The Rutgers British Studies Center (RBSC) supports a rich variety of programming—lectures, conferences, seminars, workshops, and roundtables—dedicated to the interdisciplinary analysis of British history and culture. The Center's work is broad in chronological scope and geographical sweep, ranging from the Early Middle Ages to the present and from the local to the global. Chronologically, we aim to investigate conventional boundaries between tradition and modernity, feudalism and capitalism, the imperial and the post-imperial, the neo-classical and the post-romantic, and the modern and the post-modern. Geographically, we inquire into relations between regions and nations within the British Isles and within the British Empire, between Britain and Europe, and between imperial and post-imperial Britain and the rest of the world. Methodologically, the Center seeks to understand what sort of knowledge the traditional divisions between academic disciplines promote and what sort they preclude so that our interdisciplinary projects in scholarship and teaching may be guided by an informed sense of purpose. Our aim is to encourage not a quest for a dubious unity of method but a series of intellectual encounters and engagements, producing friction as much as consensus and stimulating both productive disagreements and transformative collaborations.
The RBSC began work in 2007 as the Rutgers British Studies Project, supported by the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. A generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has allowed the Center to formalize its existence and expand its work, and will help support the Center's programming between 2011 and 2014.
In addition to its annual program of lectures, conferences, workshops, and seminars, the Center supports a number of other initiatives, including team-taught interdepartmental graduate courses, graduate student working groups, and a visiting fellowship for local scholars in British studies.
Information on the Center's programming, past, present, and future, can be found elsewhere on this website.