How Empire Shaped Us

How Empire Shaped Us
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January 28th 2016 by Bloomsbury Academic

Few historical subjects have generated such intense and sustained interest in recent decades as the history of empires. While historians have approached this subject in very different ways, their shared preoccupation with the British imperial experience-its institutions, ideas and impact on peoples around the world-has endured and given rise to a rich, varied, and influential body of historical scholarship. What accounts for this preoccupation? Why has it gained such purchase on the historical imagination? How has it endured as an active area of inquiry even as the empire it studies slips further into the past? In seeking to answer these questions, this volume brings together some of the leading figures in the field, historians of different generations, different nationalities, different methodological and theoretical perspectives and different ideological persuasions. Each addresses the relationship between their personal development as historians of empire and the larger forces and events that helped to shape how the subject and how it is studied. The result is a book that investigates the connections between the past and the present, the private and the public, the professional practices of historians and the political environments within which they take shape. This intellectual genealogy of the recent historiography of empire will be of great value to anyone studying or researching in the field of imperial history.

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