Episode 5: Britain – Who?

English? British? From the UK? What are labels, why are they important, and who gets to use them? In this episode, we look closer at the names and words of a really complicated archipelago.

Host: Klara Eriksson

Guests: Georgia Bulis-Grey, Theo Gadd, Leo Clancy, Zdravko Varbanov

This season is part of my capstone project for a Bachelor of Arts at Minerva Schools at KGI. Thanks to Professor Grace Woods-Puckett, my advisor, Antonia Boorman, Liberty Pim, and my dad for the great feedback, and to my roommate Barbara for never rolling my eyes at me when I go off on one of my endless harangue about some obscure detail of narratives.

Special thanks to Georgia Bulis-Gray, Theo Gadd, and Shiao-li Green for letting me interview them, and for answering my intrusive questions. Thanks also to Antonia for helping me see more complexities in already complex situations and teaching me about Northern Ireland, and to Leo Clancy and Zdravko Varbanov for lending their voices to some men of the past.


Britannia. Artwork by Klara Eriksson.



Act of Union art. 1, Jul. 22, 1707. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aep/Ann/6/11

Anderson, Benedict. Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso Books, 1983.

Colley, Linda. Britons. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2005. https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt5vm1mq?turn_away=true

Cusack, Tricia. “Classical Britannia: Food, Allegory and Social class in Victorian Visual Art”. In Food and Power, 1-9. Dublin: Dublin Gastronomy Symposium, 2018. 

Dáil Éireann 28 September 2005, 606. [Online] https://web.archive.org/web/20121006211200/http://www.oireachtas-debates.gov.ie/D/0606/D.0606.200509280360.html

“EU Referendum: The Result in Maps and Charts.” BBC News. BBC, June 24, 2016. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36616028

Grube, Dennis. At the Margins of Victorian Britain: Politics, Immorality and Britishness in the Nineteenth Century. London: I.B. Tauris, 2013.

Lee, Timothy B. “Brexit: the 7 Most Important Arguments for Britain to Leave the EU.” Vox. Vox, June 25, 2016. https://www.vox.com/2016/6/22/11992106/brexit-arguments

Linsley, Brett. “Feeble to Effeminacy: Race and Gender in the British Imperial Consciousness 1837-1901.” Grand Valley Journal of History 2, no. 2 (March 2013): 1–11. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/gvjh/vol2/iss2/1/?utm_source=scholarworks.gvsu.edu/gvjh/vol2/iss2/1&utm_medium=PDF&utm_campaign=PDFCoverPages

Matthews, Roy T. “Britannia and John Bull: From Birth to Maturity.” The Historian 62, no. 4 (2000): 799–820.

McGreevy, Ronan. “A History of Ireland for Outsiders: From Henry VIII to the Troubles.” The Irish Times. The Irish Times, March 6, 2019. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/a-history-of-ireland-for-outsiders-from-henry-viii-to-the-troubles-1.3816898

Moreh, Chris. “The Ongoing Legacies of Brexit: Uncertainty, Otherness and Belonging.” The Sociological Review. Sociological Review Publication Ltd., May 24, 2019. https://www.thesociologicalreview.com/the-ongoing-legacies-of-brexit-uncertainty-otherness-and-belonging/

Ramos, Aida. Shifting Capital: Mercantilism and the Economics of the Act of Union of 1707. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2018. https://link-springer-com.ccl.idm.oclc.org/book/10.1007/978-3-319-96403-4#toc

Sheehy, Hugh. “THE BRITISH ISLES.” The Irish Times. The Irish Times, January 30, 1996. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/letters/the-british-isles-1.26569

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica. “British Isles.” Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, inc., June 8, 2017. https://www.britannica.com/place/British-Isles


Shiao-li Green, interview by Klara Eriksson, London, October 5, 2019.

Theo Gadd, interview by Klara Eriksson, London, November 22, 2019.

Georgia Bulis-Gray, interview by Klara Eriksson, London, November 20, 2019.


Alex Dorohoff l Music Composer. “Traditional Irish Tribal Battle Music | Celtic War Horn | Celtic Tribes Battle Music.” YouTube video, 5:20. Mar 21, 2018. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btqrNGQE0BU

Benjamin Gustafsson, “Solitude,” Flight of a Romanticist, Musicbed, online. https://www.musicbed.com/songs/solitude/25307

Cathedral, “Fall,” Seasons, Musicbed, online. https://www.musicbed.com/songs/fall/36111

Dario Lupo, “See You on Another Loop,” See You on Another Loop, Musicbed, online. https://www.musicbed.com/songs/see-you-on-another-loop/28028

David A. Molina, “Monarch,” Monarch, Musicbed, online. https://www.musicbed.com/songs/monarch/39594

Moncrief, “Open Sea,” Moncrief, Musicbed, online. https://www.musicbed.com/songs/open-sea/9934

Romanis The Melodist. “Rule, Britannia! – BBC Last Night of the Proms 2012.” YouTube video, 3:32. Oct 27, 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y2iLA3h_u60

Shawn Williams, “Distant Hearts,” Reflections, Musicbed, online. https://www.musicbed.com/songs/distant-hearts/17838

Virgil Arles, “Distant Memory,” Paradox, Musicbed, online. https://www.musicbed.com/songs/distant-memory/35102

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