The study of Empire has always been political. But with support for Brexit partly explained by pundits as imperial nostalgia, and the sweeping rise of the  global Black Lives Matter movement, the imperative and importance of studying the British Empire and its legacy has gone stratospheric. This course will bring you back down to earth. It offers a unique and scholarly history of the complexity of the  British Empire through its origins, rise, fall and legacy. No subject is off limit. Its primary focus is on understanding the experience of and the reasons for these processes including controversies and catastrophes. Many of the case studies are Africa focused. Within the context of Britain's wider political, social and cultural history, the course will examine the following: the origins of the second empire; explorers; liberalism and racism; the expansion of colonies of white settlement; the role of missionaries; the scramble for Africa; the Victorians and popular imperialism; the contribution of empire to the First and Second World Wars; fast exit strategies; violent decolonisation; race and  immigration; post-colonial dictators and the legacy of white settlers. Case studies include Britain and Zimbabwe; Idi Amin and Uganda;  the Mau Mau insurgency in Kenya; plus British rule in Somaliland and the fallout of the Somali civil war. The thread of racism, the imperialism of industrial capitalism and the role of key individuals are recurring themes. This was an empire that I believe was uniquely polyphonic, ideological and Victorian, pushed along from above and pulled down from below.