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Edward Beasley

Office: AL 572
Phone: (619) 594-8461 (Email preferred)

Professor Ed Beasley, PhD (UCSD 1993), FRHistS, studies Victorian England. His first two books looked at who was behind a pro-imperial pressure-group (Empire as the Triumph of Theory: A Study of the Founders of the Colonial Society of 1868, 2004), and how certain ways of thinking about politics and anthropology fed into British imperialism (Mid-Victorian Imperialists: British Gentlemen and the Empire of the Mind, 2005). His third book (The Victorian Reinvention of Race: New Racisms and the Problem of Grouping in the Human Sciences, 2010), looks at how, when we are trying to divide the peoples of the world into categories so we can understand them better, we can sometimes fall into the trap of setting up racial stereotypes. This book examines the thinking of Alexis de Tocqueville, Walter Bagehot, and Charles Darwin, among others, at a time in the mid-nineteenth century when racist ideas were becoming more common in Great Britain.

Beasley's current book project is a biography of General Sir Charles Napier, who supported the cause of social revolution within the British Isles and imperial expansion abroad. Later, Beasley plans a book on how much larger the urban world is than it was two-hundred years ago, especially when it is explored on foot – even while the world has shrunken so much for people travelling long distances.

Prof. Beasley enjoys teaching as much as research. The craft of history means looking at the rich record of human life and finding meaningful patterns and stories about how different people have tried to live in the world. Ed Beasley enjoys helping students through that process of searching for evidence and patterns, and helping them frame well-expressed arguments of their own.

In his retirement twenty or so years from now, Prof. Beasley wants to walk around San Diego and London, sitting in parks and coffeehouses, reading and taking notes on Victorian novels. He wants to use that kind of evidence to write a book on urban social problems at home and in the empire. After that, he is still entertaining offers.

Learn more by visiting his personal website.