imperial watch

From Chowrangi:Empire

Kumuda kindly drew my attention to historians Eric Hobsbawm, Niall Ferguson, Priyamvada Gopal, Linda Colley and Robert Beckford’s appearence on BBC’s Start The Week. They were to be “examining how Britain and other countries around the world have been changed by their experience of empire…discussing whether Britain should apologise and make reparation for its imperial past or glory in it, and asking whether the twenty-first century will see the birth of new empires.” You can listen in on the above link.

The program is related to BBC’s This Spectred Isle: Empire – A 90 Part History of the British Empire. The TSI site has excellent profiles, maps, timelines etc. about the British Empire [def. some stuff to archive for class-material].

update: So…I finally listened to the show. Niall Ferguson gets it…exactly wrong” said Gopal [author of Literary Radicalism In India: Gender, Nation And The Transition To Independence] near the end of the show. Just about on everything, I might add. Ferguson starts off with arguing that World Cup Football would not be possible without the British Empire. Hobsbawn corrects him. And it goes, well, uphill from there. Ferguson’s shining moment could be when he asserted that the indigenous nationalist struggles, though well-meaning, got nothing done – and that the British Empire chose to give up their empire only because it was drained after fighting the Nazis.

More here.