- Fellowship year:2009-2010
- University: Indiana University
- Dissertation Topic/Category: Africa
- Dissertation Title: Britons and Boers: Civilization and Identity in Nineteenth-Century South Africa
Contemporaries as well as modern historians have connected the Boer War to, and in many cases, blamed it for, the demise of the formidable nineteenth-century British Empire. But the crisis stemming from the war had far reaching implications for the British, not just their Empire; the Anglo-Boer war managed to call into question the many political and social characteristics that had for centuries constituted modern Britishness: Enlightenment, liberalism, industry, nationalism, social hierarchy, and empire.
The Anglo-Boer War’s importance developed from the British Empire’s ultimate failure to exert control over another white, imperial population. Analyzing the Anglo-Boer relationship by focusing on concepts of civilization and categories of identity, such as race, gender, and religion, alongside questions of nationalism, I demonstrate how the century-long struggle with Boers in South Africa was in many ways a struggle with Britain’s own sense of its weakening global powers in the increasingly interconnected, competitive world of the early twentieth century.