Imperial Gothic

  • May 21, 2013
Imperial Gothic

Alex Bremner has just published his book on the Gothic revival movement in architecture and its impact around the world.

A groundbreaking book on the global reach and influence of the Gothic Revival movement in architecture and its close links with 18th- and 19th-century British cultural politics has been published by a Gates Cambridge alumnus.

In his new book Imperial Gothic, Alex [George] Bremner, now a senior lecturer in architectural history at the University of Edinburgh, talks about how, by the middle of the 19th century, the movement had been transformed by architects and theorists into a serious scholarly endeavour, connecting it to notions of propriety and 'truth', particularly in the domain of religious architecture.

Alex writes about how these developments coincided with the continued expansion of Britain’s empire, including a renewed urgency by the English Church to extend its mission beyond the British Isles. Through his focus on religious buildings, he examines the reinvigoration of the Church of England’s colonial and missionary agenda and its relationship to the rise of Anglican ecclesiology, revealing the nature and extent of building activity that occurred across the British world.

Alex [2001] was in the first intake of Gates scholars in 2001 and helped to set up the Gates Scholars' Alumni Association. He did a PhD in the history and theory of Victorian architecture at Cambridge and was the first ever Gates scholar to be awarded a PhD. His thesis focused on London as an imperial city during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and how imperial power was expressed through architecture and urban environments. He says his research led to an interest in understanding the role that religion played in constructing colonial identity.

*G. A. Bremner, Imperial Gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, c.1840-1870 is published by Yale University Press, 2013.
 

Latest News

How to speak to young people about genocide

A Gates Cambridge Scholar is to present a very personal BBC Radio 4 series on how to educate young people about genocide and mass trauma next week. Alice Musabende [2016] will present Unspeakable, a five-part series which runs from 2-6 August* on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds.  Alice is a former journalist from Rwanda, […]

The magic of music

Eighteen months ago, after finishing her PhD, Naomi Woo [2014] moved to Winnipeg to take up the role of assistant conductor of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. The role is a first stepping stone to a career conducting orchestras in Canada and internationally. In this position, Naomi has conducted concerts for all audiences, but also had […]

Exploring the neural bases of consciousness

New insights into how neurochemical influences from the brainstem affect the rest of the brain to bring about consciousness could help brain-damaged patients and further our understanding of how consciousness works. A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [PNAS] by researchers at the Division of Anaesthesia, University of Cambridge investigates the […]

Knowledge gap on zoonotic disease transmission highlighted

The impact of climate change on migration patterns, particularly in areas which depend on agriculture and livestock, could affect zoonotic disease transmission yet little research has been done to date. A new study, led by Gates Cambridge Scholar and Veterinary Science PhD student Dorien Braam [2018], looks at the research that currently exists, but calls […]