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School of History

EMPIRE IN PERIL: INVASION-SCARES AND POPULAR POLITICS IN BRITAIN 1890-1914

14 November 2013 - 15 November 2013

Time: 8:56 - 8:56am
Venue: Queen Mary University of London

 

Public Lecture & Interdisciplinary Workshop

Queen Mary, University of London, 14-15 November 2013

Schedule of Events

We have an exciting line-up of papers from established academics, and exciting young researchers, including:

  • A public lecture from Dr Nicholas Hiley (University of Kent): 'Vernon Kell's perfect nightmare: The German invasion of Britain in 1914'
  • An introductory talk on 'Britain and the Empire' from Emeritus Professor Bernard Porter (University of Newcastle) 
  • A key note address from Dr A. Michael Matin (Warren Wilson College, US): 'The 1913 Airship Panic and the Cultivation of Fear'

For full details of the schedule:

EMPIRE IN PERIL - final programme.pdf [PDF 475KB] [PDF]

Speakers

  • Professor Bernard Porter (Newcastle (em), UK)
  • Dr Nicholas Hiley (Kent, UK)
  • Dr Michael Matin (Warren-Wilson, US)
  • Dr Matthew Seligmann (Brunel, UK)
  • Professor Michael Paris (University of Central Lancashire, UK)

Summary

This year marks the first centenary of one of the most popular examples of the invasion-scare genre: Saki’s (H.H. Munro) When William Came (1913). Saki’s famous account imagines the defeat of Britain at the hand of an invading German army. The cultural and political concerns of Edwardian Britain lay at the heart of the novel’s masochistic narrative: degeneration, the rise of modernity, militarism, national security, decadence, germanophobia, a battle for global hegemony, and imperial decline. As such, the narrative reflects the general convergence of popular politics, the public and the press, which coalesced around a repertoire of anxieties, embodied in the trope of the ‘German Menace’ and foreign intrigues in the metropole and in the empire.

The aim of this workshop is to facilitate a greater integration of the study of invasion-scares and popular politics at the intersection of divergent approaches. It is suggested that a more thorough investigation of the interconnectedness of press, politics and popular culture is essential to furthering our understanding of key aspects of Edwardian society and British identity on the eve of the Great War. Responding to a recent surge of interest in the pre-war period, this workshop will stimulate debate and reflection on the latest research in these areas, and identify avenues for further study, based upon a broader and more inclusive approach to historical analysis.

Key Themes

INVASION-SCARE LITERATURE · SPY-FEVER · ARMAMENT RACE · ANGLO-GERMAN

RIVALRY · POLITICS OF THE PRESS · IMAGINING FUTURE WARS · PANIC AND

ANXIETIES · POPULAR POLITICS · FOREIGN INTRIGUES AT HOME AND IN THE EMPIRE

Call for Papers

The call for papers is now closed.

Download the Call for Papers [PDF 357KB] [PDF]

Contacts

Kim A. Wagner & Patrick Longson