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The Fabric of Citizenship in Britain (UFR Études Anglophones)

  • ECTS

    6 crédits

  • Composante

    UFR Géographie, Histoire, Économie et Société

  • Volume horaire


  • Période de l'année

    Semestre 3


The centenary of voting rights for women in Britain in 2018 brought media attention to debates on citizenship in the context of its being regularly challenged worldwide in the contemporary period. The contemporary debates on citizenship in the face of Brexit invites to take a step back in British history and revisit the births of the citizen and of citizenship in the longue durée over the period, 1791-1928.

This seminar proposes to discuss these births often lyrically introduced as continuous processes whereas they were permanently challenged. Indeed, different categories of citizens (according to criteria such as social status/class and property ownership, sex, geographical scope and extraterritoriality, which added up) and different shades of citizenship, more often than not were threatened by issues of nationality and short term politics.

This seminar envisions anew various nineteenth-century emancipation campaigns through which citizens often made themselves – at least in discourse prior to their legal /formal recognition. Such is the case for the struggle for the vote both by men and women that was also fed by intellectual events and developments making citizenship an individual and collective experience of individuals fighting for their emancipation.

In this often chaotic process, institutions managing knowledge on the one hand and political life on the other hand were challenged to potential collapse. Will also appear obvious that there were classes of citizenship, and even several definitions of British citizenship in Britain, but also abroad and overseas as a discussion initiated by E.B. Sargant in 1912, in the context of the 1911 Imperial Conference made all too clear. Intermediary statuses such as ‘denizens’ and ‘protected persons’ will also be discussed to show that ‘citizenship’ can only be fully appraised with regard to issues of nationality. In fine, the course will contend that British citizenship needs to be discussed with the trans-imperial and global contexts in mind to determine the validity and the stability of the status, both inside and outside the British sphere (whether the UK, or Empire).

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Heures d'enseignement

  • The Fabric of Citizenship in Britain (UFR Études Anglophones)24h