CFP: Violence, Colonialism and Empire in the Modern and Contemporary World (London, June-July 2015)

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Call for Papers

Violence, Colonialism and Empire in the Modern and Contemporary World

British Academy, London
29 June-1 July 2015

Sponsored by The Centre for the History of Violence,
and the University of Newcastle, Australia

Guest speakers:
Partha Chatterjee, Columbia University
Elizabeth Kolsky, Villanova University

This conference will bring together scholars from across the world to
explore innovative ways of critically engaging with the question of
violence, repression and atrocity in imperial and colonial empires, its
representations and memories, from the late eighteenth through to the
twentieth century. The conference will explore the wide variety of means
by which empire was maintained in the modern era, the politics of
repression and the structures inherent in empire. We want to explore
broader trends in the direction and intent of imperial violence and
state repression, including extra-legal sanctions, and how patterns of
violence, embedded within other forms of colonialism and culture,
created cultural, legal, social, or imperial ‘spaces’. The conference
organizers encourage scholars to interpret the conference themes broadly
in crafting their proposals and are not limited to European colonial
empires made up of settler societies, but also empires of occupation.
The organizers have three interrelated aims.

The first is to rethink assumptions about the imperial experience and to
underline the types of violence that were used to initially impose
power, and then to maintain it over vast stretches of land. By
underlining this aspect of the imperial enterprise, this conference may
help scholars begin to see more clearly the relationship of violence as
a cultural norm, and the extent to which it was part and parcel of
imperial social and cultural life.

The second aim is to interrogate the relationship between various forms
of violence and the construction of imperial spaces. In essence, this
conference will explore the ways in which empires were and are
constructed through violence, whether legal, political, cultural or
religious. We aim to move beyond Western notions of violence and to see
the ways in which attempts to create colonial empires were inextricably
linked to violence.

Third, the organizers hope to explore these questions in a way that
connects national historiographies ¾ including the British, French,
American, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese, and Ottoman
empires ¾ to each other, as well as to world history.
Topics may include (but are not limited to):

o   the forceful means employed to impose foreign rule, including legal
and extra-legal means used to impose imperial structures;
o   forceful contestations of the land, including patterns of violence
and war on colonial frontiers;
o   interpersonal violence between the colonizer and the colonized;
o  the gendered nature of colonial violence in the building of settler
colonial spaces and polities;
o   the role of violence in maintaining social order in colonial
o   the political dynamics of colonial and imperial violence, including
ideological and political justifications of violence;
o   representations of violence in either the empire or the metropole;
o   resistance to the imperial enterprise by the colonized, including
violent, anti-colonial struggles in exits from empire;
o   the aftermaths and legacies of colonial and imperial violence.

The organizers invite proposals from scholars working in all disciplines
to apply. Please include the following information with your proposal:

a) A paper title
b) Name, institutional affiliation, and email address
c) A brief description of the proposed paper (up to 500 words)
explaining the substance of the proposed paper, the sources used, and
the topic’s relationship to the conference themes

Conference structure
Those invited to participate in the conference will be asked to submit
papers of approximately 8,000 words in length by 1 June 2015 for
pre-circulation to conference attendees. Sessions will be 1.5 hours
long, and consist of two people, each speaking for up to 30 mins, with
30 mins discussion. The aim is to promote dialogue between conference
participants in a round-table setting. The number of participants will,
therefore, be limited to twenty-two people.

The conference language is English. Conference participants are expected
to make their own travel arrangements. The deadline for proposals is 1
December 2014 for acceptance on 1 March 2015. A selection of papers from
the proceedings will be published.

Proposals and enquiries should be sent to Prof. Philip Dwyer:

Categories: CFP