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Informal Empire in Latin America. Culture, Commerce and Capital. Bulletin of Latin American Research Book Series

  • ID: 2247342
  • Book
  • March 2008
  • Region: Latin America
  • 286 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
This volume is an interdisciplinary interrogation of the concept of British ′informal empire′ in Latin America. It builds upon recent advances in the historiography of imperialism and studies of the nineteenth–century modern world, most obviously the work of Ann Stoler, Catherine Hall and C.A. Bayly. Combining a comparative perspective with the juxtaposition of political economy, cultural history, gendered and postcolonial approaches, and by proposing and debating alternative explanatory models, the book breathes new life into the flagging concept of ′informal empire′. It illuminates the study of British imperialism, from which Latin America is usually conspicuous only by its absence, and provides a broad and sound basis for interpreting the complex processes of nation–building and state–formation in Latin America. The book includes essays by scholars who have been shaping the debate for several decades, alongside work by a younger generation of researchers keen to re–conceptualise and re–assess the roles of capital, commerce and culture in shaping informal empire.
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Contributor Biographies.

Introduction (Matthew Brown, University of Bristol).

1. Rethinking British Informal Empire in Latin America (Especially Argentina) (Alan Knight, St. Antony s College, Oxford).

2. The British in Argentina: From Informal Empire to Postcolonialism (David Rock, University of California).

3. Commercial Christianity: The British and Foreign Bible Society s Interest in Spanish America, 1805 1830 (Karen Racine, University of Guelph).

4. Britain, the Argentine and Informal Empire: Rethinking the Role of Railway Companies (Colin M. Lewis, London School of Economics and Political Science).

5. Finance, Ambition and Romanticism in the River Plate, 1880 1892 (Charles Jones, University of Cambridge).

6. Appropriating the Unattainable : The British Travel Experience in Patagonia (Fernanda Peñaloza, University of Manchester).

7. Weapons of the Weak? Colombia and Foreign Powers in the Nineteenth Century (Malcolm Deas, St. Antony s College, Oxford).

8. Literature Can Be Our Teacher : Reading Informal Empire in El inglés de los güesos (Jennifer L. French, Williams College, USA).

9. The Artful Seductions of Informal Empire (Louise Guenther, Universidade Federale de Minas Gerais, Brazil).

10. Afterword: Informal Empire: Past, Present and Future (Andrew Thompson, University of Leeds).



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Matthew Brown
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