85, during the protracted coalminer's strike in Great Britain, Tony Harrison, the well-known poet, dramatist, translator, and screenwriter, wrote the poem 'v.', modeled to an extent on Thomas Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'. In 1987, after Channel 4 made a film version of the poem, 'v.' acquired a certain notoriety, less for its subject matter-the socioeconomics of the coalfields and in particular the city of Leeds-than for its reproduction of yobbo-slang and graffitied obscenities within the text of this 'highbrow' and highly allusive poem. Aesthetic and social decorum, the politics of work stoppages and unemployment, and the new demographics of contemporary British urban life-these were the subjects raised and debated by Harrison's complex and compelling poem, when translated into its new cinematic medium. Profs. Heinzelman and Charlesworth will host a discussion of the poem in light of these issues. (A copy of the poem can be found online by searching for 'Tony Harrison v.') Kurt Heinzelman, Professor of English, is a poet and translator. His scholarly research has been in the areas of British Romanticism, Modernism, and Poetry and Poetics. Michael Charlesworth, Assistant Chairman in the Art History Department, is originally from the north of England. He received his Ph.D in the history and theory of art at the University of Kent in Canterbury. His scholarly fields are landscape art and the history of gardens as well as photography before 1918.

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