Five centuries of English history and the ways it has helped to shape the buildings, flavour the food, power the economy, and create a truly diverse society is the focus of journalist, broadcaster and author Yasmin Alibhai-Brown in a lecture at the University of Winchester on 13 December.
Exotic England - The making of a curious nation is based on her new book of the same name which is a 'tough love' letter to Alibhai-Brown's adopted homeland where she settled in 1972 on arrival from Uganda.
Alibhai-Brown argues that, while England may be a small country on a small island, its inhabitants have always had a boundless curiosity about the world beyond their shorelines. Since the Renaissance English travellers have enthusiastically roamed the globe and been fascinated by the diversity and richness of other civilisations.
Although this appetite for adventure has sometimes been tainted by aggression or exploitation, the English have also carried within them an unrivalled ability to absorb new experiences and ideas and to weave them into every aspect of life back home, from language and literature to customs and culture.
is the latest in a series of events hosted by the University's Centre for English Identity and Politics
and focusing on the themes of diversity and the governance of England. The Centre explores the relationship between a growing sense of English identity and the development of local and national politics in England.
"Today, when England is no longer synonymous with Britain and the English are questioning their national identity and their place in the world, Yasmin draws a fascinating picture of who the English have been in the past and brings a fresh appreciation of Englishness," comments John Denham, Professor of English Identity and Politics at the University and former Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is a professor at Middlesex University and currently writes for the i newspaper and the International Business Times. She won the George Orwell prize for political journalism and has appeared several times on BBC Question Timeand other political programmes. She is also a well-known commentator on various issues from immigration, feminism to Brexit.
The event takes place at 6pm on Thursday 13 December at The Stripe, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR.
A cash bar will be open before and after the event.
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