Friday, 23 November 2012

CFP: Connected Histories of Empire, 15-16 July 2013, Bristol

Call for Papers: Connected Histories of Empire, 15-16 July 2013, Bristol

Centre for the Study of Colonial & Postcolonial Societies, University of Bristol

Over the last two decades, scholars have begun to characterise the British Empire as a complex patchwork of interacting and dynamic agencies, rather than as a homogenous monolith. As a result, the traditional spatial framework based on a stable division between the metropole and the periphery seems increasingly outmoded. Instead, historians, literary critics, scholars of globalisation, and philosophers have been writing about the webs, networks, and circuits in which people, objects, and ideas moved. This conference will interrogate the idea of an empire of connections, considering the possibilities opened up by thinking in terms of global interaction, as well as the challenges of incorporating the myriad interconnections of empire into coherent historical narratives.

The conference is the culmination of a year of events at the University of Bristol which have focused particularly on the memorialisation and commemoration of the British Empire. As scholars have begun to uncover the intricately woven interconnections of empire, a central concern of the conference will be to consider how this might influence how empire has been, and is, remembered and memorialised in Britain and elsewhere.

The organisers would like to invite proposals for papers and panels that speak to the following broad themes:

  • The commemoration and memorialisation of different imperial sites, events and phenomena
  • Links between imperial port-cities/global cities
  • Flows of people, goods (physical and cultural), and cash
  • The movement, preservation and display of imperial artefacts and archives
  • Imperial networks and imperial careering
  • Imperial audiences and public spheres
  • The links between global history and imperial history
And would like to encourage broad discussion of connections and comparisons between different modern empires: proposals need not be restricted to the history of the British empire. Papers are welcomed from a range of academic disciplines.

To apply please send a 250 word abstract to the organisers at  by 14 January 2013.

Conference organisers:

History: Ms Emily Baughan, Prof Robert Bickers, Prof Peter Coates, Prof Tim Cole, Dr Simon Potter, Dr Jonathan Saha, Dr Rob Skinner

Hispanic, Portuguese and Latin American Studies: Dr Matthew Brown, Dr Joanna Crow

English: Dr John Lee

Archaeology & Anthropology: Prof Mark Horton

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