The British Empire at War Research Group is a forum for scholars interested in all aspects of the British Empire’s war history, particularly the Empire’s participation in world wars. Convened by Professor Ashley Jackson and Dr Yasmin Khan, it organizes regular academic events and publishes online essays and occasional research papers. Its primary purpose is to facilitate interaction among scholars from different parts of the world who share an interest in the history of the territories of the former British Empire-Commonwealth during times of conflict.
The group focuses in particular on the world wars of the twentieth century and also the world wars of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. It extends to cover other periods of imperial conflict too, such as the manifold conflicts of the Victorian era, the landmark South African War of 1899-1902, and the ‘counterinsurgency’ conflicts of the post-1945 era.
The British Empire at War Research Group grew out of the research activities of its founders and a workshop involving twelve academics who met at Mansfield College Oxford in April 2009 to present new research on the British Empire and the Second World War. The group was formed in 2012 in order to extend the reach of a growing informal network of academics attached to various UK and overseas universities and institutions such as museums. Ouleye Ndoye, a master’s graduate of Oxford University, was instrumental in helping set up the website. The group aims to provide a forum dedicated to the study of the British Empire at war, useful to scholars whose home institutions’ syllabi and research agendas might not cover this fascinating aspect of history in any depth. The study of the British Empire at war is an important field of academic endeavour, but it is a niche one. The British Empire at War Research Group exists to showcase the work of those whose research is dedicated to it.