In Conversation: Making a British Nation
Past event archive
28 February 2013, 19:00-20:00
Tickets: £5 (£4 concessions and Gallery Supporters) Book online or call 020 7306 0055
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Thomas Babington Macaulay, Baron Macaulay
by John Partridge
Professor Catherine Hall and Professor Josephine McDonagh discuss the historian Macaulay’s dream of a united nation, and the impossibility of this dream. In Macaulay’s mind, Scotland had been successfully assimilated to England - a view that Scottish nationalists would not share – but Ireland presented more difficult problems for his dream of a unified nation leading the world. With Scotland’s independence once more hitting the headlines, this conversation will focus on nineteenth century thinking about the Union and how portraiture might illuminate these issues.
Professor Hall’s research focuses on re-thinking the relation between Britain and its empire in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She is particularly interested in the ways in which empire impacted upon metropolitan life, how the empire was lived 'at home', and how English identities, both masculine and feminine, were constituted in relation to the 'others' of the empire. Her new book, Macaulay and Son: Writing Home, Nation and Empire focuses on the significance of the Macaulays, father and son, in defining the parameters of nation and empire in the early nineteenth century. Professor Hall is the Principal Investigator of the project Legacies of British Slave Ownership.
Josephine McDonagh is Professor of Nineteenth-century Literature at King's College London. Her current research explores literature and the culture of migration in the nineteenth century. From 2009 until 2011 she led the Leverhulme funded International Network on Commodities and Culture in the Colonial World, 1851-1914.