HubTalks: Insurgent Empire with Priyamvada Gopal

Insurgent Empire shows how Britain’s enslaved and colonial subjects were active agents in their own liberation. What is more, they shaped British ideas of freedom and emancipation back in the United Kingdom.

Priyamvada Gopal examines a century of dissent on the question of empire and shows how British critics of empire were influenced by rebellions and resistance in the colonies, from the West Indies and East Africa to Egypt and India. In addition, a pivotal role in fomenting resistance was played by anticolonial campaigners based in London, right at the heart of empire.
Much has been written on how colonised peoples took up British and European ideas and turned them against empire when making claims to freedom and self-determination. Insurgent Empire sets the record straight in demonstrating that these people were much more than victims of imperialism or, subsequently, the passive beneficiaries of an enlightened British conscience—they were insurgents whose legacies shaped and benefited the nation that once oppressed them.
Priya will be in conversation with writer and producer, Siana Bangura.



<<< TICKETS >>>

Tickets for this Hub Talks event are free for members of Impact Hub Birmingham and £5 for non members. You can book your ticket here via Eventbrite. Copies of Insurgent Empire will be on sale via Foyles and Priya will be happy to sign copies at the end of the event. Please note, this event will be starting at an earlier time than normal for our Hub Talks events and will be starting at 6pm (instead of the usual 7pm).



Priyamvada Gopal is University Reader in Anglophone and Related Literatures in the Faculty of English and Fellow, Churchill College, University of Cambridge. She is the author of Literary Radicalism in India: Gender, Nation and the Transition to Independence and The Indian English Novel: Nation, History and Narration. You can follow Priya on Twitter via @PriyamvadaGopal


Siana Bangura is a writer, producer, performer and community organiser hailing from South East London, now living, working, and creating between London and the West Midlands. She is the founder and former editor of Black British Feminist platform, No Fly on the WALL; she is the author of poetry collection, ‘Elephant’; and the producer of ‘1500 & Counting’, a documentary film investigating deaths in custody and police brutality in the UK. Siana works and campaigns on issues of race, class, and gender and their intersections and is currently working on projects focusing on climate change, the arms trade, and state violence.

Siana is currently an artist in residence at the Birmingham Rep Theatre, working on her debut play. She is also a workshop facilitator, public speaking trainer, and social commentator. Her work has been featured in  mainstream and alternative publications such as The Guardian, The Metro, Evening Standard, Black Ballad, Consented, Green European Journal, The Fader, and Dazed. Her past television appearances include the BBC, Channel 4, Sky TV and ITV. Across her vast portfolio of work, Siana’s mission is to help move marginalised voices from the margins, to the centre. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at: @Sianaarrgh


Hub Talks is our regular programme of world class writers, thinkers, filmmakers, performers and more.

Over the last 4 years we have been implicitly growing our reputation for convening to hear from deliberate and nuanced writers such as New York Time #1 best selling writer Angie Thomas, Afua Hirsch, Patrick Ness and Patrisse Khan-Cullers, as well as collaborative events with one of the nation’s favourite bakers Nadiya Hussain and The Good Immigrant with Nikesh Shukla and Birmingham Literature Festival, our approach to programming has consistently been about quietly showing a different story.


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Event Organizers

Impact Hub Birmingham & Writers to Readers

Date & Time

October 21, 2019 | 18:00 to 20:00


Impact Hub Birmingham


Entry Fee

Cost for Members: Free

Cost for Non Members: £5

Updated on 06 September 2019