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Wednesday, 5 October 2016, 6:00PM - 7:00PM
Museum of London

Ten Cities that Built an Empire: Understanding British Imperialism Through the Urban Past

Dr Tristram Hunt

Discussion of Britain’s imperial past is increasingly bifurcated along populist ‘good’ and ‘bad’ narratives.  An account of the UK’s colonial legacy through the prism of urban history allows for a more nuanced and reflexive critique of Empire. The rise and fall of the British Empire will be discussed through the history of ten cities, exploring how their architectural, planning, and commercial history elucidates their place within the imperial story.

The Royal Historical Society / Gresham College Annual Colin Matthew Memorial Lecture


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Dr Tristram Hunt is the Director of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Since taking up the post in 2017, Tristram has focused on support for design education in UK schools, expansion of the photography department, and encouraging debate around the museum’s global collections.  In the coming years, Tristram’s priorities are centred around the transition to a multi-site museum, with V&A Dundee, the redesign of the Museum of Childhood, and the development of a new museum and Collections and Research Centre in Stratford, East London.  

Prior to joining the V&A, Tristram was MP for Stoke‐on‐Trent Central and Shadow Secretary of State for Education. He has a PhD from the University of Cambridge and is the author of several books, including Marx’s General, Ten Cities That Made an Empire and, most recently, The Lives of The Objects – telling the story of the South Kensington collection.

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5 October 2016

Ten Cities that Built an Empire: Understanding British Imperialism Through the Urban Past
Dr Tristram Hunt

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