Amanda Behm

Academic Year: 
From Yale
Exchange Partners: 
Cambridge University
Research Interest: 
Historians of Empire And Imperial History In Britain, 1880-1935

In the late nineteenth century, British imperial history arose as a discrete academic discipline and profession; separate, indeed, from general modern history, a new and controversial field in its own right. Moreover, it did so amidst moments of pitched intellectual and political crisis. While colonial nationalists assailed existing rationales of British rule, and while the generation s most charismatic politicians clashed over competing visions of the British nation and empire in front of a dramatically expanded electorate, Britons confronted and redefined their role as metropolitan citizens of an overseas empire. Indeed, that overseas empire itself became a unique object of study. Amanda s project asks why, on academic and political fronts, imperial history emerged at this time and took widely varied shapes among different groups. By analyzing the varied contemporary responses to these problems, she hopes to promote a richer understanding of the contested development of ideas on imperial citizenship, governance and political economy in the years both preceding and well past the First World War.