Over the weekend Robert von Friedeburg, Reader in History at Bishop Grosseteste University (BGU) contributed to the 'The Discourse of British and German Colonialism: Convergence and Competition' international conference at Queen Mary University.

Robert's paper focused on 'Criminal Anthropology', a discipline fashionable during the 1870s to 1920s in Europe and the US. However, while fashionable, it was by no means a discipline lead by a single school of thought. While German contributions developed wider ideas of biological races among mankind British contributions did not.

Indeed, at the eve of the First World War, the German scene had become accustomed to outright racist arguments, whilst the British one, while using the term 'race', had not. Robert's contribution addressed this strong divergence between British and German discourse and he praised the intellectual and scholastic opportunities his presence at the conference offered:

“The conference went very well; the cooperation among historians, and literary scholars and linguists was particularly invigorating. I think that this opportunity for international cooperation is really one of the most interesting aspects of the conference particularly given how fruitful our shared comparisons have proven to be. It puts the results of our individual findings in a more informed perspective”

Robert’s paper, along with those of his fellow presenters, will be published later this year by Routledge.

Our academics are regularly invited to present at conferences around the world, you can follow all their travels on our news page and find out how you can start your own adventures on our course pages.

27th September 2018