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This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History   Leave a comment

Imperial & Global Forum

Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles (1950) is collection of science fiction short stories about the colonization of Mars by humans fleeing an environmentally devastated Earth and coming into conflict with aboriginal Martians (left). The film poster for Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist science fiction film, Space Is The Place (1974), (right).

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From colonizing Mars to the imperial origins of gun rights, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history.

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Posted December 16, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

Quakers and the Nobel Peace Prize – 70 year anniversary   Leave a comment

Quaker Strongrooms

Nobel telegram1 Telegram informing FSC of the award, 31st October 1947 (Library reference: TEMP MSS 54/2)

Yesterday marked the the 70th anniversary of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Friends Service Council and American Friends Service Committee, representing British and Americans Quakers more widely.

The anniversary feels all the more special this year, as the recently announced 2017 winner, International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), is an organisation which represents a cause, the abolition of nuclear weapons, which Quakers have worked on for decades.

Many see this year’s award as a statement from the Nobel Committee on global affairs; a timely message of support for the current UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons; and a boost for pacifist grassroots activism.

In 1947 too, Quakers believed that their award of the Peace Prize should be a stimulus to the ordinary person involved in day-to-day activism. The following…

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Posted December 11, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

Body Theology: Or Why Only Eucharistic Action Makes Us True to Ourselves   Leave a comment

The Armchair Theologian

This post starts with a big claim: Good political theology involves doing body theology. To reflect on the theological significance of a polity means reflecting on what makes up a political community; not merely a priori individuals, but needful bodies, in need of care, love and shelter. Politics at its most human concerns the transfer of resources in relation to these frail vessels of blood and bone. The deep question of political order is: which bodies are to be included? And which excluded? Yet in our modern age we are in danger in forgetting this fundamental reality. We are becoming increasingly obsessed with politics as a series of technological fixes to structural problems, rather than politics as relation. We start believing that we don’t need each other; that in some strange way individual human intellects can find ways of guaranteeing individual salvation; through the disembodied world of the internet or…

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Posted December 11, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

The normalisation of corruption   Leave a comment

Nick Baines's Blog

A cursory glance at social media makes it clear that there is huge concern – across political and cultural divides – about the degeneration of public life, behaviour and language. It is not hard to see why.

Against the explosion of sexual harassment claims (which exposes decades of ‘normal’ behaviour that went unchallenged because of its normality), we also see an eruption of trial by media. I have little sympathy for those who find themselves caught out, but do worry about those who are innocent, but now find themselves tried and sentenced by allegation. There must surely be implications for what I am calling the integrity of the public discourse.

But, we now have a US President who is a proven liar, misogynist and sexual predator (by his own taped evidence), and he continues in power. The lying and misrepresentation does not appear to disturb those who would have strung…

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Posted December 7, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

Reminder – Call for Applications: Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2018   Leave a comment

Imperial & Global Forum


Reminder – Call for Applications:

Global Humanitarianism Research Academy 2018

International Research Academy on the History of Global Humanitarianism

Academy Leaders:   

Fabian Klose (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz)

Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz)

Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter)

in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva)

and with support by the German Historical Institute London

Venues:  University of Exeter & Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva

Dates:               9-20 July 2018

Deadline:        31 December 2017

Information at:, and

The international Global Humanitarianism | Research Academy(GHRA) offers research training to PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross…

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Posted December 6, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

Bob Dylan: The Gospel Years   Leave a comment

Nick Baines's Blog

A few weeks ago I interviewed author Clinton Heylin on his new book Trouble in Mind in which he recounts Bob Dylan’s Gospel years (1979-81). Dylan produced three albums of varying quality: Slow Train Coming, Saved and Shot of Love.

As we discovered, you can’t speak of Dylan without speaking of mortality, humanity and the stuff of life and death.

And bishops don’t spend all their time in church.

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Posted December 6, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

War heroes, armchair lawyers, and imperial legacies   Leave a comment

Imperial & Global Forum

Paulus Vladmiri, the Latin rendering of Paweł Włodkowic, author of the Tractatus de Potestate Papae et Imperatoris Respectu Infidelium (1415)

Edward Cavanagh
University of Cambridge

Complete autonomy in the waging of war is a proud attribute of countries like Australia. It has been so ever since the imperial crown finally got around to delegating this aspect of the royal prerogative to peripheral nations of the British Commonwealth in the wake of World War II. But with power comes responsibility, so the old adage goes, otherwise complacency is allowed to set in, blurring history and politics in the vindication of bellicosity abroad. If this trend cannot be countered with expressions of criticism, then history suggests that we might well have surrendered, for the time being at least, all expectations we might have for pacific reforms of any kind.

Chris Masters, a prominent Australian investigative journalist, has just published a book, No…

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Posted December 5, 2017 by TeamBritanniaHu in Uncategorized

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