CALL FOR PAPERS: “Critical Perspectives on Empire and Imperialism: past and present” Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Conference at the Department of History, University of Essex, UK, September 24-25, 2004.
Classical notions of empire and imperialism emphasise the political and economic domination of a group of states by a metropolitan power and the policy which seeks the extension of this domination through colonisation, military coercion, treaties and other means of gaining ascendancy. Historians have often tended to treat empire and imperialism as issues of the past and not the present. However, the current preoccupation with concerns like globalisation and the ‘war on terrorism’ as conceived by the United States of America and its Western allies, indicate a reordering of global power relations in such a way that the concepts of empire and imperialism are gaining new currency in contemporary historical and political debate. The continuing appalling difference in economic, social, political and technological conditions between the former imperial powers and the former colonies also suggests a relevance of empire and imperialism to present life.
In the academic world, the last two decades or so have seen a shift in focus from a rather narrow concentration on economics and politics towards approaches that include all aspects of social life, particularly those of culture and identity. This has added to a more complex understanding of the historical and present relations between metropoles and (former) colonies, and has particulary shed new light on movements of resistance and opposition to empire and imperialism.
This conference seeks to extend the debate on empire and imperialism by inviting contributions from as wide a disciplinary background as possible. We welcome proposals for papers from postgraduate students from within and outside the United Kingdom. We hope for contributions from history, sociology, political science, language and literature, economics, international relations, law, philosophy, development studies etc. Contributions that seek to combine historical insights with contemporary perspectives are particularly welcome. Papers should relate concepts of empire and imperialism to fields and issues such as economics, politics, international and civil wars, foreign relations, international business and multinational corporations, culture, identity, nation, race, ethnicity, class formation, labour, migration, gender relations, terrorism, genocide, human rights and religion. The conference aims to focus on themes such as:
Conceptual and theoretical approaches to empire/imperialism and their application to historical and contemporary analysis
How empire/imperialism affects (and has historically affected) people’s lives economically, socially, politically and culturally both in the metropoles and in the periphery.
Resistance to empire/imperialism.
Abstracts of proposed papers should be of about 300 words in length and sent by email to: Dagmar Engelken and Yomi Kristilolu,
firstname.lastname@example.org, by July 30, 2004.
Dagmar Engelken and Abayomi Kristilolu
c/o Postgraduate Forum,
Department of History,
University of Essex
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