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Material Turns in British History: IV. Empire in India, Cancel Cultures and the Country House

Finn, M; (2021) Material Turns in British History: IV. Empire in India, Cancel Cultures and the Country House. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society , 31 pp. 1-21. 10.1017/S0080440121000013. Green open access

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Abstract

This lecture seeks to historicise the so-called cancel culture associated with the ‘culture wars’ waged in Britain in c. 2020. Focusing on empire and on the domestic, British impacts of Georgian-era imperial material cultures, it argues that dominant proponents of these ‘culture wars’ in the public sphere fundamentally distort the British pasts they vociferously claim to preserve and defend. By failing to acknowledge the extent to which eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British men and women themselves contested imperial expansion under the aegis of the East India Company – and decried its impact on British material culture, including iconic stately homes – twenty-first-century exponents of culture wars who rail against the present-day rise of histories of race and empire in the heritage sector themselves erase key layers of British experience. In so doing, they impoverish public understanding of the past.

Type: Article
Title: Material Turns in British History: IV. Empire in India, Cancel Cultures and the Country House
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0080440121000013
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1017/S0080440121000013
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of History
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10133601
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