SOAS University of London

Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

A Partisan Press: Sylvia Pankhurst, British Anti-colonialism and the Crisis of Empire

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Date: 20 November 2018Time: 5:00 PM

Finishes: 20 November 2018Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: 21/22 Russell Square Room: T102

Type of Event: Book Launch

Book launch of Italian Colonialism and Resistances to Empire, 1930-1970 (Palgrave, 2018)

Speaker: Dr Neelam Srivastava (University of Newcastle)

In October 1935, Mussoliniʼs army attacked Ethiopia, defying the League of Nations and other European imperial powers. Neelam Srivastava's book Italian Colonialism and Resistances to Empire, 1930-1970 (Palgrave, 2018) explores the widespread political and literary responses to the invasion, reading the work of George Padmore, Claude McKay, and CLR James alongside the feminist and socialist anti-colonial campaigner Sylvia Pankhurst’s broadsheet, New Times and Ethiopia News.

The talk will focus on one chapter of the book, which examines the complex panorama of responses to the Ethiopian war in Britain and the wider network of anti-colonial activists operating both within the metropole and in the colonies. It focuses specifically on the role of the press in shaping public interpretations of the war and in eliciting feelings of both sympathy and empathy for Ethiopians among British metropolitan audiences. By considering in detail the “print activism” around the war, in particular the writing of two prominent anti-colonial campaigners, Sylvia Pankhurst and George Steer, we can gain a better understanding of the popular reception of colonialism in interwar Europe.

Discussants: Eyob Derillo (British Library) and Dr Sara Marzagora (SOAS)