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The University of Southampton
Centre for Imperial and Post Colonial Studies

'Our man on the spot': Reassessing the 'imperial periphery' Event

20 July 2016
Avenue Campus

For more information regarding this event, please email Joseph Higgins at .

Event details

The Centre for Imperial and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Southampton is delighted to host a one-day postgraduate conference to bring together postgraduate and early career researchers from a variety of perspectives to consider the significance of the imperial periphery to the understanding of empires and imperial rule.


The key questions for the conference are as follows: What is there still to learn from conceptualising empire through the scope of metropolitan and peripheral relationships? Are the categorisations of metropole and periphery, formal and informal, still a useful and effective way of approaching the study of empire? Have they been superseded by other networked or transactional models of empire? How did colonizers and colonized ‘on the spot’ conceive of their position within the spatiality of empire?

Register to attend

To register to attend, please email Joseph Higgins

Conference Programme

Registration: 9:00 – 9:30

Welcome and Introduction: 9:30 – 9:45

Showcasing the Periphery: 9:45 – 11:15

Helena Drysdale (University of Exeter) - Our man on the spot: Greece in the footsteps of George Bowen (1821-1899), Victorian traveller, writer and statesman

Alex Ferguson (University of Southampton) - Press Management on the Periphery: The U.S. Embassy in Saigon, the American Press and the Franco-Viet Minh War, 1950-54

Khaleelah Jones (University of Bristol) - Broadcasting Africa: Coverage of African Decolonisation in Panorama, 1956-1964

Morning Break: 11:15 – 11:30

Managing the Metropole: 11:30 – 1:00

Evangelos (Aggelis) Zarokostas (University of Bristol) - Colonial expansion, official agendas and the role of officials ‘on the spot’: The case of the Ionian Islands under British protection in 1815

Diego Repenning (University of Bristol) - The Russian Empire as a Colonial State: Agency and Empire

Kevin A. Tang (University of Oxford) - Colonial Industrialisation and British Imperial Policy in the Great Depression: Merchants and Manufacturing in Singapore and Hong Kong

Lunch: 1:00 – 2:00

Life on the Edge: Conflict, Resistance, and Exchange: 2:00 – 4:00

Oliver Finnegan (University of Cambridge) - Philadelphia Quakers and the Trope of Piracy, 1691-1705

Mohammad Muazzam Sharif (University of Southampton) - Khudai Khidmatgar’s nonviolent resistance against the British Raj and the role of Pukhto dramas

Devin Dattan (University of York) - Bazaar Tales: Victorian Special Correspondents and Indigenous Knowledge Networks

Jack Wilson (University of Southampton) - 'The white settlers were a protected species; they were safe with their own laws’: The Limitations of Biopolitics in Australian Dispossession in Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington and Rabbit Proof Fence directed by Phillip Noyce

Afternoon Break: 4:00 – 4:15

Visions and Attitudes of the Periphery: 4:15 – 5:45

Simon Mackley (University of Exeter) - Governing the edges of empire: British Liberal politics, the South African question and the challenge of the periphery, 1895-1899

Sarah Westbury (University of Southampton) - ‘Such an inspiration to us all’: the British Empire and the restoration of HMS Victory

Rob Joy (University of Southampton) - British Agricultural Officials in East Africa: Cultivating the Colonial after Independence

Conclusions and Finish: 5:45 – 6:00



The conference will be held on Highfield Campus in Building 34 (School of Education), Room 3001 (Lecture Theatre). Building 34 is located ‘behind’ the Hartley Library and is opposite the Student Services Building/Vice-Chancellor’s Office. Once you enter Building 34, turn left, go up the stairs, and Room 3001 (Lecture Theatre) is on the right. A map of the campus can be found here.

How to get here

Train & Coach

Fast trains from London and Bournemouth/Weymouth stop at Southampton Central and Southampton Airport Parkway. Trains from Portsmouth and Bristol/South Wales stop at Southampton Central. You can find details of routes and timetables on the National Rail website.

National Express provides regular coach services to Southampton from central London, Heathrow, Birmingham, Bournemouth and the north. Southampton Coach Station is at Western Esplanade, in the city centre, close to the train station. Some coach services also stop at Highfield Campus.

You can continue your journey to our campuses using our own unilink bus services or taxi. The unilink bus fare is £2 for a single or £3.50 for an all-day pass. Taxi fares from the city centre are usually £6-10, depending on the campus.

Highfield Campus is three miles from Southampton Central, and two miles from Southampton Airport Parkway. unilink bus: U1


Visitor parking: There is a small Pay and Display car park for visitors, accessed from University Road. Please note that graduations will be taking place at the same time as the conference and demand for these spaces will be extremely high.

Southampton is 75 miles (120km) from London. The M3 and M27 provide fast, direct access to the city. Postcode for satnav: SO17 1BJ.

From the M3 - Exit at junction 14 (Southampton A33).

From the M27 - For Highfield Campus exit at junction 5 (Southampton Airport).

Food & Drink

Lunch will be provided for speakers and registered attendees.

There are a number of cafes which serve food & drinks on campus, as well as a shop which is located next to the student’s union.

After the conference you are welcome to join us for an evening meal, which is a 5 minute walk from where the conference is being held.

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