Massachusetts Historical Society

Event

Empire, Incorporated: The Corporations That Built British Colonialism

At MHS

Philip J. Stern, Duke University

This is a hybrid event. FREE for MHS Members. $10 per person fee (in person). No charge for virtual attendees or Card to Culture participants (EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare). The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

Register to attend online

Register to attend in person

Across four centuries, from Ireland to India, British colonialism was above all the business of corporations. Corporations conceived, promoted, financed, and governed overseas expansion, making claims over territory and peoples while ensuring that British and colonial society were invested in their ventures. Breaking from traditional histories in which corporations take a supporting role by doing the dirty work of sovereign states in exchange for commercial monopolies, Philip Stern argues that corporations took the lead in global expansion and administration. And, as Empire, Incorporated makes clear, venture colonialism did not cease with the end of empire. Its legacies continue to raise questions about corporate power that are just as relevant today as they were 400 years ago. Challenging conventional wisdom about where power is held on a global scale, Stern complicates the supposedly firm distinction between private enterprise and the state, offering a new history of the British Empire, as well as a new history of the corporation.

Hybrid Event

The in-person reception starts at 5:30 and the program will begin at 6:00.

Masks are optional for this event.

The virtual program begins at 6:00 PM and will be hosted on the video conference platform, Zoom. Registrants will receive a confirmation message with attendance information.

Upcoming Events

The Latest

Blog
Videos
Podcast