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3 April 2019

SMLC Seminar:
The partition of the world: the Berlin conferences, 1878-1884 and the origins of global disorder

Prof. Miles Taylor
Professor of Modern History at the University of York

03 Apr 2019 (Wed) 4:30-6:00pm
Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus, HKU

click to see poster

Only six years apart, two international meetings took place in the German capital, that decisively shaped the world for the next fifty years. The Congress of Berlin of 1878 was followed in 1884 by the ‘West Africa’ or ‘Congo’ conference. The first redrew the borders of the Balkan states and hastened the end of the Ottoman Empire, the second divided Africa up between the European powers. Usually studied in isolation, I show how in fact the Berlin conferences were attended by some of the same delegations, and shared similar ideas about sovereignty and ethnicity. Together they created a new world order, demarcated by geography, law, and capitalism.'

Miles Taylor is Professor of Modern History at the University of York. He studied at London (Queen Mary College), Harvard (where he was a Kennedy Scholar) and Cambridge (where he was awarded his PhD in 1989). He has taught at various UK universities including Cambridge, King's College London and Southampton. His expertise lies in the Victorian period, and he has published widely on the history of radicalism and Chartism, on historiography, and on imperial Britain. Between 2008 and 2014 he was Director of the Institute of Historical Research in London. His most recent book, Empress: Queen Victoria and India, was published by Yale in 2018, and has been included in the top ten history books of the year by the US Open Letters Review. He writes for the London Review of Books, History Today and the BBC History Magazine.

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