Brexit One Year On: Gurminder Bhambra on Britishness: Between Brexit and Covid19, Wednesday, April 6, noon CDT

Marian J. Barber Announcement
Texas, United States
Subject Fields
Atlantic History / Studies, British History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies

The British, Irish and Empire Studies Program at the University of Texas at Austin requests your presence this Wednesday, April 6, at noon CDT for the Brexit One Year On virtual speaker session originally scheduled for Thursday, February 17. Dr. Gurminder Bhambra of Sussex University will discuss "Britishness: Between Brexit and Covid19." Dr. Raj Patel of UT-Austin's LBJ School of Public Affairs will chair.

NEW DATE: Wednesday, April 6, 2022, 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Advance registration is required:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Dr. Bhambra introduces her talk:

The 2016 referendum on leaving the EU involved discussions of national
sovereignty and ‘taking back control’ bound up in ideas of Britishness.
However, Britain – that entity that came into being in 1707 through the Act of
Union between the Kingdoms of England and Scotland – has never been a nation,
but an imperial state. While there may have been a national project at its
heart, the state has been supported financially and otherwise through the
labour, resources, and taxes of its imperial subjects as much as its domestic
ones. This understanding of a multicultural imperial past is absent from most
accounts of what it is to be British. During the initial period of the Covid19
crisis, it became clear that we are a multicultural nation and that we could
not function without ethnic minority citizens and migrant populations. One of
the reasons we (suddenly) became aware of them was that they were on the
frontline of dealing with the pandemic. While the Brexit years had been
defined by a narrowing of vision of who constitutes the body politic, the
Covid19 crisis showed us who we were in a different light. By rethinking
Brexit in the light of Covid we might come to understand that alongside those
represented as left-behind, there were also many who had been left out from
our understandings of who we are. In this talk, I will address the need to
rethink the histories that have produced narrow, parochial understandings of
ourselves in favour of more expansive and generous ones.

If you registered for the February date, please do register again so we are
sure you receive the Zoom information. If you have questions. please contact
the BIES staff at or by telephone at 512-232-


Contact Information

Marian J. Barber, PhD, Assistant to the Director, British, Irish and Empire Studies, The University of Texas at Austin

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