The concept of nostalgia in relation to empire is usually analyzed as a longing for former imperial and colonial glory, thus eliding the full spectrum of hegemonic practices that are associated with empire. Focusing on the postindependence narratives and practices of France and Britain, this article distinguishes between imperial nostalgia and colonial nostalgia, arguing that the former is associated with the loss of empire—that is, the decline of national grandeur and the international power politics connected to economic and political hegemony—and the latter with the loss of sociocultural standing or, more precisely, the colonial lifestyle.
Differences of Theory, Similarities of Practice?
Patricia M. E. Lorcin
effectively aided in recent years.” Noting that “Brexiteers, however wistful they may in fact feel for the past of formal Empire, actually seek to play it down or to avoid discussing it,” Thackeray and Toye maintain that imperial nostalgia “could only become
: Routledge, 2004), 25–42, here 41; Robert Saunders, “The Myth of Brexit as Imperial Nostalgia,” Prospect , 7 January 2019, https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/world/the-myth-of-brexit-as-imperial-nostalgia ; Andrew Gardner, “Brexit, Boundaries and Imperial
When Was Brexit? Reading Backward to the Present
dramas—tense and tender scenes that touch on everything from imperial nostalgia to the criminality of immigrants (whether ex-colonial or East European) to the threat of globalizing forces—have unfolded in countless British-based TV series over the last
Empire: Global Britain and the Myth of Imperial Nostalgia,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 48, no. 6 (2020): 1140–1174, here 1142, doi: 10.1080/03086534.2020.1848403 . 61 Bourke, “Presuppositions of the New British History,” 752. 62