Home New books Biography Studies in Imperialism Books Edited volumes Articles Reference Contact  John M. MacKenzie 2020
Prof. John M. MacKenzie
Author and Historian of Empire
New Publications
The British Empire Through Buildings. Structure, function and meaning. Manchester University Press, March 2020 ISBN 978-1-5261-4596-3 Buildings provide tremendous insights into the character of imperialism, not least in the manner in which Western forms were spread across the globe. They reveal the projection of power and authority in colonised landscapes, as well as the economic ambitions and social and cultural needs of colonial peoples in all types of colonies. They also represent a colonial order of social classes and racial divisions, together with the ways in which these were inflected through domestic living space, places of work and various aspects of cultural relations. Buildings also illuminate the desire of Europeans to indulge in cultural and religious proselytisation, encouraging indigenous peoples to adopt western norms. But the resistance of the supposedly subordinate people led to the invasion, adoption and adaptation of such buildings for a post-colonial world. The book is important reading for all students and scholars interested in the widest aspects of material culture.
Image: Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata (Calcutta), built 1906-21, and statue of Viceroy Lord Curzon.
The catalogue Inspired by the East: how the Islamic world influenced Western art (edited by William Greenwood and Lucien de Guise) accompanied the major British Museum exhibition, Inspired by the East (October 2019-January 2020), mounted jointly with the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia. The opening chapter by John M. MacKenzie, ‘The Orientalism Debate’  provides the background to this controversial subject, taking a long view of Orientalism in the arts and its cultural and political context, and assessing the various interpretations placed upon it.
New books