Webs of Empire

Locating New Zealand's Colonial Past

Tony Ballantyne

  • Published: 2014. Paperback February 2015
  • Subject Listing: History
  • Bibliographic information: 376 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Breaking open colonization to reveal tangled cultural and economic networks, Webs of Empire offers new paths into colonial history. Linking Gore and Chicago, Maori and Asia, India and newspapers, whalers and writing, empire building becomes a spreading web of connected places, people, ideas, and trade. These links question narrow, national stories, while broadening perspectives on the past and the legacies of colonialism that persist today. Bringing together essays from two decades of prolific publishing on international colonial history, Webs of Empire establishes Tony Ballantyne as one of the leading historians of the British Empire.
Tony Ballantyne is a professor of history, head of the Department of History and Art History, and director of the Centre for Research on Colonial Culture at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

"Attentive to the arguments of post-colonial theory, demonstrating a strong historiographic sensibility, and firmly grounded in New Zealand and other archives, this timely book offers a thoughtful challenge to the primacy of national history. Stressing the lumpiness of the past, Ballantyne sees places as knot-like conjunctures produced by the convergence of imperial networks with local webs of interdependence mediated by institutions operating at various scales. These diverse essays offer insight and pleasure to anyone interested in the colonial past."
-Graeme Wynn, FRSC, is a professor of geography at the University of British Columbia

"Webs of Empire demonstrates Tony Ballantyne's archival richness and mastery of his profession, provoking new interpretations of history and historians. This is compelling and essential reading."
-Lydia Wevers, professor and director of the Stout Research Centre at the Victoria University of Wellington

Preface: Connections, Comparisons and Commonalities
Note on Language and Usage

Introduction: Relocating Colonial Histories

Reframing Colonialism
1. Race and the Webs of Empire

2. Writing Out Asia
3. Teaching Maori About Asia
4. India in New Zealand
5. Te Anu's Story

6. Sealers, Whalers and the Entanglements of Empire
7. Christianity, Colonialism and Cross-Cultural Communication
8. War, Knowledge and the Crisis of Empire

9. Archives, Empires and Histories of Colonialism
10. Mr. Peal's Archive
11. Paper, Pen and Print
12. Writing and the Culture of Colonisation

13. Thinking Local
14. On Place, Space and Mobility

Conclusion: Writing the Colonial Past

Editorial Note