The event below has been cancelled.

The International Studies Public Forum and UCI Interdisciplinary Center for the Scientific Study of Ethics Morality present

“Violence, Liberalism and the End of the British Empire after the Second World War”
with Caroline Elkins, Professor of History, Harvard University

Thursday, January 23, 2014
5:00-6:50 p.m.
Social Science Plaza A, Room 1100

Systematized violence punctuated the end of the British Empire in the aftermath of the Second World War. While Britain cut its losses in some parts of its empire, as in India, it also sought to establish itself in the shifting world order through imperial resurgence in other parts of the globe. From Palestine and Malaya to Kenya and Cyprus, British colonial and military forces, along with MI5, fought wars to defend economic and geopolitical interests, all the while positioning the island nation in the shifting landscape of the Cold War. By examining the movement of people and ideas from one counter-insurgency theater to the next, Britain's uses and logics of violence and torture against local populations emerge, as do the mutually constitutive ideologies of liberalism and imperialism.

Professor Elkins's first book, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain's Gulag in Kenya, was awarded the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. It was also selected as one of the Economist's best history books for 2005, was a New York Times editor's choice, and was a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Award. She and her research were also the subjects of a 2002 BBC documentary titled, Kenya: White Terror, which was awarded the International Committee of the Red Cross Award at the Monte Carlos Film Festival. Professor Elkins is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The Atlantic, and The New Republic. She has also appeared on numerous radio and television programs including NPR's All Things Considered, BBC's The World, and PBS's Charlie Rose. Professor Elkins's current research interests include colonial violence and post-conflict reconciliation in Africa, and violence and the decline of the British Empire. She is currently working on two projects: one examining the effects of violence and amnesia on local communities and nation-building in post-independent Kenya; the other analyzing British counter-insurgency operations after the Second World War, with case studies including Palestine, Malaya, Kenya, Cyprus, and Nyasaland. Professor Elkins teaches courses on modern Africa, protest in East Africa, human rights in Africa, and British colonial violence in the 20th century.

For further information, please contact Gloria Simpson, or 949-824-8687.

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