The Georgetown University Law Center and the Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies
cordially invite you to attend a symposium "Empire and Its Myth," on Thursday, April 27, at 6:00 p.m., Twelfth Floor, Gewirz Student Center, Georgetown University Law Center, 120 F Street, NW
The symposium will compare European contact with indigenous peoples in New Zealand and North America. The principal paper will be delivered by Professor James Belich of the University of Auckland, who is currently Fulbright Visiting Professor of New Zealand Studies at Georgetown's Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies.
Professor Belich's paper will be followed by comments from Gregory Evans Dowd, Department of History, University of Notre Dame, who is the author of A Spirited Resistance: The North American Indian Struggle for Unity, 1745-1815 (1992), and Dale A. Turner, Department of Government and Native American Studies, Dartmouth College. Refreshments will be served.
Professor Belich will explore what he terms "a basic myth of empire," that interaction and settlement were, or would quickly and necessarily become, empire. Europeans, he will argue, inherently tended to exaggerate the extent to which they had established an empire through an initial, crippling impact, conversion, or conquest. Conquest, in particular, he will maintain, could generate a situation of "False Empire," a state of affairs that Europeans believed to be empire or the verge of it, but which in fact was interaction with indigenous polities on the basis of some parity. The shattering of this protective illusion by some contingent circumstance was a common cause of wars of conquest. Belich will illustrate this dynamic with examples drawn from New Zealand and the U.S. West.
James Belich's major work is Making Peoples: A History of the New Zealanders (1996), which treated the country's history from Polynesian Settlement to the end of the nineteenth century. His earlier, prize-winning books are The New Zealand Wars and the Victorian Interpretation of Racial Conflict (1986), and "I Shall Not Die": Titokowaru's War, 1868-69 (1989).
Professor Belich is a graduate of Victoria University of Wellington and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes scholar. He has held a personal chair as Professor of History at Auckland University since 1997.
The symposium will be held at the Gewirz Center of the Georgetown University Law Center, 120 F Street, NW. For directions, please consult
The symposium is open to the public, but seating is limited. To reserve space, please telephone Professor Daniel Ernst, Georgetown University Law Center, (202) 662-9475, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please contact Professor Ernst or the Georgetown Center for Australian and New Zealand Studies, (202) 687-7464 or 687-7347.
Daniel R. Ernst
Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20001
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