Transnational British Studies

Participants:

  • George Haggerty
  • Weihsin Gui
  • Malcolm Baker
  • Jonathan Eacott
  • Susan Zieger

Of primary interest to this research group—all of whom are deeply invested in British Studies—is the concept of Britishness itself. Writers, thinkers, explorers, soldiers, politicians, travelers, immigrants: all used the notion of Britishness to shape what they could accomplish and how those accomplishments would be defined politically and culturally. How has Britishness functioned from the sixteenth century to the present to bring a people together, even as it threatens to alienate them from one another? In what ways did images and fashions, even though adapted from foreign sources, serve to define Britishness? How did the collecting of objects from very different cultures come to be seen as characteristically British? How did people from distant lands come to identify with British colonial power and refashion aspects of Britishness for their own political and cultural ends?