I’m excited to have joined the Care for the Future team as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the summer of 2018. I’ll be working with Professor Andrew Thompson on the project ‘Afterlives of Empire: Thinking Forward Through an Imperial Past’. This is a project which speaks to my own research interests, focusing on decolonisation and the post-colonial relationship between Britain and Kenya. This is explored in my first book Kenya and Britain after Independence: Beyond Neo-Colonialism (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). I’m especially interested in the continuities which persist through the moment of independence, and the way that ‘imperial’ assumptions continue to shape relationships long after independence. However, I also argue that the relationship between Britain and Kenya was not a simple neo-colonial relationship where the British could dictate; rather, that the Kenyan elite shaped this at least as much as the British.
I’m looking forward to broadening my focus beyond Africa, and to doing more research on human rights and humanitarianism. I have previously done research into business, military, and political relations, but focusing on NGOs and humanitarian organisations will be a new experience. I’ll be doing some of the archival research for the project, and one of my first tasks is to visit the British Council of Churches archives to explore their activities linked to decolonisation.
Prior to joining the team, I’ve been working as a Teaching Associate at the University of Cambridge since 2015, teaching mostly African History and World History. Before that, I completed my PhD at Durham University in 2015.
Dr Berny Sèbe
Senior Lecturer in Colonial and Post-Colonial Studies
Principal investigator of the ‘Outposts of Conquest’ project (www.birmingham.ac.uk/empires)
Empires of Emptiness: What the past tells us about desert warfare in the Sahara – at a time when it is being fought
When it comes to fighting jihadists in the desert, forget about the buzzwords now commonly associated with radical Islam elsewhere: social networks, internet recruitment or online propaganda. Of course, cybercafes are not entirely absent, even in the most remote oases, so cyber-recruitment and e-propaganda are not entirely irrelevant, but there are more important aspects to the picture to be taken into account when it comes to war in the desert. Continue reading →
Past Matters, Research Futures will take place at the Royal Society, London, 12-13 December 2016 andwill showcase the exciting research conducted by Early Career Researchers (ECRs) related to Care for the Future: Thinking Forward through the Past, one of four strategic research themes supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). ECRs are represented in the theme in a variety of ways, and are recognised as playing a key role in its development, dynamism and legacy. Continue reading →
The latest film from the Arts and Humanities Research Council looks at how arts and humanities academics are working with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva to help refresh understanding on how principled humanitarian action is delivered, both in the past and today. Read more on the YouTube post.
Paul Cooke (University of Leeds) describes his film-education project ‘Using Film to Examine Heritage, Identity and Global Citizenship’: supporting the work of the Bautzen Memorial to Engage New Audiences’
Even as Red Cross and Red Crescent societies around the world mark the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the movement’s Fundamental Principles, there is a palpable sense that they are at risk. Threatened not only by the resurgence of state sovereignty and proliferation of non-state armed groups, the very universality of the principles may be in question. As the twenty-first century draws on, are the principles of ‘impartiality’, ‘neutrality’ and ‘independence’ still fit for purpose as Western influence wanes and the nature of conflict itself rapidly evolves?
The Red Cross’ principles have marinated in a century and a half of humanitarian history. That history matters. The past helps us to understand how different types of threat to humanitarian principles have emerged from different types of conflict and geopolitical environments. History also sheds light on how, despite such obstacles, the principles came to acquire the public prominence and moral authority they currently possess. Continue reading →
The Italian Sociological Association (A.I.S.), the European Sociological Association (ESA) and the Department of Political Sciences, University of Naples Federico II, propose an international conference on the following topic:
From memories to the future
Collective memories and horizons of expectations
in contemporary Europe Napoli – June 4/5, 2015
With the participation of:
Labex “Le passés dans le présent”, Université Paris Ouest Nanterre
Art & Humanities Research Council “Care for the Future”, University of Exeter
Department of Social Sciences, University “Federico II”, Naples
Department of Economics and Statistics, University “Federico II”, Naples
Department of Human and Social Sciences, University L’Orientale, Naples
Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Calabria, Rende
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