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Photo by Ms K Riepl

Imperialist Challenge for Prof Tony Ballantyne

Ms K Riepl —

The gauntlet was thrown down: Tony had two lessons to explain British Imperialism in all its shades to the critical audience that is Year 13 History.

Given the toppling of statues globally and a growing revolt against past colonial injustices in 2020, it seemed fitting to create a unit on the motives behind imperialism and the impact that it has had on the colonised over the past four centuries. Luckily for us, Prof Ballantyne has not been travelling as much as usual this year, which meant he could come and squeeze a lecture series and a few of his publications on the British Empire down to a 90-minute window.  Discussions included Totara Estate and mutton, Gandhi and the textile industry, plantation colonies versus settler colonies, British ports, the Union Steam Ship Company Dunedin, mangoes, pepper, slaves, coal, the Pacific Islands, bananas and silver. A detailed map of the South Pacific with goods and trade routes written all over it demonstrated his theory of webs of empire effectively. 

Thank you!