Embers of Empire
The Receding Frontiers of Post-Imperial Britain
Embers of Empire is a project comprising the disciplines of English, History, Linguistics and Literature embarking on a major collaborative study of the end of empire and the idea of ‘Britain’. Specifically, we propose to explore the putative relationship between the dynamics of global decolonisation and the widely debated ‘break-up of Britain’ since the Second World War.
The project examines the prevailing assumption that the end of empire was one of the root causes of the contemporary crisis of British identity. By combining linguistic, literary and historical research traditions and by looking at Britishness on a global scale, the project aims to open up the study both in terms of scope and methodology. It explores the relationship between coercive and discursive practices at empire’s end which became central to the controversies that prized open the imagined unity of global Britishness.