Program in British Studies official logo
Program in British Studies
2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006

Maya Jasanoff, 'The British Side of the American Revolution'

Friday, November 20, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

John Gooch, 'Pyrrhic Victory? England and the Great War'

Friday, November 13, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Peter Cain, 'The Radical Critique of Colonialism'

Friday, November 6, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Sir Harold Evans, 'Murder Most Foul'

Friday, October 30, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Round Table Discussion, 'Bloomsbury Reassessed'

Friday, October 23, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

James Vaughn, 'The Decline and Fall of Whig Imperialism, 1756-1783'

Friday, October 16, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Round Table Discussion, 'Effective Teaching'

Friday, October 9, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

John Rumrich, 'John Milton and the Embodied Word'

Friday, October 2, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

Elizabeth Richmond-Garza, 'Love in a Time of Terror: King Lear and the Potential for Consolation'

Friday, September 25, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

Louise Weinberg, 'Gilbert and Sullivan: The Curious Persistence of Savoyards'

Friday, September 18, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

The Savoy Operas continue to beguile audiences in America if not in England. Why do one's English friends tend to be cool to Gilbert and Sullivan? And why do one's American friends seem to adore them? The ultimate question, perhaps, is why those who adore them do. Louise Weinberg will provide some of the answers. There will be recorded musical excerpts to recall to us the fun and glory of G & S.

Samuel Baker, 'Wedgwood Gothic'

Friday, September 11, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

In the mid-eighteenth century, the partners Josiah Wedgwood and Thomas Bentley established in their pottery business a model for modern industry and mass marketing. Yet while Wedgwood's innovations were crucial to the industrial revolution, in fashioning his earthenware Wedgwood drew significantly on neoclassical and gothic traditions.

John Farrell, 'Forgiving Emily Brontë'

Friday, September 4, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206

Ever since Emily Brontë published Wuthering Heights in 1847, many readers and critics have attempted to improve or correct what they perceive as its rough-hewn and carelessly executed narrative. The novel simply leaves too many crucial gaps in its story. Who is Heathcliff? How did he become polished and rich? How did Catherine Earnshaw's ghost end up in a complete stranger's dream? How can Nelly Dean recall in word for word detail the conversations of so many characters over so many years?

Peter Green, 'The Devil in Kingsley Amis'

Friday, August 28, 2009 • 3:00 PM


What makes a good satirist? What skills elicit laughter? Could the secret be an accurate, uncommitted eye for social foibles? Peter Green investigates Kingsley Amis as a nice test case.

Julian Barnes

Friday, May 1, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Julian Barnes has prepared a lecture for the next Britannia volume on George Orwell, the famous pen name of Eric Blair. His argument is that Orwell denounced the Empire, which pleased the Left; Communism, which pleased the right; and the misuse of language, which pleased everyone. He was known for straight thinking and honest writing. Yet he once wrote that all art or writing to some extent is propaganda. Did Orwell live up to his own standards of accuracy or did he too sometimes succumb to

Weslie Janeway

Friday, April 24, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Although the existence of Emma Darwin's recipe book has long been known to students of Darwiniana, it has seldom received much attention. As part of the celebration of the bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth, food historian and geneticist Weslie Janeway places the cookbook in the context of family letters, diaries, and household accounts to create a window into the social history of Victorian cookery and the Darwin home.

Saul Dubow

Friday, April 17, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Sir Keith Hancock (1898-1988), one of the distinguished practitioners of British economic history, combined breadth of vision, geographical scope, and imaginative reach. His biography of J. C. Smuts of South Africa has changed the lives of graduate students at the University of Texas. Yet he was evasive on the issue of race. This lecture will argue that in the latter part of his life Hancock presented a refined apology for white paternalism in South Africa.

John Darwin

Friday, April 10, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

'Once the British Empire became world-wide, the sun never set on its crises', wrote its shrewdest historian. By the 1830s, at latest, the British Empire had indeed become a global system. Macaulay had urged his countrymen to see Clive and Hastings as the British Cortes and Pizarro. But not until Sir John Seeley's Expansion of England (1883) did British historians begin to see the empire as a global phenomenon. This lecture will discuss Seeley's extraordinary influence, the muted 'revisionism

Dan Jacobson

Friday, April 3, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

R. J. Q. Adams

Friday, March 27, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Warren Kimball

Friday, March 13, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

During the Second World War, Churchill believed that Irish neutrality threatened British security, specifically Atlantic shipping and the war against German U-boats. At the same time, he believed or rather hoped, that the English-speaking peoples would stand together. For Franklin Roosevelt, Irish neutrality not only challenged the conviction that American national security required British survival against Hitler but also raised divisive and potentially serious political issues at home. Iris

Roy Foster, Wm. Roger Louis and Brian Levack

Friday, March 6, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Hugh Trevor-Roper (Lord Dacre) was one of the notable historians of the twentieth century, perhaps most widely known for one of his early books, The Last Days of Hitler published in 1947. Much later, in 1983, he made the disastrous mistake of authenticating a forged set of Hitler's diaries. His reputation has never quite recovered from the Hitler diary episode, but he remains one of the great historical essayists of our time, above all for his limpid and penetrating style, malicious wit, and s

George S. Christian

Friday, February 27, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Historians have extensively studied the influence of the French Revolution on late eighteenth-century Irish society, but what of the Scottish experience during the revolutionary period? Scotland seethed with similar political, social, and economic tensions in the 1790s, convincing British ministers such as Pitt and Dundas that 'North Briton', rather than Ireland, was ripe for a Jacobin insurrection. The 1793 sedition trial of Thomas Muir, a well-to-do Glaswegian lawyer and leader of the reformi

Linda Colley

Friday, February 20, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Prothro Theater, HRC

Philip Francis was a critic of the excesses and contradictions of the British Empire in four continents. He supported the American and French revolutions and was an articulate opponent of slavery. But he was also, in the view of his critics, a duplicitous and hopeless rake. How can his significance be assessed?

David Cannadine

Thursday, February 19, 2009 • 3:00 PM

J.A.R. Moseley Room, HRC 3.204

The British phrase 'transfer of power' conveys the impression of an orderly and smooth transition from colonies to new nations possessing sovereign independence. In fact the liquidation of the British Empire was often violent, creating states that were sometimes not only unstable but also unviable. How does the balance sheet look if freed from teleological assumptions such as progress into freely associated states known as the Commonwealth?

Albert Lewis

Friday, February 13, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

In the late 1960s Bertrand Russell decided to sell his rich collection of books, letters, manuscripts, and memorabilia, reflecting many aspects of his long and illustrious life. The Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin was a prospective buyer, but McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, captured the papers. Plans were started at McMaster in 1969 for a scholarly edition, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell. Albert Lewis will discuss the history of the project as

Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac

Friday, February 6, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

In the shaping of the modern states of Iraq and Iran, Americans as well as the British played a significant part: Lawrence of Arabia and Gertrude Bell, and, in the American era, the CIA's Miles Copeland and Kim Roosevelt. They helped to enthrone rulers in a region whose very name, the 'Middle' East, is an Anglo-American invention. The aim of the lecture will be to restore to life the colorful figures who for good or ill gave us the Middle East in which Americans are enmeshed today.

Dominic Sandbrook

Friday, January 30, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Even today, the 1960s are usually seen as an unprecedented age of dramatic change, sweeping aside old conventions and ushering in a 'cultural revolution' that changed British life forever. Dominic Sandbrook believes that there is a much more complicated picture of an anxious, often highly conservative society in which change came slowly-or, according to many at the time, not at all. Did British politics really change during the supposedly 'Swinging Sixties'? Did the youth culture of the Beatle

Bernard Wasserstein

Friday, January 23, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

Since the Second World War, Glasgow, the 'second city of the empire', has suffered a dramatic fall. Today it is Britain's poorest, most indebted, and most socially troubled metropolis. Its population has dwindled by nearly half. Its staple industries have vanished. Other British cities too have declined, but in none has the downward spiral seemed so precipitous. Drawing on his memories of Glasgow in the 1950s, and in particular of three institutions with which he was intimately associated,

Margaret Macmillan

Friday, January 16, 2009 • 3:00 PM

Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

India was the glittering jewel that transformed a small northern island into a world power. There a minority of British officials administered to the lives of millions until the Indians rejected this rule in the 1930s and 1940s. In his extraordinary quartet Paul Scott chronicles a community in its dying days, preparing to return to a home that had grown remote and unfamiliar. He captures the society that British expatriates built in India, one with its own standards and traditions, shaped by