Andrew W. Mellon Regional Fellow in the Humanities
2013—2014 Forum on Violence
Associate Professor of English, West Chester University
Constructing Imperial Violence: Britain's "Migrated Archive"
This project explores how public perceptions of imperial violence were shaped by selected British colonial administrations in the years immediately prior to independence. It draws on primary archival research at the "Migrated Archives," a collection of secret colonial documents recently released at the National Archives in London. My approach maps the ways in which colonial administrations sought to manage external perceptions of late colonial violence, and the conceptions of race and ethnicity involved in defining colonial populations alternately as illegitimately violent and as proper inheritors of independence and freedom. This project will contribute to providing a richer context for understanding the development of contemporary conceptions of national identity, race, and legitimate violence in post-imperial Britain.