2011 Conference – Call for Papers

Freemasonry and Empires

22-23 October 2011

Cremation of Annie Besant, 1933 Annie Besant, socialist, suffragette, supporter of Irish and Indian self rule, theosophist and 33° Co-Mason, being cremated at Adyar, near Madras (now Chennai), India, on 21 September 1933. Photo courtesy of The International Order of Co-Freemasonry Le Droit Humain, British Federation.

The field of Empire and post-colonial studies has received a good deal of attention in recent years. However, with the notable exception of Jessica Harland-Jacobs pioneering study, Builders of Empire, Freemasonry and British Imperialism, 1717-1927 (The University of North Carolina Press, 2007), an important aspect of associational life in this field – the study of freemasonry – has not received the attention that it arguably deserves. And the neglect of this influential and often controversial society leaves us an incomplete view of associational life within the Age of Empire and beyond.

This is something of an irony given that freemasonry was very often the largest fraternal association in the colonies and many leading advocates of Empire such as Lord Kitchener, Sir Stamford Raffles, Rudyard Kipling, King Edward VII and George VI were all enthusiastic devotees of the Order. Many non-British personalities also sought membership of the fraternity including Joseph Brant, Chief of the Mohawks, Dhuleep Singh, last Maharaja of the Sikh State, and Habibullah Khan, Emir of Afghanistan. And the lodges even embraced some implacable opponents of colonialism such as George Washington, Annie Besant and Jamal ad din Al Afghani.

The Canonbury Masonic Research Centre therefore invites scholars to submit proposals for papers on any aspect of this broad theme. Proposals should consist of 300 to 400 words and should be sent, along with a potted CV, to the Conference Organiser, the Canonbury Masonic Research Centre, Canonbury Tower, Canonbury Place, London N1 2NQ. The Call for Papers closes on 30 May 2011.

Papers can focus on any Empire where there is a demonstrable connection with freemasonry and themes that one might consider could include: nationalism, internationalism, supra-nationalism and trans-nationalism; sociability and the public space; the slave trade (specifically its abolition); gender related themes (including women’s and mixed-sex freemasonry); secularism and religion (including esoteric and ritual practice); independence and anti-colonial movements; material culture; the image of Empire, both moving and still; connexity, inculturation and cultural exchange, and the legacy of the masonic presence within the former colonial world.

The event will include three plenary lectures delivered by Dr Jessica Harland-Jacobs, Associate Professor at the University of Florida, Professor Andrew Prescott, University of Glasgow, and Professor Cécile Revauger, University of Bordeaux III. And tickets for the event are now available priced £99.00 (this includes conference entrance and two buffet lunches) and reservations for the Saturday evening dinner are an additional £40 (please provide details of any special dietary requirements). Cheques should be made payable to the ‘CMRC’ and sent to conference organiser at the above-mentioned address.

Registration form

Out now

The Canonbury Papers Volume 5

The Canonbury Papers Volume 5

Knowledge of the Heart: Gnostic Movements and Secret Traditions
contains papers given at CMRC’s eighth international conference.

Limited edition only £18.99 available at Canonbury Tower Bookshop, Lewis Masonic, Central Regalia, and The Bookshop, Freemasons’ Hall, Great Queen Street, London WC2B 5AZ.

CMRC is an educational institution for the independent study of Freemasonry and the traditions linked to it, and of mystical and esoteric traditions worldwide. (more…)

Design Lambent Technology

Valid XHTML 1.1