Raleigh Lecture on History, delivered by Professor Megan Vaughan FBA, on 26 February 2009 (venue: The British Academy). The societies of sub-Saharan Africa do not feature prominently in the growing literature on the comparative history of the emotions, and when they do it is often to confirm the fundamental difference between African emotional regimes and those of the 'West'. Though many pre-colonial African societies recognised the existence of powerful feelings of passionate love, most of them did not idealise this emotion. Romantic love was not simply a colonial import, however: love, money and intimacy combined in complex ways in the changing economic and political conditions of twentieth-century Africa. This exploration of the history of romantic love in Africa is also a critical exercise in the history of the emotions.
Raleigh Lecture on History, delivered by Professor Judith M Brown, on 27 November 2012 (venue: The British Academy), the first in a series of three lectures on 'The Making and Breaking of States'. Recent events in the Arab world have sharpened and widened public interest in the way states can be broken and made. Since the end of the Second World War the world has seen three great waves of state-breaking and state-making: the end of European empires; the collapse of the Soviet Union; and the contemporary 'Arab spring'. By revisiting an example from the first of these great waves, perhaps the greatest ‘imperial ending’ - the end of British imperial rule in India in 1947 - this lecture investigates issues which may prove instructive in probing the dynamics of other phases of turbulence in the structures and nature of states. It addresses four major questions which are relevant across the many different episodes of state breaking and making, with the help of evidence from the case of the South Asian subcontinent. What is the relationship between state and society and the patterns of relationship which help to determine the nature and vulnerability of the state? What makes a viable and destabilising opposition to the imperial state? What is the nature of the breaking or collapse of that state? How are states refashioned out of the inheritance of the previous regime and the breaking process?
Raleigh Lecture on History, delivered by Professor Christopher Bayly FBA, on 26 November 2003. Studies of India during the Second World War have interpreted the period as a prelude to the partition of the subcontinent. They have concentrated on the causes of inter-communal violence and the policies of the British rulers, Congress and Muslim League. This lecture seeks to analyse India at war in its own right. It argues that the British Raj was able to recover from defeats in Burma and the Quit India movement of 1942 because, finally, it was able to draw on the day to day political loyalty of Indian people to their own emerging nation, or nations. It was also able briefly to mobilise the subcontinent's vast reserves of military and civilian labour, commercial expertise and its developing professions.
Professor Colin Kidd FBA discusses attempts to reconstruct the sociology of the Homeric world and the late eighteenth-century debate about the location of Troy.