The 'Wind of Change' Fifty Years on: Britain and the end of Empire in the 1950s and 1960s
University of East Anglia, UK
26-27 March 2010
Organized by Larry Butler (UEA) and Sarah Stockwell (King's College London)
We are pleased to announce a conference designed to re-examine the British retreat from Empire in the 1950s and 1960s. It will be of interest to all researchers in the field of empire studies, British, African and international history, and international relations specialists.
2010 marks the 50th anniversary of Harold Macmillan’s famous speech claiming that a ‘wind of change’ was blowing through Africa. It was followed by wholesale British retreat from empire in Africa and elsewhere, which, with the demise of other European colonial empires transformed the geopolitical map. Driven by the progressive release of archival sources, recent decades have seen enormous growth in studies of British decolonisation, and a gradual widening of the themes addressed in such work.
Most official papers for the key period are now available, and the appearance of a string of synoptic accounts of British decolonisation appears to indicate growing consensus on the dynamics and nature of British decolonisation. But as we approach the 50th anniversary of Macmillan’s seminal speech, important new research adopting novel approaches has once more begun to complicate these established narratives of British decolonisation.
This conference brings together leading figures in decolonisation studies to reflect on current approaches and possible future directions. Speakers will include Wm Roger Louis, John Darwin, Stephen Howe, Saul Dubow, Stuart Ward, Joanna Lewis, Stephanie Decker, John Kent, Philip Murphy, Susan Williams and Martin Shipway
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