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STIAS Lecture Series 2017: Richard Price – The Psychology of Colonial Violence

STIAS Public Lectures Series

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Professor Richard Price from the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park and STIAS fellow will present the first public STIAS lecture of 2017 with the title:

 The Psychology of Colonial Violence



Empires are violent places. Until recently historians talked about colonial violence mainly in terms of wars and insurrections. Yet violence was embedded in the experience of empire at less dramatic and more everyday levels. This lecture is about that kind of colonial violence, directed against indigenous peoples by settlers. It seeks to address the emotions that underlay settler-driven violence in the early nineteenth-century British empire of the southern seas. What were the subjectivities of this violence, its behavioral and psychological drives and dynamic? But in addition, it is important to ask: how were such events explained within the liberal political culture that characterized British society in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and what this can suggest about how liberal societies makes sense of the violence of imperial expansion?

Listen to the lecture

This clip contains:

  • Welcome by STIAS Director Hendrik Geyer & Introduction by Stellenbosch historian Bill Nasson (to 4m30s)
  • Lecture by Richard Price (to 48m30s)
  • Discussion (to end)

Richard Price is a Professor in the Department of History at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he served a total of twelve years as Chair. He received his D.Phil from the University of Sussex in 1968 and has spent his academic career in the United States, first at Northern Illinois University and then, since 1982, at the University of Maryland.   Beginning with his first book, An Imperial War and the British Working Class 1899-1902: Working Class Attitudes to Imperialism (London, 1972), he published four subsequent books on the social history of Britain from the eighteenth century, with a particular focus on the history of the working class, the labor movement and industrial relations. More recently he turned his attention to the history of the British Empire and published Making Empire: Colonial Encounters and the Creation of Imperial Rule in Nineteenth-Century Africa which was awarded the prize for the best book in post-1750 British History by the North American Conference on British Studies. This book told the story of the early encounter between the British and the Xhosa in the Eastern Cape. Currently he is writing a book about the effort to create an empire of racial reconciliation in the early nineteenth century titled, Liberalism and Empire: histories and legacies.

Richard Price has co-edited two book of essays; he is the author of many scholarly articles and is frequently invited to deliver papers at academic conferences all over the world. He has served on the editorial board of Victorian Studies, the Journal of British Studies, and on the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Social History. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the International Review of Social History and on the editorial board of the Journal of British Studies. He has held Fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies, the International Institute for Social History in Amsterdam, and the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study. In 1996 and 1997 he was a visiting lecturer at the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow. Between 2003 and 2007 Richard Price was the Modern Britain/Ireland section editor for History-Compass, an online referred journal published by Wiley-Blackwell. In December 2010 he delivered the Founding Historians Lecture at the University of Sussex.


Date and time

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

13:00 – 14:00​

All times are in SAST (UTC+2)


No location.

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