Publication Date: Jul 2008
RRP: $19.95
ISBN: 9780980361667
Format: Paperback
Size: 165mm x 245mm
Pages: 296
Category: Australasian & Pacific

Orb and Sceptre

Studies in British Imperialism and Its Legacies, in Honour of Norman Etherington

Edited by Peter Limb

Open Access

Orb and Sceptre brings together recent cutting-edge work on British imperialism by Australian researchers closely associated with Norman Etherington, one of Australia’s most eminent scholars in this field. Orb and Sceptre reflects the trajectory of British Empire history in the academy over the last forty years. Demands for new nationalist histories for decolonised territories have combined with renewed attention to the role of the periphery in the making and unmaking of empires. This has formed an explosive mix that has blown apart traditional conceptions of Empire and Commonwealth history.

The colonial construction of knowledge is a principal theme in Orb and Sceptre. Former colonies and dependencies looked to a fresh generation of historians to write their histories, generally conceived as grand narratives of escape from imperial shackles. At the same time, a new wave of scholars influenced by feminism, neo-Marxism, dependency theory and postcolonialism laid the groundwork for a renaissance in Empire and Commonwealth history. These historians have been rediscovering the links that continue to connect former colonies to their imperial pasts.

This book offers:

  • A showcase of new studies in British Imperialism by Australian and international scholars, highlighting cutting-edge approaches and areas of interest from cultural studies to biography and landscape studies, as well as traditional areas such as political history, immigration, and military history;
  • Exciting new research on Australian, Asian and African history; and
  • A bibliography of the works of Norman Etherington.

The book is enlivened by a wide range of illustrative material, including photos, drawings and maps.

Orb and Sceptre is a festschrift in honour of Norman Etherington, one of Australia’s most eminent scholars of imperialism.


  • Tim Dymond, Community and Public Sector Union
  • Norman Etherington, University of Western Australia
  • Fiona Groenhout, independent scholar
  • Jason Lim, Nanyang Technological University
  • Peter Limb, Michigan State University
  • Natalie Lloyd, University of Auckland
  • Jennifer McGuire, corporate communication consultant
  • Jeremy Martens, University of Western Australia
  • Felicity Morel-Ednie Brown, University of Western Australia
  • Ryôta Nishino, independent scholar
  • Keith Smith, independent scholar
  • Jennifer Weir, Murdoch University

Peter Limb

Peter Limb received his PhD from the University of Western Australia. He is Associate Professor (Adjunct) in the History Department at Michigan State University, where he is also Africana Bibliographer. His books include Nelson Mandela: A Biography (Greenwood, 2008), Digital Dilemmas and Solutions (Chandos, 2004),...
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