The meaning of America to those beyond its borders has rarely been the subject of such passionate and global debate as it has been in the past seven years. If we look to the long nineteenth century, however, the idea of America in British culture suggests that there is a lively pre-history of competing and opposed notions of the emergent republic.
This interdisciplinary conference, which takes place at the Institute of English Studies, University of London on 27-28 June 2008, aims to broaden our understanding of the transatlantic relationship, tracing the history of the ideological contest over the idea of America in the long nineteenth century – a history that has been fundamental to the construction of British political identities since the era of revolutions.
The conference programme has been designed to bring all participants into a dialogue concerning the history of three political ideas central to the event: democracy; liberalism; citizenship. It brings together a team of international scholars from the disciplines of the history of ideas, political history, art history, English literature and American studies.
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