Imaginative Geographies of the Black/White Atlantic

12 October 2017, 6.15 PM - 12 October 2017, 7.45 PM

Powell Lecture Theatre, Physics Building, Tyndall Avenue

School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies Annual Lecture 2017 

In association with Bristol Festival of Ideas; the Black Arts and Humanities group; UoB; Journey to Justice Bristol.

Court House

Professor Catherine Hall, University College London.

In this lecture, Catherine Hall analyses the figure of Edward Long, 18C slave-owner, family man, creole nationalist and historian, whose encyclopaedic History of Jamaica (1774) explicates pro-slavery politics. Long's imagined geographies, rooted both in his lived experience and his attempted theorisations of racial difference, constituted the Atlantic as a place of white power, made productive by enslaved black labour. His politics of place fixed England, Jamaica and Africa in a fateful triangle, secured by racial binaries of ‘White’ and ‘Negro’. Those binaries could only be sustained by disavowal, a practice of knowing and not knowing the humanity of others, that remains central and difficult in our understanding of racisms in the present.

Catherine Hall is Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College, London, and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Her work centres on questions of race, ethnicity and difference in the history of the 19th century nation and empire. Catherine led the pioneering ESRC & AHRC funded projects Legacies of British Slave Ownership (2004-12) and 'The Structure and Significance of British-Caribbean Slave-Ownership, 1763-1833' (2013-16), one major product of which was the co-authored Legacies of British Slave-ownership: Colonial slavery and the formation of Victorian Britain (CUP 2014). Professor Hall’s earlier acclaimed study, Civilizing Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830-1867, won the Morris D. Forkasch prize for best book in British history, 2002.

The picture of the Antigua courthouse is reproduced courtesy of the British Library.

Followed by a drinks reception. All welcome. Booking required.



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