"The Worlds of Joseph Conrad:..."
Lecture by Maya Jasanoff
"The Worlds of Joseph Conrad: British Imperial Decline
and the Dawn of Globalization"
The Annual Robert K. Webb History Department Lecture.
Prize-winning historian Maya Jasanoff, Harvard University, will speak about "The Worlds of Joseph Conrad: British Imperial Decline and the Dawn of Globalization." It was the beginning of a new century, when the world's only superpower worried about its decline. Terrorism, anarchy, and revolution rocked society and politics around the globe, while people, capital, and ideas moved farther and faster than ever before, with destabilizing effects. This may sound like the US today, but it also describes the British empire around 1900, as witnessed by one of its most acute chroniclers, the novelist Joseph Conrad (best known for Into the Heart of Darkness, 1899). In fiction spanning four continents, based on real-world events, Conrad anticipated some of the defining themes of the twentieth century, and offers continuing insights into the challenges of the twenty-first.
Prof. Jasanoff's first book, Edge of Empire: Lives, Culture, and Conquest in the East, 1750-1850, investigates British Expansion in India and Egypt though the lives of art collectors. It was awareded the 2005 Duff Cooper Prize and was a book of the year selection in numerous publications including The Economist, The Observer, and The Sunday Times.
Her 2011 book,Liberty's Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World, provides the first global history of the loyalists who fled the United States after the American Revolution, and resettled in Canada, the Caribbean, Britain, Sierra Leone, and beyond. Liberty's Exiles won numerous distinctions including the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Non-Fiction, the George Washington Book Prize, and a Recognition of Excellence from the Cundill Prize in History; it was also shortlisted for the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize.
All welcome; reception to follow. For a taste of Prof. Jasanoff's work, listen to the short podcast below by clicking on the grey website button below.
Sponsors: History Department. Co-sponsor: Dresher Center for the Humanities