Empire of scholars

Universities, networks and the British academic world, 1850–1939

Tamson Pietsch

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ISBN: 978-0-7190-8502-4
Series: Studies in Imperialism
Subject Area: History
BIC Category: Colonialism & imperialism
Published: May 2013
234 x 156 mm
256 pages
Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Description
  • Author
  • Contents
  • Reviews
  • At the start of the twenty-first century we are acutely conscious that universities operate within an entangled world of international scholarly connection. Empire of scholars examines the networks that linked academics across the colonial world in the age of ‘Victorian’ globalization. Stretching across the globe, these networks helped map the boundaries of an expansive but exclusionary ‘British academic world’ that extended beyond the borders of the British Isles. Drawing on extensive archival research conducted in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, this book remaps the intellectual geographies of Britain and its empire. In doing so, it provides a new context for writing the history of ideas and offers a critical analysis of the connections that helped fashion the global world of universities today.
    General Editor's introduction
    Part I: Foundations, 1802–80
    1. Building institutions
    Part II: Connections, 1880–1914
    2. Forging links
    3. Making appointments
    4. Imperial association
    Part III: Networks, 1900–39
    5. Academic traffic
    6. The Great War
    7. After the peace
    Part IV: Erosions, 1919–60
    8. Alternate ties

    Tamson Pietsch is Lecturer in Imperial and Colonial History at Brunel University London
    'Along with this exclusion of Americans, Pietsch also recognises racial and gendered exclusions, responding directly to the criticisms outlined above that have been levelled at the British World framework. She explicitly acknowledges that this British academic world privileged “raced and gendered forms of trust and sociability, [and that] the social and institutional practices that connected settler scholars to those in Britain simultaneously sidelined the empire’s various ‘others.’”'

    Jared van Duinen, Charles Sturt University

    Overall, then, Empire of Scholars is an important contribution to both imperial history and the history of education. It should serve as an inspiration for further work seeking to unpack the complex circulation of ideas, peoples, and artefacts around the circuits of the British settler world.

    Duncan Bell

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