About How has British Imperialism shaped the modern world?

Join acclaimed author, journalist and broadcaster Sathnam Sanghera for this special in conversation event with eminent historian Professor Alan Lester.

Sathnam’s seminal 2021 bestseller Empireland revealed how Empire continues to shape life in Britain today. Its inspired sequel Empireworld, published in 2024, takes a significant step further in examining the wider global significance of British Imperial power. Sathnam and Alan’s conversation will reflect on just how deeply British Imperialism remains baked into our world today.

Together, they will look at how the effects of Empire continue to be felt globally, shaping cities, cultures, and societies in profound ways. Alan Lester, a Professor of Historical Geography, will share his own and other specialist historians’ profound insights into the intricate relationship between colonial legacies and the contemporary debates surrounding them.

The event will offer a critical look at Empire’s lasting impact, both negative and positive, on the 2.6 billion inhabitants of former British Colonies. From the spread of Christianity by missionaries, to the shaping of international law, to possibly being the single most significant incubator, refiner, and propagator of white supremacy in the history of the planet.

Sathnam Sanghera

Professor Alan Lester

Through their conversation, Sathnam and Alan will explore why a nuanced understanding of colonial history, clearly important for Britain today, has become so politically controversial – engendering backlash from the right and often taking a personal toll on writers and academics entering the debate.

We are at a point of unprecedented social change. Does this moment offer an opportunity to acknowledge and embrace Empire’s contradictions and paradoxes? Can we move beyond sterile monologues and embrace meaningful dialogues about history, identity and global legacies? Can Britain hope to have a productive future in the world without acknowledging what Empire did to the world in the first place?

Sathnam and Alan will discuss all of this and more. Don’t miss this very special event.

Dates & times

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