The history of polo in this week’s podcast brought to you by the British Society of Sport History in association with the Institute of Historical Research. Geoff talks to postgraduate researcher Luise Elsaesser of the European Institute University about her prize-winning paper on the development of polo in the British Empire in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Luise’s paper challenged Saidian views of the Orientalising process and British imperialism, and highlighted the way in which polo allowed a space for masculine display on an equal plane between colonist and coloniser.
And we had a little time to talk about the BSSH’s recent conference in Liverpool and Luise’s new role as Membership Secretary of the Society before we were defeated by a group of waiters singing Happy Birthday to somebody.
Luise also talked about her PhD research into the horse economy in Britain during the twentieth century and how a particular statue we both saw in Liverpool recently encapsulates the way in which the horse was central to British society before becoming eclipsed by the arrival of the tractor and the automobile.
Luise Elsaesser is a post-graduate researcher at the European University Institute in Florence where she is completing a PhD on the rise and fall of the horse’s role in British life. The paper that she presented at the Sport and Leisure History seminar was based on her prize-winning paper which she gave at the BSSH’s 2018 conference at the University of Westminster.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).