To be held at Keele University on Wednesday 19 June 2013
Deadline for abstract submissions: 1st April 2013
Deadline for paper submissions: 1st June 2013
What do assertions of ‘Britishness’ mean today? Confronted with varying cultural associations ranging from Shakespeare, The Beatles, Winston Churchill and the rule of law, responsibility and fairness, for years left-leaning multiculturalists considered claims of national identity tainted by imperial history and colonial cruelties. For many, the legacy of such a dubious past appear reinforced by recent UK military interventions abroad and restrictive domestic immigration policies. However, following apparently strong public support for the Diamond Jubilee, and the success of the 2012 London Olympics, claims have been made for a new and more positive and energising discourse on British national identity.
This one-day workshop hosted by the University of Keele in association with the GlobalFaultlines will critically explore notions of Britishness and evaluate the key issues involved in formulating shared understandings of British national identity. We will consider the contradictions of British liberalism and imperialism and their legacies for national identity today. In particular, does the association of Britishness with liberal values of due process, human rights and toleration distract us from persistent global associations of the nation with imperial practices of European history, which perhaps manifest in new and even more troubling forms of imperialism? With the British economy facing the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, to what extent is ‘humanitarian intervention’ via military activism, a new name for the old concept of imperialism and its associated control of resources? What are the politics of inclusion and exclusion around reconstructed notions of Britishness in response? Does the liberal-multicultural emphasis on group rights and differentiated citizenship assist or hinder a project of Britishness? Does the label ‘Britishness’ promise support for liberal values of tolerance, fairness, equality and respect; or is this mere self-congratulation, obscuring extensive problems such as unequal resources and social misrecognition? Will teaching Britishness to young people support a stronger sense of inclusion in the processes of local democracy? And what value does Britishness hold in the context of internationalisation and globalisation?
Abstracts of between 300-500 words should be sent by 1st April 2013 to Monica Mookherjee (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and Farzana Shain (email@example.com) as members of the organising committee. We welcome contributions from doctoral or early career to established academics.
School of Politics, International Relations and Philosophy
Claus Moser CM1.04
Tel: +44(0)1782 733934
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Visit the website at http://www.keele.ac.uk/spire/britishness/
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