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Forthcoming from the Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018: Facing Empire: Indigenous Experiences in a Revolutionary Age, 1760-1840, edited by Kate Fullagar and Michael A. McDonnell

Available October 2018. Pre-order here.

 

Advance Praise for Facing Empire:

"A new, compelling, and important examination of the British Empire from the perspectives of the colonized during the transitional period of 1760 to 1840. Demonstrating that themes of indigeneity might well stretch beyond the conventional reaches of the burgeoning field of indigenous studies, Facing Empire will help set the agenda for future research."

— Gregory Evans Dowd, University of Michigan, author of Groundless: Rumors, Legends, and Hoaxes on the Early American Frontier

"I am tremendously impressed by this collection. Not only have the editors assembled a very fine array of scholars at varying career stages, all of whom have produced first-class studies attuned to the objectives of the volume, but they have also carefully and helpfully drawn together the major themes articulated across the chapters."

— Alan Lester, University of Sussex, coauthor of Colonization and the Origins of Humanitarian Governance: Protecting Aborigines across the Nineteenth-Century British Empire

"This wonderful collection of essays profoundly alters the way in which historians view indigenous history, the British Empire, and the Age of Revolution. The authors focus on indigenous perspectives and experiences across an extraordinarily diverse range of contexts, showing how they shaped ideologies and practices of imperial expansion and created new transnational patterns of resistance, exchange, and communication."

— Clare Anderson, University of Leicester, author of Subaltern Lives: Biographies of Colonialism in the Indian Ocean World, 1790–1920

"Facing Empire is a major scholarly accomplishment. Michael A. McDonnell and Kate Fullager have woven together a diverse range of essays in a volume that is striking for its clarity and persuasiveness. Taken as a whole, Facing Empire advances our understanding of transnational and comparative indigenous histories in original and important ways."

— Gregory D. Smithers, Virginia Commonwealth University, author of The Cherokee Diaspora: An Indigenous History of Migration, Resettlement, and Identity

 

About the Book:

With contributions from: Tony Ballantyne (Otago), Justin Brooks (Yale University), Colin Calloway (Dartmouth), Kate Fullagar (Macquarie), Bill Gammage (ANU), Robert Kenny (Deakin), Michael A. McDonnell (Sydney), Elspeth Martini (Pittsburgh), Jennifer Newell (AMNH), Joshua L. Reid (Massachusetts), Rebecca Shumway (Charleston), Sujit Sivasundaram (Cambridge), Nicole Ulrich (Rhodes).  Plus a Foreword by Daniel Richter (Pennsylvania) and an Afterword by Shino Konishi (University of Western Australia).

The late eighteenth century is often depicted as a Revolutionary Age because of the intense political struggles that took place in Europe, Asia and the Americas. But another revolutionary dimension of this era was the profound acceleration in encounters and contacts between new peoples around the globe.  As historian C.A. Bayly has noted, European imperial expansion was one of the main drivers of this phenomenon, but so too were indigenous peoples, especially in thickening and complicating relations between different societies.

While many scholars have looked at this era of expanding imperialism and noted its links with globalisation, they have usually done so from European perspectives. Even as an increasing number of historians recognise the crucial roles indigenous people played in this process, few have tried to think comparatively about indigenous experiences within and across expanding imperial borders over the course of this revolutionary era. The result is that too often when thinking comparatively or transnationally, indigenous peoples become distant and passive players in a largely European-driven game. Granted, one reason for the scholarly neglect has been a reluctance to perpetuate the European framing that such work must entail: to place indigenous peoples from vastly different spaces into historical relation is to give some special privilege to the European empires that encountered them separately. Yet this reluctance has also come at a cost: it has missed an opportunity to understand how indigenous people in this period shared some common means of accommodating, repelling, complicating and even ignoring the European encounter. In doing so, they shaped and influenced the modern world in significant ways.

This volume takes up the opportunity. In order to sharpen the focus, it looks at indigenous experiences of the British empire particularly. Between about 1760 and 1840, Britain faced a series of political upheavals and massively increased its imperial claims. Yet what role did indigenous peoples play in these movements? How did they help shape the end of the first British empire and the start of the second? What lessons did indigenous peoples learn about Europeans and what new connections did they make between themselves, newcomers, and other indigenous peoples? What role did they play in shaping history on the imperial waterfront, and in influencing decisions in Europe? We aim to view indigenous peoples as vital and dynamic actors across this increasingly global stage and think about what this new world might have looked like to them. We aim, in other words, not merely to write histories that include indigenous perspectives but to present the imperial past with indigenous peoples as the main subjects.

For a short essay about the forthcoming book, see the Age of Revolutions blogsite.

For a taste of Kate Fullagar's new research from which her contribution draws, click here.

For a taste of Michael A. McDonnell's work from which his contribution draws, click here.