Program in British Studies
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Christmas Party

Friday, December 8, 2006 • 3:00 PM

UT Campus Club

A Missing Contributor!


Lecture

Friday, December 1, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

In the years after the First World War, the British confronted a series of rebellions throughout the Empire, from India to Ireland. Straining under the triple burden of increasingly recalcitrant subject peoples, straitened means, and a critical public at home, the imperial state searched for creative solutions to counter-insurgency. In the newly conquered territory of Iraq, it invented a new system of colonial policing known as 'air control', in which the Royal Air Force patrolled the country,


Lecture

Friday, November 17, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

Britain, despite being a prominent founder of the United Nations and a Permanent Member of the Security Council, was from the outset wary of the United Nations. The UN Charter alluded discreetly to decolonization, causing unease among the European colonial powers. By the mid-1960s, the problem of decolonization had been largely replaced by the Cold War as the major obstruction to implementation of the Charter. The end of the Cold War moved Britain and its allies into a different and easier ph


Lecture

Friday, November 10, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

C. Wright Mills (1916-1962), the political sociologist and influential intellectual, had a little to say about a great many subjects, and a lot to say about a few subjects of great importance. In his major books, The New Men of Power (1948), White Collar (1951), The Power Elite (1956), and The Sociological Imagination (1959), he laid down a social theory that many readers have viewed as characteristically American.

Mills was raised and educated in Texas. Throughout his career, he nu


Lecture

Friday, November 3, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

Nearly a century ago T. S. Eliot praised John Donne's 'unification of sensibility', inaugurating a great surge in interest in that witty seventeenth century poet. With the rise of postmodernism, academic interest in Donne waned. But a small cadre of scholars persisted. As a result, scholarship has gone far beyond the familiar Jack Donne, conflicted by his sexuality and mired in outmoded learning.

The lost Lothian portrait of Donne has been recovered, revealing a youthful poet who j


Lecture

Friday, October 27, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

Few studies of the causes and outcomes of the Mau Mau insurgency in post-Second World War colonial Kenya manage to be sympathetic to the predicaments of both British settlers and African colonial subjects. At the time most British commentators attributed the insurgency to African irrationality and superstition. Historians since have tended to blame settler oppression. Yet the crisis in Kenya can be understood as a clash between two forms of economic and social development precariously enjoyed


Lecture

Monday, October 23, 2006 • 6:00 PM

Prothro Theater in the HRC

Like many rich men of his generation, Andrew W. Mellon was constantly drawn to Britain. His father had been born in Ireland, his wife was English, and his son Paul would be a life-long anglophile. Mellon visited Britain regularly from the 1880s until the 1930s, and at one point considered moving there permanently. As an art collector, he was much influenced by the British dealer Duveen, and his collection included many eighteenth-century English portraits. For a brief time, Mellon served as


Lecture

Friday, October 20, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

In recent years, the existence of a 'British World' has become perhaps the most influential framework through which historians in Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and elsewhere have examined the social and cultural linkages that bound their societies together in the nineteenth and much of the twentieth century.

What was the 'British World', and what was its connection with that much more familiar structure of power and influence, the British Empire? How far was


Lecture

Friday, October 13, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

Members and friends of British Studies will have seen the Feliks Topolski paintings of Graham Greene, Evelyn Waugh, and many others in the Tom Lea Rooms and elsewhere in the Harry Ransom Center. Born in Poland in 1907, Topolski studied at the Warsaw Academy of Art and settled in England in 1935. An artist with the interests and powers of a reporter, an anthropologist, and a historian, he captured events from Indian independence to the Vietnam War. His work is at once satirical, affectionate,


Lecture

Friday, October 6, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

Hamlet, always one of Shakespeare's most popular plays, has been continually reinvented on the stage. Hamlet anticipates the enduring relevance of the play when he speaks of the Players as the chroniclers of the time who 'hold the mirror up to nature'. Hamlet remains an inexhaustible text in part because of its own concern with interpretation and the ambiguity of human speech and action. Hamlet himself has been the focus of centuries of intense speculation, daring actors, audiences, and criti


Lecture

Friday, September 29, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

Fifty years ago British scholarship in Islamic studies moved from Orientalism to 'area studies'. At the beginning of the 21st century a similar change is taking place. Synthesizing the global and the local has the potential to transcend abstract theory and narrow area studies-if the Middle East can be seen in the larger geographical context of the Indian Ocean. Such a configuration, which is still artificially divided by area specialists, would help to restore more comprehensible dimensions o


Lecture

Friday, September 22, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

By virtually any measure the twentieth century was a remarkable period in British mathematics. Deep insight into challenging conjectures, solutions to critical national problems, and new directions for research bridging disparate fields stood in stark contrast to the limited success of the preceding century. What were the factors contributing to such a dramatic change? We will explore this question by examining the lives and the unique contributions of four mathematicians whose careers spanne


Lecture

Friday, September 15, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

At the height of his fame, Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) was the most famous English writer in the world. His plays, novels, and short stories were translated into almost every known language. To his millions of readers he became synonymous with a particular type of Englishness: courteous, conventional, and urbane. He seemed to be the quintessential English gentleman. It was an image that Maugham took care to foster.

Yet in many respects Maugham's personality was a pastiche, effect


Lecture

Friday, September 8, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

The fall of Singapore in February 1942 is a defining moment in both British and Australian history. Popular nationalist accounts in Australia emphasize Churchill's 'betrayal'. Australians increasingly see Singapore's surrender as marking-in the words of Prime Minister John Curtin at the time-as the start of a 'battle for Australia'. The fiftieth anniversary of the surrender saw a controversy over claims that many Australian soldiers had deserted before the surrender. What is the substance of


Lecture

Friday, September 1, 2006 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea rooms, HRC 3.206

In 1984-85, during the protracted coalminer's strike in Great Britain, Tony Harrison, the well-known poet, dramatist, translator, and screenwriter, wrote the poem 'v.', modeled to an extent on Thomas Gray's 'Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard'. In 1987, after Channel 4 made a film version of the poem, 'v.' acquired a certain notoriety, less for its subject matter-the socioeconomics of the coalfields and in particular the city of Leeds-than for its reproduction of yobbo-slang and graffitied o