Upcoming 2017

Centre for the Study of Global Empires

Rethinking the Commonwealth of Nations: Histories, Theories, Comparisons

8-9 June 2017


The Commonwealth of Nations has become a chimera in history and theory. It originated in the colonial conferences of the 1880s, became formalised as the British Commonwealth of Nations during the interwar period (centred on Britain and the so called old dominions), and transformed after the Second World War into a new, post-colonial, Commonwealth of Nations encompassing the bulk of the former empire. The Commonwealth has been side-lined even as imperial history has flourished in recent years. Yet the Commonwealth hardly deserves this neglect. At least prior to the period of decolonisation it constituted a significant experiment in supranational cooperation. This symposium seeks both to revive the study of the Commonwealth and to reconnect it both to the history of the British Empire, and to other areas of scholarly study.

Participants: Dr Tomahito Baji (Waseda), Dr Rachel Bright (Keele), Dr Ruth Craggs (KCL), Dr Andrew Dilley (Aberdeen), Prof. Marjory Harper (Aberdeen), Dr Harshan Kumarasingham (Max Planck Institute and Edinburgh), Dr Thomas Mohr (University College Dublin), Prof Robert Frost (Discussant)

Date: 8-9 June

Location: 8 June, Humanity Manse; 9 June College Bounds 009, University of Aberdeen


Past Events

Symposium: 'Religion and Greater Scotland Christianity and Scottish Global Networks, 1600-1950', 3-4 June 2016

Workshop: 'The Incoherence of Empire', Dr Andrew Dilley and Dr Jon Wilson, 1 June 2016

Roundtable: The First World War, Tony Heywood and Andrew Dilley, 2 June 2015

Roundtable: Professor John MacKenzie and Dr Nigel Dalziel, who will be presenting a paper entitled 'Reflections on the Encyclopaedia of Empire and the Future of Imperial History'. With responses by Professor Marjory Harper, Dr Isabella Jackson, and Professor Patience Schell.

Seminar: Dr Harshan Kumarasingham, ‘Westminster to Eastminster’, 8 October 2015

Seminar: Prof. Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter), ‘Humanitarianism and the End of Empire’, 24 March 2014

Seminar: Dr Ellen Boucher (Amhurst College), ‘Rethinking De-Dominionisation: Child-Welfare and Racial Nationalism in Interwar Greater Britain’, 12 February 2014

Seminar: Dr Jon Wilson (King’s College London), ‘The Banality of Empire’, 3 December 2013

Symposium: ‘After networks: New Approaches to British Imperial History’, 19-20 April 2013