This event is the third in our series of Architectural History and Theory seminars for semester two, 2016-17.
It will be given by our colleague Alex Bremner, Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh.
Alex's paper will engage with questions of historiography in relation to study of British imperial and colonial architecture, asking what it means to speak of a ‘British’ empire in the context of the four nations that make up the United Kingdom (England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) in light of their contributions to the built environment of empire. How should such a study be framed given the cultural and ethnic mix that characterised Britain’s imperial enterprise? Indeed, are terms such as ‘Britain’ and ‘British’, in their generic and unqualified sense, too fuzzy to be useful any longer? Should more effort be made to disaggregate these terms in an effort to tease out the specific identities, experiences, and allegiances of the architects and builders who shaped Britain’s imperial enterprise? What’s at stake in attempting to do so? And how can it change the way we understand the problems and complexities of colonial agency? These questions, and more, will be discussed in relation to the reassessment of Scotland’s specific contribution to the architecture of empire, both within the British Isles and the wider British world.