Contents: Jatinder Mann / Iain Johnston-White: Introduction: Revisiting the British World – André Brett: "The History of This Colony Is One of Dismemberment": Territorial Separation Movements and New Colonies in Australasia, 1820s–1900 – Sucharita Sen: Colonial Encounters and the Sahib-Subject Relationship in Anglo-Indian Households – Danielle E. Lorenz: Reading Settler-Colonial Discourses: An Analysis of Two Ontario Public School History Textbooks from 1921 – Karen Fox: Melbamania: Nellie Melba and Celebrity in the British World – Paul Kiem: Vasco Loureiro—British World Bohemian – Richard Scully: "For gorsake, stop laughing! This is serious": The British World as a Community of Cartooning and Satirical Art – William A. Stoltz: Agent of Empire: Australia’s Tradition of Imperial Internationalism – Jatinder Mann: The End of the British World and the Redefinition of Citizenship in Australia, Canada, and Aotearoa New Zealand, 1960s–1970s – Andrew Kelly: The Antipodes at the Crossroads: Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Great Powers at the End of Empire – Iain Johnston-White / Jatinder Mann: Conclusion: Why Revisit the British World?
Table Of Contents
- Advance Praise
- About the editors
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Table of Contents
- List of Tables
- List of Illustrations
- Introduction: Revisiting the British World (Jatinder Mann and Iain Johnston-White)
- “The History of This Colony Is One of Dismemberment”: Territorial Separation Movements and New Colonies in Australasia, 1820s–1900 (André Brett)
- Colonial Encounters and the Sahib-Subject Relationship in Anglo-Indian Households (Sucharita Sen)
- Reading Settler-Colonial Discourses: An Analysis of Two Ontario Public School History Textbooks from 1921 (Danielle E. Lorenz)
- Melbamania: Nellie Melba and Celebrity in the British World (Karen Fox)
- Vasco Loureiro—British World Bohemian (Paul Kiem)
- “For gorsake, stop laughing! This is serious”: The British World as a Community of Cartooning and Satirical Art (Richard Scully)
- Agent of Empire: Australia’s Tradition of Imperial Internationalism (William A. Stoltz)
- The End of the British World and the Redefinition of Citizenship in Australia, Canada, and Aotearoa New Zealand, 1960s–1970s (Jatinder Mann)
- The Antipodes at the Crossroads: Australia, Aotearoa New Zealand, and the Great Powers at the End of Empire (Andrew Kelly)
- Conclusion: Why Revisit the British World? (Iain Johnston-White and Jatinder Mann)
- Notes on Contributors
- Series Index
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First and foremost, the editors would like to thank our volume’s contributors for producing a wonderful selection of chapters. We have learned so much from you through our work on this volume and it has been a pleasure working with you all in bringing this volume to completion. We also greatly appreciate the support of the editorial team at Peter Lang in facilitating our efforts on the edited collection.
Finally, and as ever, we are most indebted to John and Rachel, for their patience and unwavering support during our excursions into the British World.
Dr. Jatinder Mann Dr. Iain Johnston-White
Maidenhead, United Kingdom Groningen, The Netherlands←xiii | xiv→
Since the publication of Phillip Buckner and R. Douglas Francis’ ground-breaking Rediscovering the British World,1 there has not been a collection of essays that looks at the history of the British World from an all-round thematic perspective. We define the British World as a global community in which members identified themselves predominantly as British and considered the United Kingdom (UK) to be at its centre. The chapters in our volume focus upon diverse aspects of British identity and its interrelation with the history of Britain’s former settler-colonies and other regions of British settlement. Drawing upon new research from established scholars, early career researchers, and doctoral students, we aim to offer new voices and perspectives to the study of the British World.
The origins of scholarship on the history of the British World can be traced to a series of articles by Canadian historian Douglas Cole in the early 1970s, “Canada’s ‘Nationalistic’ Imperialists,” “‘The Crimson Thread of Kinship’” and “The Problem of ‘Nationalism’ and ‘Imperialism’ in British Settlement Colonies.”2 In Aotearoa New Zealand, J. G. A. Pocock asked us to reconsider the history of “neo-Britains” within an imperial framework.3 This was soon followed by Australian historian Neville Meaney’s The Search for Security in the Pacific, 1901–14.4 Canadian historian Phillip Buckner raised the subject in 1992 with his article “Whatever Happened to the British Empire?”5 Meaney subsequently published a seminal article on the subject entitled “Britishness and Australian Identity.”6 Meaney’s work on the subject influenced some of his Ph.D. students, colloquially known as the “Meaney School”. We can see this influence in Stuart Ward’s Australia and the British Embrace and James Curran’s The Power of Speech.7←1 | 2→
A distinct field of British World studies was fully launched through a series of conferences (1998–2007), with the first of the resulting edited volumes, titled The British World, co-edited by Carl Bridge and Kent Fedorowich.8 This tapped into aspects of globalisation as the methodological basis of studying the British World, particularly its emphasis on networks and a shift away from “top-down” history. The British “World” was formed around the cultural identity of “Britishness”, setting it apart from some of the existing “Worlds” in global history, like the “Atlantic World”, which was grounded by a geographical entity. From here, the field developed rapidly. Phillip Buckner and Carl Bridge published an article on “Reinventing the British World.”9 Buckner and R. Douglas Francis coedited another collection on Canada and the British World10 in 2006. Jose E. Igartua built on Buckner’s work with his The Other Quiet Revolution.11 Curran and Ward co-authored The Unknown Nation,12 expanding upon individual monographs. Jatinder Mann, inspired by Buckner and Francis’ work as well as also being a member of the “Meaney School” (as Meaney’s last Ph.D. student), published The Search for a New National Identity.13 In Aotearoa New Zealand, Cole, Meaney, and Buckner’s work inspired James Belich’s Paradise Reforged, repositioning Aotearoa New Zealand’s history in its imperial context.14 Felicity Barnes, a Ph.D. student of Belich’s, in turn went on to publish a book based on her doctoral thesis, New Zealand’s London, drawing connections between the colony and its metropolis.15 In short, after the publication of Buckner and Francis’ Rediscovering the British World, a new generation of scholars has explored novel dimensions of the history of the British World.16
Such efforts were partly a response to the imperial history of the last decades of the twentieth century, which had moved in analytical directions that prioritised aspects like the metropole-periphery dichotomy. These approaches had little room for the history of Britain’s settler societies. Buckner, among others, criticised the lack of focus on settler-colonies in the Oxford History of the British Empire (five volumes, 1998–1999), one inspiration for the conferences that launched this new wave of historiography. In response he and others were asked to edit volumes on most of them, including Canada and Australia.17 The real or imagined borders of the British World have been probed and tested in the historiography, and the concept has spilled into and inspired other frameworks of analysis. For example, Belich subsequently published a monograph on the “Anglo-World”, somewhat controversially including the United States, in 2009.18 John Darwin offered a fresh look at the British Empire, incorporating many of the same drivers of global history that inspired aspects of British World studies, in his book on The Empire Project that same year.19←2 | 3→
Nevertheless, British World historiography has not been without its critics. Its amorphous scope, emphasis on predominantly white settlers, and the difficulty in drawing together the networks it seeks to illuminate have all been called into question.20 It has, at times, exposed difficulties in incorporating issues of power and the aspects of colonial history that had become dominant in analyses of empire by the 1990s, to which it formed one response. It has not always managed to address its relationship to top-down history and to the calls for a “Greater Britain” at the turn of the twentieth century, or to negotiate problematic echoes of the laudatory narratives of the “white” Commonwealth in the mid-century historiography. We will explore the scope of the British World as represented in this volume and explain how this volume engages with the field—including its criticisms—further in our concluding remarks.
This new collection aims to showcase new voices and perspectives to illustrate that the transnational British World perspective continues to be a fruitful direction of research. André Brett in his chapter asserts that the borders and political structure of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand were not pre-ordained. Complex historical processes shaped the emergence of Britain’s seven settler colonies in Australasia. This chapter examines one facet of nineteenth-century colonial politics that played a major role moulding polities and defining identities: territorial separation movements. From the 1820s to the 1890s, eleven movements in Australasia asserted that a specific region should no longer be governed by the colony within which it was located and that it needed to be proclaimed a free-standing colony within the British Empire, of which three succeeded. International scholarship typically understands the separation of one polity from another as a violent process, with deliberative separation processes a novel development since the end of the Cold War. Brett shows that such processes would not be considered novel if Australasian experiences were studied.
There are few accounts of separation in the colonial period, and they take specific movements in isolation rather than examining patterns, shared personnel, or the larger imperial context. Brett reveals that movements took inspiration from each other, with extensive intercolonial exchanges of people and ideas, and shows how the Colonial Office responded to separatist demands. Even those that did not succeed played a large role in defining the political character, print media, and popular symbols of their region. Brett concludes by indicating the potential of studying territorial separation, in particular the need for greater attention to failed political movements. Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand acquired their current form as a result of the success or failure of these movements, and to gain a fuller understanding of ←3 | 4→the political structure of the British World we must interrogate the options faced and the choices not taken.
Sucharita Sen maintains in her chapter that Colonial India embodied in itself multiple spaces. On the one hand, the British colonisers were to be socially distanced from the Indians. This was taken into consideration in colonial architecture to ensure separate spaces of dwelling for the colonisers and the colonised. There were also spaces where British officers engaged in sexual relationships with Indian women. Historians have argued that although the socially segregated spaces were idealised, maintaining a rigid distance was difficult. Thus, there emerged a form of third culture, a hybrid of Englishness and Indianness.
In this chapter Sen argues that the Anglo-Indian household emerged as an example of a third space in colonial India, manifesting in itself characteristics of the third culture. These households were the residences of the Anglo-Indian officers and their wives. Colonial authorities desired the Anglo-Indian bungalow to be miniature versions of the British Empire, the place of the domestic civilising mission and a site for the exhibition of British virtues. It was a safe haven to prevent British officers from being lured into sexual alliances with Indians. This household was thus not a sexualised contact zone. However, it was also not the idealised space of segregation of the rulers from the ruled, because the employment of Indian servants prevented the household from being a white space.
Drawing upon the lived experiences of Anglo-Indians, in the form of diaries, letters, and fictional representations, Sen suggests that alongside imperial domination, there existed humanitarian and amicable relations in the domestic spaces. The Anglo-Indian household became a multiplicity of social spaces, riddled with inconsistencies which contradicted the official British policy of racial segregation in India. The outer spaces—namely the drawing room and tea parties—constituted a formalised space where racial and colonial hierarchies were conspicuous. But the inner quarters, particularly the colonial nursery, emerged as a space governed by compassion and affection between British children and their Indian servants, making the nineteenth and twentieth century Anglo-Indian home a site of spectacular heterogeneity that challenged rigid understandings of “Britishness”.
Danielle E. Lorenz uses Critical Discourse Analysis to explore the impact of two history textbooks from 1920s Canada. In 1921, George M. Wrong, a professor of history at the University of Toronto, published Ontario Public School History of England and Ontario Public School History of Canada, with The Ryerson Press. Lorenz makes three main arguments about the ways in which these books shaped settler nation-building in Canada. She argues that ←4 | 5→the books position colonization as an event, rather than a structure. She demonstrates how the texts operate with a logic of elimination, undermining Indigenous peoples and cultures to facilitate subjugation by settlers. Finally, Lorenz unpacks how the two texts allegorically assimilate Indigenous people into settler Canadian society. These textbooks—and others like them, before and since—functioned as an arbiter of truth for the greater settler colonial nation building project that justified the British colonization of what is currently called Canada.
- XVI, 276
- ISBN (PDF)
- ISBN (ePUB)
- ISBN (MOBI)
- ISBN (Hardcover)
- Publication date
- 2022 (July)
- British World History Australia Canada Aotearoa New Zealand India United Kingdom Imperialism Empire Revisiting the British World Jatinder Mann Iain Johnston-White New Voices and Perspectives
- New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2022. XVI, 260 pp., 8 b/w ill., 1 table.