When I was a young man in my twenties I had sometimes dreamt of accomplishing some great work of scholarship and, more often, of writing a grammar. Now I find that I have done both. Of course the claim is largely fraudulent. It is my co-director Lee Grieveson and even more the researchers Tom Rice, Francis Gooding and Richard Osborne who have compiled the catalogue of colonial film which does seem to me a very considerable work of scholarship and Filipa Cesar who with the film Black Balance has produced a grammar. But as the conference winds down I feel a sense of real accomplishment. Paul Gilroy, whose book After Empire, had provided the intellectual framework for the project opened the conference with a great talk and David Trotter and Arjuna Parakrama followed with contributions that really illuminated. Now as two days later I sit and talk with Lee, the researchers and Sarah Joshi I reflect that I feel lucky to have worked on these records of Empire and made them available to others.
25th-26th September 2010