Race, Nation, and Geographies of Sub-Imperialism in the British Empire: Canadian Aspirations in the Caribbean Basin, 1884-1936


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




With a focus on Canadian designs to annex Britain's colonies in the Caribbean, this dissertation queries the implications of sub-imperial campaigns for colonial independence and nation-state formation in the twentieth century. It argues that these campaigns point to alternative national and imperial configurations that defy placement in conventional narratives of decolonization. Locating Canadian ambitions in a global context of sub-imperialisms that included, but were not limited to, Australian expansion in the South Pacific and South African efforts to expand the Union of 1910, this dissertation also challenges the common assumption that settler colony histories were disconnected from the histories of other colonies. This assumption has led scholars to unquestioningly accept racial affinities and naturalize racial difference. In highlighting the colonial exchanges forged by sub-imperial campaigns, this dissertation offers an important corrective to conventional demarcations of empire.