This course will take place in person at Bishopsgate Institute and as a walking tour.
The session starts with an opportunity to explore the history of key local buildings through pamphlets and books held in our library and special collections. A guided walk then reveals the traces of empire on the statuary and buildings in the eastern half of the City. Topics covered include: the slave trade, the spice trade, and imperial capitalism.
Who is this course for?
Informal learners seeking to:
- find out more about London’s imperial past (1600s-1900s)
- understand the links between the City and Empire, and how these have historically been celebrated in the area’s architecture and statuary
- gain a greater awareness of the hidden connections between slavery and global capitalism
What can I expect?
- The subject is introduced through London guidebooks and pamphlets from Bishopsgate Institute’s special collections, curated by our interpretation manager
- A one-hour guided walk outlines the imperial history of the eastern half of the City, as discovered in the built environment
- A chance to ask questions, and participate in group conversations during the tour using material from the Bishopsgate Institute archive as starting points
Will I need any equipment or materials?
The session involves research activities using original sources. Please bring reading glasses if worn.
Comfortable shoes for undertaking a 1-hour walk; water for refreshment.
How we’re keeping you safe
April 2022 update: Keeping you safe and healthy is our number one priority.
If you test positive for Covid-19 or are asked to isolate and are not able to attend your class or pre-booked event, please contact the Bishopsgate Box Office for further information (email@example.com). Please do not come to the Institute in person if you have symptoms or have tested positive.
Wearing a face mask is no longer compulsory but we ask you to consider others when in our building and especially when spending time in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet. You will see many of our staff and volunteers continuing to wear face masks and we are keeping the perspex screens at our reception desks.
Bishopsgate Institute has strict cleaning protocols in place and ventilation throughout the building. There are hand-sanitising stations available throughout the building and touch-free drinking fountains. Find out more about how we’re keeping you safe.
We provide a number of funded bursaries to people who find it hard to pay the full or concessionary rates. Find out more information on how to apply.
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You will learn
- Richly-detailed information on the legacy of Empire, as revealed through the design of famous buildings such as the Royal Exchange and the Bank of England.
- Vanished traces of London and Empire exposed through buildings since demolished such as the South Sea Company House and East India House, two of the most important colonial institutions in the eighteenth century
- An understanding of the ways in which the City and its architecture is documented in the special collections at Bishopsgate Institute
Meet the Tutors
Dr Michelle Johansen
Dr Michelle Johansen is a social historian specialising in the history of modern London, with a particular emphasis on social class and mobility, gender, professional lives, and regional identities. Her publications include articles in Teaching History, the London Journal, and Cultural and Social History. Michelle has more than ten years' experience of delivering learning sessions at Bishopsgate Institute for all types of learners, from primary school pupils to undergraduates to informal adult learners. Her teaching approach places the emphasis on access to original historical documents, which provides a uniquely dynamic and immersive classroom experience.
Hardeep Dhindsa is a current PhD Classics student at King’s College London, where he looks at the relationship between whiteness and Classics during the British Empire in eighteenth century painting, and how that has affected our perception of white British identity today. On the side, Hardeep is an illustrator and recolours ancient statues in eye-popping colours to disrupt the images of whiteness we see in museums today. He has studied architectural history for several years and has been a seminar leader on Greek Art and Architecture at King’s College London.
Need to Know
- 18:00 - 20:00
- Walking Tour
- Dr Michelle Johansen & Hardeep Dhindsa
- Max Students
- No. of Sessions
- Course Code