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Next week History and Cultures will be delighted to welcome Professor Priya Satia from Stanford University to the UK for the European launch of her book “Empire of Guns: The Violent Making of the Industrial Revolution”.

Professor Satia chose Birmingham for the launch of her book because of the city’s pivotal role in the birth of industrial capitalism-and the forging of tools such as guns-that facilitated European imperialism.

The visit will see Professor Satia lead a workshop with postgraduate students affiliated with the Modern and Contemporary Forum on Tuesday 12th June. On the morning of Wednesday 13th June there will be an object handling session at the Birmingham Museum Trust Collections Centre in the north of the city. This will then be followed by the Guns Workshop  which will offer attendees the chance to listen and engage with critical discussion of what Professor Satia’s work means for the study of global, national and regional early modern and modern history. As well as its ongoing resonance and power to explain the world that we live in.

On the evening of 13th May the visit will be capped off with a public lecture (Muirhead Tower, G15) from 17:00 on Guns. Subtitled: 'Pacifists Making Guns: The Galtons of Birmingham and Britain’s Industrial Revolution' . This event is the climax of this year’s BRIHC Summer Series BIG GAME, and has additionally been designated by the Centre for Modern and Contemporary History, as their Annual Lecture.

But most critically: throughout her time at Birmingham-in additional to have the chance to deliberate, discuss and disseminate her work-Prof. Satia will have the chance to engage with institutions and archives that provide crucial evidence for understanding the emergence of the capitalist world system.  

Her visit has been enabled through the support of Birmingham Centre for Eighteenth Century Studies, Centre for Modern and Contemporary History as well as the Birmingham Research Institute for History and Cultures. Additional supporters include the Centre for West Midlands History, Ironbridge International Institute for Cultural Heritage and Birmingham Museums Trust, a key and increasingly important external partner of the School and the University as a whole.