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Program in British Studies

Maya Jasanoff, 'The British Side of the American Revolution'

Fri, November 20, 2009 | Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

3:00 PM

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.

Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

Friday November 20, 2009

2:45 for 3:00 p.m.

Friday November 27: No meeting-Thanksgiving holiday

You can listen to previous recordings of the British Studies Lecture Series at

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