Locating the English Diaspora, 1500-2010
After 1600, English emigration became one of Europe’s most significant population movements. Yet compared to what has been written about the migration of Scots and Irish, relatively little energy has been expended on the numerically more significant English flows. Whilst the Scottish, Irish, German, Italian, Jewish and Black Diasporas are well known and much studied, there is virtual silence on the English. Why, then, is there no English Diaspora? Why has little been said about the English other than to map their main emigration flows? Did the English simply disappear into the host population? Or were they so fundamental, and foundational, to the Anglophone, Protestant cultures of the evolving British World that they could not be distinguished in the way Catholic Irish or continental Europeans were? With contributions from the UK, Europe North America and Australasia that examine themes as wide-ranging as Yorkshire societies in New Zealand and St George’s societies in Montreal, to Anglo-Saxonism in the Atlantic World and the English Diaspora of the sixteenth century, this international collection explores these and related key issues about the nature and character of English identity during the creation of the cultures of the wider British World. It does not do so uncritically. Several of the authors deal with and accept the invisibility of the English, while others take the opposite view.
The result is a lively collection which combines reaffirmations of some existing ideas with fresh empirical research, and groundbreaking new conceptualisations.
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This collection 'represents a much-needed contribution to the literature on the movement of populations in the post-1500 world. ... The editors rightly state that English immigration has largely been understood in an imperial sense; they are the founders of empire and nothing more. Furthermore, studies of diasporas have tended to focus on populations which experienced ‘forced exile and reluctant migration’ (p. 4). They stress that collective memory has no recollection of an ‘English’ ethnicity, at least not in the same sense as ‘Scottish’ or ‘Irish’. However, the contributors to this book have certainly shown that in several locations English migration left a deliberate impression and legacy. The range of geographic locations covered is impressive ... In sum, this collection of essays has made a crucial step towards identifying a distinct English diaspora and unpacking notions of ‘Englishness’ as a unique and separate identity.'
Economic History Review, 66, 4 (2013).
Contributions by English Diaspora team members include:
- Tanja Bueltmann, David Gleeson and Don MacRaild: 'Introduction. Locating the English Diaspora: Problems, Perspectives and Approaches'
- Tanja Bueltmann: 'Anglo-Saxonism and the Racialization of the English Diaspora'
- Joe Hardwick: 'An English Institution? The Colonial Church of England in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century'
- Monika Smialkowska: 'An Englishman in New York? Celebrating Shakespeare in America, 1916'