Broadcasting Colonialism: Conference
‘Broadcasting Colonialism’ presents new research on the global history of radio, television, film and other broadcast media. Colonial officials were fascinated by the power of broadcasting as a tool of political control and its potential to project a high-tech vision of colonial rule as modern and permanent. Paradoxically, this often went hand-in-hand with an ethnographic impetus to salvage, promote and curate ‘traditional’ culture, music and stories. But broadcast media proved unreliable servants of colonial rule thanks to the efforts of subversive voices from within the colonial media machine and, from without, the cross-border flow of illicit media such as contraband film reels and ‘guerrilla radio’ stations (Lekgoathi et al, 2020). In some localities broadcast media served as much to undermine as to prolong empire. At independence broadcasting became the primary medium of nation-building yet it did as much to divide as unite postcolonial societies. The conference showcases the ways in which the global history of broadcasting, which has only recently begun to attract significant scholarly attention, compliments and problematises the more established history of the press.

The conference interrogates the media landscape not only of the colonial period but also its legacies in the post-independence era and in contemporary broadcast media. Its geographical scope comprises papers on Africa, South Asia, East Asia, Australasia, USA, Northern Ireland and the Netherlands. The keynote lecture will be given by Prof Chandrika Kaul on radio in colonial India, and the conference will finish with a screening and discussion of short films about decolonisation in Francophone Africa.


Join online via Teams –
Date: 16 May 2024, 10:30 (Thursday, 4th week, Trinity 2024)
Venue: St Antony's College, 62 Woodstock Road OX2 6JF
Venue Details: Nissan Institute Lecture Theatre and online
Speaker: Various Speakers
Organising department: Centre for African Studies
Organisers: Peter Brooke (African Studies Centre, Oxford), Brenda McCollum
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Booking required?: Required
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Cost: Free
Audience: Public
Editor: Emma Davies