Colonialism

British, Chinese and Sikh members of Municipal Police, Shanghai, c.1890s

The Colonialism research theme focuses on research areas ranging from the ancient to the contemporary, and from the Anglophone to the Lusophone worlds and beyond. Collaborative research on colonialism and post-colonialism is stimulated by crossing established disciplinary boundaries and conventional boundaries of time and space.

Based in the Faculty of Arts, the theme includes scholars from across the University of Bristol and beyond. Core members are in disciplines such as anthropology, drama, film studies, Italian and history, but there are also links with colleagues in the social sciences, including in the Departments of Geography and Sociology.

Outside the University, we have well-established connections with scholars at a range of other institutions, both locally (for example, at the University of the West of England) and globally, through our involvement in the Worldwide University Network’s (WUN) International Network in Colonial and Postcolonial Studies.

We have a well-developed postgraduate community, with research students from a range of disciplinary backgrounds playing a key role in our community and its activities, including, in 2011, editing Ex Plus Ultra, an international WUN-funded postgraduate e-journal.

Theme members work on a wide range of individual research projects relating to colonialism and postcolonialism, exchanging ideas and perspectives at regular work-in-progress seminars and other workshops and conferences. Larger-scale, team-based collaborative and comparative projects include the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)-funded research project with the University of Swansea entitled ‘Colonialism in comparative perspective: Tianjin under nine flags, 1860-1949’.