Posts Tagged ‘Empire’

Sport & Leisure History Seminar 2019 #5

February 27, 2019

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Monday 11th March 2019

It’s a real pleasure to be one of the convenors for the British Society of Sports History sponsored Sport & Leisure History seminar series at the Insitute of Historical Research. And this term we have a diverse range of speakers and subjects to pique the interest of the historically inclined.

After an excellent exploration of the deveopment of the fashion for replica kits in football with Chris Stride we take a radical change of direction for our next paper. On Monday March 11th Luise Elsaesser of the European University Institute in Florence will give a paper on the role of polo in the development of the British Empire in the late-ninteenth and early-twentieth centuries.

Not only are we promised some ground-breaking research on cultural transfer at the height of empire, there’s going to be some serious moustache action in the presentation.

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You can find her abstract below …

‘Dashing About with the Greatest Gallantry’: Polo in India and the British Metropole, 1862-1914

The period from 1870 to the Great War was defined by a new and more intensive phase of imperialism. This presentation analyses the impact of Empire on the metropole. In suggesting that the imperial space was not a one-way street the example of the Indian game of polo is used. Unlike most imperial sports, polo was adapted by the British from their colonial subjects, creating the opportunity of a common cultural space. How did polo influence socio-cultural and political power constellations in India and the metropole? More nuance on regional contexts and the effects of sport on specific groups will be provided. Unpacking the resulting interdependencies, ambivalences, and the mutability of polo in a British imperial self-image, the paper does not neglect Indian agency. Polo showcases an interrelation of ideas and beliefs which are used to understand the respective environment as well as the internationalisation of sport.

This is only the one of a number of series of stimulating talks to be held at the IHR in the S&L series. For the details of seminars forthcoming in 2019 go to the IHR’s website. The talks take place in the John S Cohen on the second floor – doors open from 17:15 and the seminar to start promptly at 17:30. I hope to see you there.


Imperial Wanderers: Cricket Tours in the High Noon of Empire

June 1, 2017

In my capacity as a convenor of the Sport and Leisure History seminar series at the IHR it’s a great pleasure to flag up the forthcoming paper by Dr Prashant Kidambi on early Indian cricket tours to the UK. I’ve written about his work on a previous occasion so if you want to get a flavour of what to expect should you come along to the IHR do read that post. For those interested in cricket history, the history of the British empire or Indian history it promises to be a rewarding evening with the chance to discuss the subject with Prashant in a relaxed but intellectually focused atmosphere. Click here for details.


#cricket #India #history

Zak Ové at Somerset House

October 9, 2016

Thursday I was fortunate enough to catch a talk at Somerset House with (among others) the artist Zak Ové and friends. Rarely have I heard a panel talk so passionately and lucidly about art and I only wish that I’d remembered to take my notebook so that I would have something on which to base this blog! Oh well … I hope I’ll get the chance to hear him again. In the meantime you can see his work (for the rest of today at least as it’s disappearing tomorrow) at Somerset House.

Black and Blue. The Invisible Man and The Masque of Blackness  is a site specific installation that Ové had made to fill the courtyard. It consists of forty identical black figures whose style is inspired by African art. Ové, who is from a Trinidadian background, said that he was partly concerned to challenge the absence of reference to the black experience of Empire in the history of Somerset House which once was home to the Navy Office, where men such as Cook and Nelson would once have come to collect their pay. And now, if briefly, we have a troop of totemic black men overlaying their footsteps and standing proudly at the heart of the present-day multi-cultural London. I only wish all public art were as good.

And if you do go (and you have coin in pocket) I’d recommend popping into Spring or Pennethorne’s for eats. If you want to see more of Ové’s works go to the Vigo Gallery website where they also have a preview of his upcoming shows.

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