This podcast focuses on the British empire. One reason that the British Empire is such a focus of debate (Kennedy, 2018) relates to its scale both in spatial and temporal terms – at its height covering 13 million square miles, with a fifth of the Earth's population impacted in one way or another (Jackson, 2013). It’s worth noting how certain locations get foregrounded (especially in public consciousness and culture) and others such as Ireland and the continent of Africa are often neglected. Yet even the geography is hard to determine if we consider that beyond the confines of formally denominated countries there existed what Darwin calls a ‘vast abstract realm of assets and interests’ (Darwin, 2011, p10).

Beyond the numbers are a range of human relationships that serve to defy any attempt at a single coherent account of empire. Darwin highlights the ‘extraordinary range of constitutional, political, economic and cultural relationships contained within Britain’s multiple imperial connections’ (Stockwell, 2008, p1). The spatial parameters of empire also extend to consideration of the focus of the study in terms of the relationships between what might be seen as the centre and the periphery. Some historians like Bernard Porter argue that domestic Britons weren’t really touched by empire (Porter, 2004), a position at odds with Peter Yeandle’s survey of the politics of history teaching in the late 1800s where he argues that material not specifically about the physical presence of the empire was still intended to teach imperial values (Yeandle, 2016, p. 4). This complexity and debate reaches into the present, adding a further layer of controversy.

In this podcast Dr Jason Todd (University of Oxford) is joined by Dr Michael Riley (Institute of Education) and Dr Priya Atwal (University of Oxford).

Please note that each of the introductions are specific to the individual podcast while the acknowledgements are generic in all of the introductions. 

1. Introduction
2. When did you first encounter the history of Empire?
3. What makes Empire history controversial?
4. How has the history of Empire changed over time?
5. What role has culture played?
6. How has the teaching of Empire changed over time?
7. The knowledge turn
8. How is pedagogy changing in higher education?
9. How is pedagogy changing in the school classroom?
10. Understanding students’ interpretive frameworks

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