CANCELLED - Ford Lecture 2019: Racial capitalism across the black/white Atlantic

This event has been cancelled, but may be rescheduled for Trinity Term. Please check back for more information nearer the time.
  • Date 28 November 2019 - 5.00 p.m.
  • Location Auditorium, St John's College

Please note that both the Ford Lecture and the workshop with Professor Catherine Hall have now been cancelled, but may be rescheduled for Trinity Term. Please check back for more information nearer the time.

We are delighted to announce that Professor Catherine Hall, Emerita Professor of Modern British Social and Cultural History at University College London, will present her Ford Lecture on ‘Racial capitalism across the black/white Atlantic', on 28 November at 5pm in the Auditorium, St. John’s College. The lecture is free and open to all. Drinks will be served afterwards in the Foyer of the Garden Quad.

Professor Hall’s pathbreaking work  on the shared nature of colonial experience between colony and metropole,  and the research project chaired by her on Legacies of British Slave Ownership, have fundamentally altered the conditions and possibilities of studying Britain’s involvement with slavery and empire, offering a significant new resource to scholars, and reiterating the common historiography, as well as the cultural, political and economic frameworks that interconnect the history of Britain and that of its empire. 

This important intellectual resource comes at a crucial historical moment as the movement to decolonise universities as well as academic disciplines gathers strength. Given Oxford’s vital historical role in governing empire and in the long transformation of wealth and influence generated from slave plantations, colonial trade and imperial administrations, into national cultural intellectual and political capital in Britain, this seems a good place in which to reconsider our own scholarship, in the light of new perspectives and the changing parameters of historical knowledge.

Workshop with Professor Catherine Hall - 9:30am, 29 November at St. John's College

We invite applications from early career scholars and postgraduates at Oxford working on colonialism, slavery and empire in any discipline to participate in the Workshop with Professor Hall. Applications should include a short statement of about 250 words on how they might go about locating their own research within the context of Oxford’s involvement with slavery and colonialism and the efforts to decolonise the university.  The Workshop will consist of two panels of three to four short presentations of 10-12 minutes each, with Professor Hall opening the Q&A. This will be followed by a round table discussion with Professor Hall on changing historiographies of colonialism and slavery, with a focus on reconstructing sources and reassessing methodologies in the light of new knowledge. It is also possible to apply to participate in the Workshop without presenting a paper; in this case please send 250 words on why you would like to participate and how it would contribute to your own research. Places are limited, and applicants are requested to write as soon as possible. The deadline for submission of applications is 7 November. 

Please send applications for the Workshop with Professor Catherine Hall to Dr. Mishka Sinha, Research Associate, St. John’s College and the Colonial Past ( by 7 November.