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“Archives of Empire offers a valuable and original intervention in contemporary studies of imperialism, providing a rich array of source material pertaining to the imperial project and the wide-ranging grounds for its critique.”—Anne McClintock, author of Imperial Leather: Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest — N/A
“Archives of Empire is a substantial and valuable project containing a generous sampling of key primary texts for understanding both the crucial events in and the debates around British imperialism in the nineteenth century.”—David Lloyd, coeditor of The Politics of Culture in the Shadow of Capital — N/A
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While focusing on the expansion of the British Empire, The Scramble for Africa illuminates the intense nineteenth-century contest among European nations over Africa’s land, people, and resources. Highlighting the 1885 Berlin Conference in which Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, and Italy partitioned Africa among themselves, this collection follows British conflicts with other nations over different regions as well as its eventual challenge to Leopold of Belgium’s rule of the Congo. The reports, speeches, treatises, proclamations, letters, and cartoons assembled here include works by Henry M. Stanley, David Livingstone, Joseph Conrad, G. W. F. Hegel, Winston Churchill, Charles Darwin, and Arthur Conan Doyle. A number of pieces highlight the proliferation of companies chartered to pursue Africa’s gold, diamonds, and oil—particularly Cecil J. Rhodes’s British South Africa Company and Frederick Lugard’s Royal Niger Company. Other documents describe debacles on the continent—such as the defeat of General Gordon in Khartoum and the Anglo-Boer War—and the criticism of imperial maneuvers by proto-human rights activists including George Washington Williams, Mark Twain, Olive Schreiner, and E.D. Morel.
Barbara Harlow is Louann and Larry Temple Centennial Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.
Mia Carter is Associate Professor of English at the University of Texas at Austin.
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