5th CIRSAP Project Workshop : Police and Empire, 1700-1900
Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris, November 26-28th 2009.
This workshop, to be held at the Sorbonne on November 26-28th 2009, aims at gathering historians studying police in colonial empires during the 18th and 19th century. By « police », we mean the various apparatus and forces used to achieve the ideal of the « policed State » from the classical Age and the Enlightenment, but also the regulatory and security practices emerged from the 19th century. The police – under different shapes – played a crucial role in the history of colonial empires, by exercising control over local societies, enforcing colonial order and ensuring the diffusion of colonial norms and regulations. Policing has been relatively little studied by the various imperial historiographies. Traditional narratives on the history of policing have been ignoring it, too. We should now stop opposing the history of policing in the metropolis and in colonial context, but instead considering the relations and the bonds that could exist between them, by giving the colonial experience the position it deserves in the history of police, by integrating these two dimensions in a true « imperial history of policing » as a whole. The history of police should be considered in a global history perspective, without isolating colonial mutations from those taking place in the metropolis or in other sections of the Empire. Instead of studying the policing of colonial peripheries as a simple « colonial off-shoot » or « projection coloniale », derived from a metropolitan model of policing, more or less « adapted » or degraded, we should invert those terms and consider colonial policing or colonial police forces as fields of human experiences and technical experimentations that nourished metropolitan policing. This workshop aims at stimulating a dialogue and comparisons within a field of study experiencing an important renewal, which, in the past has been separated between the history of policing and the histories of the different colonial empires, the latter being sometimes isolated from the national histories of the metropolis. This workshop is open to all historians of Empires and police in the 18th and 19th century, interested by this perspective. Papers on every European colonial Empire are welcome. Papers focusing on transfers of experiences and practices between metropolitan and colonial policing or between sections of Empire, or comparative studies, would be especially appreciated.
Proposals should be sent to the board (firstname.lastname@example.org) by March 1st, 2009 (title and a summary). Papers can be presented in French, English or Spanish.
Maître de conférences en histoire moderne
Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne
17 rue de la Sorbonne
75231 Paris Cedex 05
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