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The Collaborative Moment: The British Empire in Egypt and India on the Eve of World War II

  • Larkin Building, Trinity College 15 Devonshire Place Toronto (map)

The late 1930s were an era of rapid technological advancement, heightened global interconnectivity, and a high-stakes battle of ideas, which ultimately gave way to the devastation of World War II. Against this backdrop, relations between the British Empire and nationalist movements in India and Egypt were briefly, yet consequentially, redefined. Rather than discussing these transitions comparatively, however, this talk will explain how developments in South Asia and the Middle East were linked, both through the British imperial system, and via networks of alliance between Arab and Indian politicians and activists. These connections are important to our understanding of not only World War II and decolonisation, but also the Afro-Asian solidarity movements which emerged within the context of the Cold War.

Dr. Erin O’Halloran is a Junior Visiting Fellow of the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary History at the University of Toronto. She recently completed her doctoral thesis in Global & Imperial History at St Antony’s College, Oxford, under the supervision of Margaret MacMillan and Eugene Rogan. Between 2009 and 2014, Dr. O’Halloran lived in Lebanon, where she completed a Master’s in Middle Eastern Studies at the American University of Beirut, and subsequently worked in research and communications for Al-Monitor, the Carnegie Middle East Centre, and the United Nations. A Toronto native, Dr. O’Halloran currently divides her time between U of T and Stanford University, where she is an Affiliated Researcher of the Abbasi Program in Islamic Studies. Her first book, Edges of the Desert: Cairo, British India, and the Collaborative Moment in the Middle East, is due out in 2020.

Light refreshments will be served.

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