Oxford Centre for Global History Special Lecture
‘British culture goes global: the cultural dimensions of imperial globalisation’
Professor John MacKenzie (Emeritus, University of Lancaster)
Wednesday 6th May, 5pm
Venue: Examination Schools
No one thinks twice about approaching the histories of, say, the Roman or Norman empires by using their material remains as evidence. Moreover, most such histories consider these empires from the point of view of the cultural influence exerted by them. Yet historians have been reluctant to deal with the British Empire as a cultural phenomenon. Many political, administrative, military, and economic histories have been published and these approaches are of course important. But it is now time to move beyond the political economy of empire in the direction of the cultural economy. This lecture will offer a prospectus for such a history, setting out to synthesise much detailed and focused work of the past twenty years or so. Its conclusion will be that the cultural dimensions are important not only for the full understanding of the nature and significance of the British Empire, but also for comprehending aspects of globalisation created by the past centuries of European cultural, and specifically British, influence.
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