In what promises to be a memorable evening, we are privileged to have award-winning journalist and author Sathnam Sanghera discuss his best-selling book Empireland: How Imperialism Has Shaped Modern Britain (nominated for the 2021 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction), in conversation with historian Dr Michael Taylor. In his brilliantly illuminating book, described as a “masterpiece”, “deserving of mandatory reading in school courses” and a “scorching polemic on the afterburn of Empire”, the author proceeds to demonstrate how much of what we consider to be modern Britain is actually rooted in our imperial past. In his conversation with the author, Dr Taylor will look to unravel the extent to which Empire has shaped our history, perception and understanding of the world. He will seek answers to questions such as: How far does the history of the British Empire shape the lives and politics of British people today? How should we remember the Empire, if we remember it at all? In covering Sanghera’s experiences of growing up in Wolverhampton as the son of Punjabi Indians, exploring the role of Commonwealth immigrants in shaping modern Britain, and considering the legacies of some of the most traumatic incidents in imperial history, this conversation will seek to address some of the most pressing questions facing Britain today. What should we do with the statues of slaveholders such as Edward Colston and imperialists such as Cecil Rhodes? Is it ‘woke’ to regard British imperial history with scepticism? How should we teach imperial history in schools and universities? And who is going to win the ongoing ‘culture wars’ about history and memory?
Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society
Dec 17, 2021