Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire

ISBN : 9780198713326

G. A. Bremner
496 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Oct 2016
Oxford History of the British Empire Companion Series
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Throughout today's postcolonial world, buildings, monuments, parks, streets, avenues, entire cities even, remain as witness to Britain's once impressive if troubled imperial past. These structures are a conspicuous and near inescapable reminder of that past, and therefore, the built heritage of Britain's former colonial empire is a fundamental part of how we negotiate our postcolonial identities, often lying at the heart of social tension and debate over how that identity is best represented. This volume provides an overview of the architectural and urban transformations that took place across the British Empire between the seventeenth and mid-twentieth centuries. Although much research has been carried out on architecture and urban planning in Britain's empire in recent decades, no single, comprehensive reference source exists. The essays compiled here remedy this deficiency. With its extensive chronological and regional coverage by leading scholars in the field, this volume will quickly become a seminal text for those who study, teach, and research the relationship between empire and the built environment in the British context. It provides an up-to-date account of past and current historiographical approaches toward the study of British imperial and colonial architecture and urbanism, and will prove equally useful to those who study architecture and urbanism in other European imperial and transnational contexts. The volume is divided in two main sections. The first section deals with overarching thematic issues, including building typologies, major genres and periods of activity, networks of expertise and the transmission of ideas, the intersection between planning and politics, as well as the architectural impact of empire on Britain itself. The second section builds on the first by discussing these themes in relation to specific geographical regions, teasing out the variations and continuities observable in context, both practical and theoretical.


G. A. Bremner: Architecture, Urbanism, and British Imperial Studies

PART I: Themes in British Imperial and Colonial Architecture and Urbanism
1 Daniel Maudlin: Beginnings: Early Colonial Architecture
2 Robert Home and Anthony D. King: Urbanism and Master Planning: Configuring the Colonial City
3 G. A. Bremner: Stones of Empire: Monuments, Memorials, and Manifest Authority
4 G. A. Bremner: The Metropolis: Imperial Buildings and Landscapes in Britain
5 G. A. Bremner and Louis P. Nelson: Propagating Ideas and Institutions: Religious and Educational Architecture
6 Mark Crinson: Imperial Modernism

Part II Regional Continuity, Divergence, and Variation in the British World
7 Harold Kalman and Louis P. Nelson: British North America and the West Indies
8 Preeti Chopra: South and Southeast Asia
9 Stuart King and Julie Willis: The Australian Colonies
10 Ian Lochhead and Paul Walker: New Zealand and the Pacific
11 Iain Jackson and Ola Uduku: Sub-Saharan Africa
12 Samuel D. Albert: Egypt and Mandatory Palestine and Iraq

About the author: 

G. A. Bremner is Senior Lecturer in Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh. He researches the history and theory of Victorian architecture, specialising in British imperial and colonial architecture and urbanism. He has published widely on these subjects in a range of scholarly journals, including The Historical Journal, Architectural History, The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Modern Intellectual History, and The Journal of Historical Geography. His first book, Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, c.1840-1870 (2013) was a ground-breaking study on the significance of ecclesiastical architecture in the formation of colonial society and culture, winning the 2013 Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion from the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

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