CFP: Visual Culture in Britain at the end of Empire
Call for Papers Deadline:
VISUAL CULTURE IN BRITAIN AT THE END OF EMPIRE
Edited by Simon Faulkner and Anandi Ramamurthy
Ashgate Publishing Ltd
This book seeks to examine the cultural fallout from the end of Empire across a range of visual media from fine art to film. Through visual representations the book will show how the retreat from Empire framed the production of British culture and identities in the post-war period. Given the importance of imperial culture within British society prior to the Second World War, the retreat from Empire had a profound effect on the British cultural field. Yet despite the recent emergence of the field of post-colonial studies, there has been relatively little research on the impact of the process of decolonisation upon British culture during the immediate post-war period. How were the anxieties at the loss of Empire represented in visual culture?
The book seeks to avoid the tendency within existing literature on twentieth century British cultural history to discuss issues of ‘race’ and ethnicity prior to the 1940s in terms of the colonial encounter and the period after the Second World War in terms of immigration. This division of the British twentieth century into periods before and after immigration has tended to ignore the complexities of the period between the late 1940s and the 1960s, during which immigration was just one element of a set of shifts in Britain’s relationship to the rest of the world. In contrast, this book will discuss the ways in which the tangled relationships between the political decline of the British Empire and the shift to neo-colonial structures and immigration from the colonies and the emerging commonwealth impacted on visual constructs of ‘race’, ethnicity and nation. How were representations of Black people and cultures of the emerging commonwealth and black people in Britain aligned and differentiated in the transition to neo-colonialism? How were the contradictions of identity in the colonised and/or colonisers psyche represented visually? What was the relationship between the representation of anti-colonial resistance and the representations of black communities in struggle in Britain? What was the relationship between the visual representations produced by anti-colonial and anti-racist movements? These are just some of the questions, which different essays will address in discussing the changing representations triggered by immigration alongside the fault lines generated in the British imaginary by the loss of the colonies.
Although taking the end of formal Empire to define a process, which has continued since the mid-twentieth century, the book will be primarily (although not exclusively) focused on the 1950s and 1960s. The book will define decolonisation as a process of economic, political and cultural struggle, both between the imperial centre and the colonies, and within Britain itself. Thus the 1950s and 1960s will be understood not as a period defined by a smooth transition from an imperial to a post-imperial society, but as a moment during which British political and economic interests were contested by anti-colonial and revolutionary politics, and in which the apparent securities of British imperial culture were fractured, allowing for the emergence of new cultural forms and identities.
Deadline for abstracts 15 December 2000
Please email or send all correspondence to Dr Anandi Ramamurthy.
Dr Anandi Ramamurthy
Dept of Historical and Critical Studies
University of Central Lancashire
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