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Prof Catherine Hall
Prof Catherine Hall profile picture
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Dept of History
  • Faculty of S&HS
Research Groups
Research Summary

My research centres on rethinking the relation between Britain and Empire in the early/mid-nineteenth century. It reflects on the ways in which metropolitan ideas and practices have been shaped by

the colonial experience. In the recent past I have had a particular interest in the relation between England and Jamaica (Civilising Subjects).  My current project focuses on history writing and explores how home, nation and empire came to be configured together in the life and work of Thomas Babington Macaulay.

Macaulay narrated the English as a homogeneous race with an 'island story': a conception that has profoundly influenced both English historiography and common sense. His political career, oratory and writings provide the lens through which to investigate how far his familial life and imperial experience shaped his assimilationist vision of the nation. The intention is to explore the power and tenacity of Macaulay's nationalist vision for his own times and beyond and thereby to contribute to the making of a transnational history of Britain and its empire for the twenty-first century. This interest in making histories will inform my work on the Legacies of British slave-ownership


I have a great interest in public history and was part ofthe consultative group working with the Museum of London in Docklands ontheir new permanent gallery London, Sugar and Slavery.
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