Skip to content

Special issue - Empire and Education

Utopian Universities: A Global History of the New Campuses of the 1960s / eds. Jill Pellew, Miles Taylor

No image found

Review Date: 08 January 2021

The most remarkable feature of the mould-breaking expansion of higher education that took place across the world in the 1960s was the foundation of some 200 entirely new universities.


Films for the Colonies: Cinema and the Preservation of the British Empire / Tom Rice

No image found

Review Date: 02 October 2020

Tom Rice’s book offers an extensive and cogent history of the Colonial Film Unit (CFU) from its early conception in the minds of bureaucrats and educational specialists to its dissolution following the wave of independence movements in the mid-20th century.


Schooling Diaspora: Women, Education, and the Overseas Chinese in British Malaya and Singapore / Karen M. Teoh

No image found

Review Date: 03 October 2019

In 1899 the Straits Chinese physician and community leader Lim Boon Keng made the case that female education was beneficial to the community as a whole: ‘Keep your women in a low, ignorant and servile state, and in time you will become a low, ignorant and servile people – male and female!’ (p. 69).


Children, Childhood and Youth in the British World / eds. Shirleene Robinson, Simon Sleight

No image found

Review Date: 14 July 2016

Within the burgeoning field of the history of childhood this collection attempts to offer something unique. It seeks to contribute to our understanding of the lived experience of children across the British world from the mid-18th to the mid-20th century and considers the construction of childhood within a global network of empire.


Imperial Childhoods and Christian Mission: Education and Emotions in South India and Denmark / Karen Vallgårda

No image found

Review Date: 01 October 2015

Though Denmark was once an imperial power, it was only ever a minor one. For that and other reasons the imperial past figures but little in histories of Danish nationhood.(1) As other European states extended their influence and expanded their territories overseas in the age of ‘high imperialism’ Denmark was adapting to the loss of territory, through war, to Prussia and Austria in 1864.


Education, Travel and the ‘Civilisation’ of the Victorian Working Classes / Michele M. Strong

No image found

Review Date: 16 October 2014

Michelle M. Strong has produced a very detailed analysis of educational tours by working-class travellers in the last four decades of the 19th century. The book consists of five chapters, four of which discuss travel to the Paris exhibitions of the second half of the 19th century, in 1861, 1867, 1878 and 1889 and to the Vienna exhibition in 1873.


Empire’s Children: Child Emigration, Welfare, and the Decline of the British World, 1869–1967 / Ellen Boucher

No image found

Review Date: 02 October 2014

Empire’s Children is far from the now well-worn tale of imperial decline. It locates the shifting fortunes of the child emigration movement at the heart of the reconfiguration of identities, political economies, and nationalisms in Britain, Canada, Australia, and Rhodesia.


Young People and the Shaping of Public Space in Melbourne, 1870–1914 / Simon Sleight

No image found

Review Date: 25 September 2014

Posted up on my fridge door is one of those certificates with which any parent of primary school aged children over the past decade or so would be familiar – accessorised with stars and stickers and smiley faces, the award acknowledges one of the kids for their ‘Awesome Effort for Remaining Open to Continuous Learning’.


Empire of Scholars: Universities, Networks and the British Academic World, 1850-1939 / Tamson Pietsch

No image found

Review Date: 30 January 2014

Tamson Pietsch is a lecturer in Imperial and Colonial History at Brunel University, London. Her own academic pathway from Australia to Oxford mirrors that of her predecessors who feature in this study of the ‘Empire of Scholars’. We need to know more, she argues, about who made knowledge in the Empire and the social and intellectual context which informed that knowledge.


Cuban Youth and Revolutionary Values / Denise Blum

No image found

Review Date: 01 August 2011

Denise Blum spent 15 months in Cuba in 1998–9 researching the question of how socialist ideology is taught, and how young people react to the teaching. Her research was focused primarily on a 9th-grade class in a poor neighborhood that was mostly black.


No Image Found

This special issue has been curated by Sandip Kana, RHS Marshall Fellow 2020-21 at the Institute of Historical Research. This special issue provides a select overview of historical research on the relationship between education and empire in a global context. The included works cover a broad range of themes and offer a challenging perspective on the development of educational ideals, structures, and institutions across a wide range of geographies and time periods. Education is not an area of historical enquiry that has received as much attention as it should. These works offer an insight into the fundamental importance of the role of education within imperial structures of power and how education was used to further, strengthen, and consolidate imperial sovereignty. The works listed here also offer an alternative picture of educational development, one that focuses on the agency of local indigenous actors and communities that worked outside the formal state structures. In the absence of the state in furthering local forms of education, for children and women, we can see how local communities forged networks to establish their own educational institutions. In many instances this formed part of larger anti-colonial movements and youth movements that manifested as direct challenges to state authority. Thus, they revealed the anxieties and fears that underpinned state power and colonial knowledge. Collectively, these 11 works offer an insight into the importance of the relationship between education and empire and touch upon its legacies in the era of decolonisation at the end of empire.

Special issues

No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found
No Image Found