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British Scholar Society to host second annual conference

Posted: February 2, 2009

The main discussions will be about Britain's global history. The British Scholar Society is an organization founded by students and faculty at UT. Scholars from every inhabitable continent in the world will be in attendance.

The participants include the Consul-General of the United Kingdom, a knight, many of the world’s leading historians, literary critics, and political scientists and some of the finest graduate students and faculty from UT. The British Scholar Conference was created as a meeting place where the focus is on free-flowing ideas, constructive criticism, and having fun, all in a relaxed atmosphere. In addition, the conference brings together scholars in every stage of their careers, from beginning graduate students to the finest historians in the world.

UT and the HRC provide an ideal venue to host the conference. The first British Scholar Conference proved to be a great success as it was described by many participants as the most enjoyable academic forum they had ever attended. This year’s conference will be helped by Texas hospitality, (hopefully) good weather, pre-eminent facilities at the HRC, and UT’s many British Studies faculty and graduate students.

Sir David Cannadine, the Queen Mary Professor of History at the Institute for Historical Research (IHR) at the University of London and the former director of the IHR, kicks off the conference with a lecture on Thursday afternoon, 19 February entitled “Ending the British Empire: Independence Day Ceremonials in Historical Perspective”. On Friday and Saturday, the HRC rooms will feature 20 panels devoted to a number of subjects.

On Friday, Linda Colley, the Shelby M.C. Davis Professor of History at Princeton University, will present the keynote lecture entitled “Empire, Gender, and Obsession: The worldwide political thought of Philip Francis”. In addition to excellent panelists from around the globe, a number of UT students and faculty will present papers ranging from the environmental history of the British Empire and how Britain responded during the global depressions of the late nineteenth century to what the BBC says about British society.

The British Scholar Annual Conference would not be complete without the Dinner Party (the social and networking centerpiece) on Friday evening, February 20. Following the success of the first conference dinner, this year’s dinner will feature Scottish bagpipes and a drummer during appetizers and drinks with classical musicians performing live during the dinner and dessert.

The British Scholar Society also publishes a bi-annual journal entitled British Scholar; it has a forthcoming book series with Palgrave-Macmillan; and it maintains a website publishing interviews with senior historians, book reviews, and information about the Society and its meetings. Initially conceived of by UT graduate students, the British Scholar Society has blossomed into an international society with editorial advisors and members from every continent, working on every thematic focus, and helping to shape the future of British Studies as a field.

The British Scholar Society, while being international in scope and membership, has a core component of UT graduate students and professors that help run the journal, organize the conference, and manage the day-to-day administration of the Society. For more information on the British Scholar Annual Conference please visit the British Scholar website.

By Brett Bennett
Teaching Assistant, UT History Dept.
Associate Editor British Scholar Journal

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