Further Reading (2014-15)

Relevant publications and books

If you enjoyed Empire and would like to further your reading on the subject, below are some of the best books published in the last couple of years that cover a range of subjects and perspectives:

John Darwin, Unfinished Empire: The Global Expansion of Britain (2013) A very readable Penguin paperback by a distinguished historian of the British empire—Darwin argues that the British empire was many things: never a coherent set of ideas or institutions, never a ‘finished’ project.

Catherine Hall, Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain (2012) A scholarly study, but very readable, from one of the leading historians of the British empire working today—Hall is especially interested in how empire shaped and made modern Britons . . . their world-views, politics, tastes and attitudes.

Ashley Jackson, The British Empire: A Very Short Introduction (2013) The best way into the subject for anyone looking for a short introduction by a professional historian. Shorter, snappier and very different to the Paxman book.

Philippa Levine, The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset (2013) Probably the best student textbook around at the moment—an revised and expanded edition of a synopsis that seeks to narrate the history of the empire while reflecting the new findings and scholarly debates that have shaped this field in recent years.


Below are Empire related publications, written by our very own researchers and staff

Curating Empire, Museums and the British imperial experience, Edited by Sarah Longair and John McAleer.

Exporting Empire, Africa, colonial officials and the construction of the British imperial state, c.1900−39, by Christopher Prior.

States of Emergency, Postcolonialism across the Disciplines, by Stephen Morton

Transatlantic Abolitionism, Transatlantic Abolitionism in the Age of Revolution
An International History of Anti-slavery, c.1787–1820 by J. R. Oldfield.

Cannibalism in Colonial Jamestown by Rachel B. Herrmann

The Partition of India by Ian Talbot

Slaveholders in Jamaica, Colonial Society and Culture during the Era of Abolition by Christer Petley.

In 2007 colleagues in History contributed to Southampton: Gateway to Empire.


Across the University and our community we have experts that are leading research and education in topics that relate to this year’s book, Empire. This page directs you to courses, individuals and University webpages all linked to the One Book, One Southampton 2014/2015 choice, as well as detailing external sites and information.

Explore Empire further, develop your knowledge and get involved!


University websites and information

Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies

The University has a Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies. The Centre was founded in 2006 and brings together a wide range of research interests, relevant to Empire from staff in History and other disciplines in Humanities. http://www.southampton.ac.uk/history/research/centre_for_imperial_and_post_colonial_studies.page

Slavery and Revolution  – Dr Christer Petley’s website

Dr Christer Petley from Humanities (History), has a website that is dedicated to slavery and revolution in Jamaica – two key themes in Empire. Take a look at the site found here: http://blog.soton.ac.uk/slaveryandrevolution/

Empire related content from the Hartley library

Empire Online is a remarkable collection of readable essays by experts. It includes selections from a range of primary documents all about different aspects of imperialism and colonial rule, with beautiful illustrations: http://www.empire.amdigital.co.uk/

The Oates Collection is a collection of national significance, containing rare books about aspects of British imperial history. It is in two parts, one on Africa: http://library.soton.ac.uk/oatesafrica, the other on slavery: http://library.soton.ac.uk/oatesslavery


External sites

BBC—‘Empire and Seapower’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/empire_seapower/ An excellent collection of readable essays and images that help bring the histories of empire and Britain overseas to life.

CASBAH: Caribbean Studies; Black and Asian History: http://www.casbah.ac.uk/ A website designed to help people study these topics—including getting started with looking for black and Asian ancestors.


University courses and modules related to Empire

Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds MOOC

The MOOC from the Centre for Maritime Archaeology at the University touches on the theme of maritime empires. Why not sign up to the MOOC and deepen your Empire knowledge by going underwater! http://www.southampton.ac.uk/moocs/shipwrecks_and_submerged_world.shtml

Some first year modules at the University touch on aspects of British imperial and colonial history:

HIST1151, ‘World Histories’: This is a new compulsory core module taken by all History students. It takes a global overview of the study of history—and therefore includes many of the themes of trade, connection, migration, conquest and imperialism

HIST1089, ‘Histories of Empire’: An optional ‘Cases and Contexts’ module that focuses on the theme of empire in general and the British empire in particular.

HIST1083, ‘The Northern Ireland Troubles’: A Cases and Contexts module about one of the legacies of the British empire close to home—the conflict in Northern Ireland.

HIST1111, ‘Gandhi and Gandhism’: A Cases and Contexts about a man who was in some respects a product of the British empire as well as one of its most eloquent critics.

HIST1118, ‘The Seven Years War and Britain’s Global Empire’: A C&C about the war between 1754 and 1763 that defined British imperial history in the second half of the eighteenth century.

HIST1137, ‘Revolutionary America’: A C&C about the events that led to an imperial civil war in the British empire between 1775 and 1783—leading to the creation of the USA and the reconfiguration of the British empire.

Second and third year modules include options about the British Atlantic world, British India, the Voyages of Captain Cook, Visions of Empire, Race and immigration to Britain, Slavery and Freedom, and the rise and fall of the British empire in Africa. Explore History’s website for more information: www.southampton.ac.uk/history