Cathedrals, crime and colonialism part of British history conference

Intrigue in medieval cathedrals, criminal confessions in 18th century England and celluloid images of immigrants in wartime British movies--all are on the agenda at the North Western Conference on British Studies, Oct. 29 to 31 at the Coast Harbourside Hotel in Victoria. The conference is being hosted by UVic's department of history.

The session, "Imperial Reverberations in the Global Economy and the New World Order" on Oct. 31 at 10:45 a.m., indicates that the sun has never set on the British empire's ability to have a global influence. Presenters include David Moss from the University of Alberta on the British imprint on current central banking practices and UVic's Martin Bunton (History) on the construction and impact of a colonial land regime.

The conference sessions cover a wide range of British history, from medieval times to the present. Presenters from across Canada, the United States and Britain will focus on four main themes: dispute, community and law between the 16th and 19th centuries; the making and uses of knowledge and fact between the ages of Sir Francis Bacon and Queen Victoria; culture, political economy and social reform in 19th century Britain; and the meanings and implications of "British" and "Imperial" identity between its 18th century making and the problems of 20th century disintegration.

Dr. Mark Salber Phillips of UBC is the plenary luncheon speaker on Oct. 30. He will discuss "Historical Distance and the Historical Imagination in Britain, 1740-1820." Salber Phillips writes on the changing perception of past time and the development of historical writing between the renaissance and the 19th century.

Several UVic faculty members and graduate students will make presentations on topics ranging from the impact of the colonial land regime and Britain's influence on overseas architecture to dispute resolution in the later Middle Ages and Britain's technological contributions during the Second World War.

For further information about the conference or to register, contact (250) 721-8703 or check the conference website at

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Media contacts

Dr. John Money (History) at (250) 721-7390

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Keywords: cathedrals, crime, colonialism, british, history, conference

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