Balliol College

In September 2019 the College launched the Balliol and Empire project, designed to provide a focus for students, academics, and members of the public interested in further exploring the college’s connections to colonialism. Establishing a series of lectures and events alongside a research programme exploring Balliol’s historical ties to different aspects of British imperialism, the project is helping us re-examine and better understand the College’s complex relationship to empire. As the Balliol and Empire project is helping clarify, the college’s connections to colonialism extend beyond the prominent part it played as an educator of officials and politicians, who administered parts of the British Empire in the 19th and early 20th centuries, to include a significant role in earlier phases of colonial expansion as well as in the process of decolonisation. The project is helping to highlight the academic research on colonialism and responses to historical injustice in the later 20th and early 21st centuries being carried out by Fellows, students and alumni. The College has a long tradition in researching the history of colonialism in a broad sense, notably through our long-established Chairs in Commonwealth and Imperial History, International Relations, and Sanskrit. These posts, allied with our strong traditions in the humanities and social sciences, mean that the College is deeply engaged in current thinking about the cultural, ethical, historical, and political aspects of colonialism and historic injustice. Please visit the Balliol and Empire website to read more about this programme of research and learn about upcoming events.