After Empire? The Contested Histories of Decolonisation, Migration and Race in Modern Britain
After Empire? was a conference held in December 2018 which facilitated a discussion over race, migration, Empire and British identity fifty years after Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speec
Organised by Emma Parker (University of Leeds), Josh Doble (University of Leeds) and Liam Liburd (University of Sheffield) After Empire? sought to facilitate a discussion over race, migration, Empire and British identity in the fifty years after Enoch Powell’s infamous ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. In particular, we suggested that the legacy of Powell’s words are present in the range of recent, ongoing controversies over Britain imperial past (including the Windrush Scandal, Oxford University’s ‘Ethics & Empire’ research project, the vandalism of Finsbury Park’s ‘Blighty Cafe’, and the apparent revival of imperial ambitions prompted by Brexit, referred to as ‘Empire 2.0’). This conference asked whether these recent events are part of a longer history.
After Empire? featured 45 speakers from across the world -- from community-based theatre-makers in Bradford to lecturers from the University of Johannesburg – along with keynote presentations from Elleke Boehmer (University of Oxford), Bill Schwarz (QMUL) and Gary Younge (The Guardian)
Thanks to generous funding from WRoCAH, the ICPS, the Royal Historical Society, the Economic History Society and the Imperial Afterlives Project we were able to bring together PGRs, ECRs, academics, activists and public researchers in the fields of History, English Literature, Sociology, Politics, Heritage Studies, and more to discuss the legacies of imperialism within Britain
The three co-organisers (Emma, Josh and Liam) are now putting together an edited collection of essays which seeks to further address the contested histories and cultural afterlives of colonialism in contemporary Britain.
You can see more details on the conference website.