ANN: New and Forthcoming Publications

Juan Meneses's picture

Dear H-Empire members,

Please continue to send me new and forthcoming publications so that I can include them in this recurrent series of posts.

This is a list of new and forthcoming publications of interest to members:


Kris Alexanderson, Subversive Seas: Anticolonial Networks across the Twentieth-Century Dutch Empire (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

This revealing portrait of the Dutch Empire repositions our understanding of modern empires from the terrestrial to the oceanic. It highlights the importance of shipping, port cities, and maritime culture to the political struggles of the 1920s and 30s. Port cities such as Jeddah, Shanghai, and Batavia were hotbeds for the spread of nationalism, communism, pan-Islamism, and pan-Asianism, and became important centers of opposition to Dutch imperialism through the circulation of passengers, laborers, and religious pilgrims. In response to growing maritime threats, the Dutch government and shipping companies attempted to secure oceanic spaces and maintain hegemony abroad through a web of control. Techniques included maritime policing networks, close collaboration with British and French surveillance entities ashore, and maintaining segregation on ships, which was meant to 'teach' those on board their position within imperial hierarchies. This innovative study exposes how anti-colonialism was shaped not only within the terrestrial confines of metropole and colony, but across the transoceanic spaces in between.


Pamela Ballinger, The World Refugees Made: Decolonization and the Foundation of Postwar Italy (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2020).

Between 1943 and 1960, Italy experienced a protracted refugee problem following the dislocations of World War II, the collapse of fascism and Italian empire, and migration flows from the emerging socialist states of Eastern Europe. The Italian peninsula became an important laboratory, in which categories differentiating foreign refugees (who had crossed national boundaries) from so-called national refugees (a category that included repatriated colonial settlers) were debated, refined, and consolidated. Such distinctions resonated far beyond that particular historical moment, informing legal frameworks for refugees that remain in place today. Sizable and visible refugee populations in the Italian peninsula also rendered acute complex questions of cultural and legal belonging in a country territorially and politically reconfigured by decolonization. The process of demarcating types of refugees thus represented a critical moment for Italy, one that endorsed an ethnic conception of identity that citizenship laws made explicit to the exclusion of most former colonial subjects. Such an understanding of identity remains salient, as Italians still invoke language and race as bases of belonging in the face of mass immigration and ongoing refugee emergencies.


Erik Grimmer-Solem, Learning Empire: Globalization and the German Quest for World Status, 1875-1919 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019).

Learning Empire seeks to reshape our understanding of Imperial Germany’s history by reconstructing the complex overseas entanglements of Germans in North and South America, Japan, China, Southeast Asia, Russia, and Ottoman Turkey.  By highlighting the impact of the world on German naval and colonial poilicy, this book offers a novel reinterpretation of the full arc of Imperial Germany’s history and thus a new perspective on the deeper origins of the First World War that highlights the prominent role of middle class scholars in shaping a German form of "liberal imperialism." Learning Empire makes it possible to view German history between 1875 and 1918 as concurrent with the rise and demise the first era of globalization, linked directly to the profound changes in the global system brought on by the emergence of Germany, the United States and Japan as new world powers. The primary ambition of this project is to bring the world back into German “World Policy,” where it has long been missing due to the dominant historiographical preoccupation with the domestic origins of German imperialism and the still very Eurocentric frame of German history. At the same time, it connects the history of American westward expansion and industrialization and the modernization of Meiji and Taishō-era Japan with Germany in ways that help overturn the exceptionalist master narratives still dominant in these two still very insular historiographies. This changes how we view both the “German question” and the history of the 20th century, and it invites reflection on the problem of disorder and instability accompanying globalization in the current century.


Tobias Harper, From Servants of the Empire to Everyday Heroes (Oxford: Oxford University Press, February 2020).

In the twentieth century, the British Crown appointed around a hundred thousand people - military and civilian - in Britain and the British Empire to honours and titles. For outsiders, and sometimes recipients too, these jumbles of letters are tantalizingly confusing: OM, MBE, GCVO, CH, KB, or CBE. Throughout the century, this system expanded to include different kinds of people, while also shrinking in its imperial scope with the declining empire. Through these dual processes, this profoundly hierarchical system underwent a seemingly counter-intuitive change: it democratized. Why and how did the British government change this system? And how did its various publics respond to it? This study addresses these questions directly by looking at the history of the honours system in the wider context of the major historical changes in Britain and the British Empire in the twentieth century. In particular, it looks at the evolution of this hierarchical, deferential system amidst democratization and decolonization. It focuses on the system's largest-and most important-components: the Order of the British Empire, the Knight Bachelor, and the lower ranks of other Orders.


Stephen Jackson, "Religious Education and the Anglo World: The Impact of Empire, Britishness, and Decolonisation in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand," Brill Research Perspectives on Religion and Education 2.1 (2020): 1-98. DOI: 10.1163/25895303-12340003.


Berny Sèbe and Matthew G. Stanard (eds.), Decolonising Europe? Popular Responses to the End of Empire (New York: Routledge, 2020).

Decolonising Europe? Popular Responses to the End of Empire offers a new paradigm to understand decolonisation in Europe by showing how it was fundamentally a fluid process of fluxes and refluxes involving not only transfers of populations, ideas, and sociocultural practices across continents but also complex intra-European dynamics at a time of political convergence following the Treaty of Rome. Decolonisation was neither a process of sudden, rapid changes to European cultures nor one of cultural inertia, but a development marked by fluidity, movement, and dynamism. Rather than being a static process where Europe’s (former) metropoles and their peoples ‘at home’ reacted to the end of empire ‘out there’, decolonisation translated into new realities for Europe’s cultures, societies, and politics as flows, ebbs, fluxes, and cultural refluxes reshaped both former colonies and former metropoles. The volume’s contributors set out a carefully crafted panorama of decolonisation’s sequels in European popular culture by means of in-depth studies of specific cases and media, analysing the interwoven meaning, momentum, memory, material culture, and migration patterns of the end of empire across eight major European countries. The revised meaning of ‘decolonisation’ that emerges will challenge scholars in several fields, and the panorama of new research in the book charts paths for new investigations. The question mark in the title asks not only how European cultures experienced the ‘end of empire’ but also the extent to which this is still a work in progress


Matthew G. Stanard, "Belgium's Enduring Imprint of Empire," The Low Countries (2020).


Lauren Working, The Making of an Imperial Polity: Civility and America in the Jacobean Metropolis (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020).

Bringing to life the interaction between America, its peoples, and metropolitan gentlemen in early seventeenth-century England, this book argues that colonization did not just operate on the peripheries of the political realm, and confronts the entangled histories of colonialism and domestic status and governance. The Jacobean era is reframed as a definitive moment in which the civil self-presentation of the elite increasingly became implicated in the imperial. The tastes and social lives of statesmen contributed to this shift in the English political gaze. At the same time, bringing English political civility in dialogue with Native American beliefs and practices speaks to inherent tensions in the state's civilizing project and the pursuit of refinement through empire. This significant reassessment of Jacobean political culture reveals how colonizing America transformed English civility and demonstrates how metropolitan politics and social relations were uniquely shaped by territorial expansion beyond the British Isles. This title is also available as Open Access.



Members may also be interested in the latest issue of the Journal Ab Imperio, “Adjusting Scale: Global Conflicts – Local Consequences, and Vice Versa.”



NOTE: If you have recently published or have a forthcoming monograph, edited collection, article, book chapter, etc. that deals with imperialism, and you want me to include it on this list, please send me an email at with basic information: author’s name, title, journal or publisher, year of publication, and a link to access it. In case your publication is a book, you are welcome to include a short abstract. You can also send me information about outstanding recent work that you have read and consider to be of interest to other members of the network. Following the same procedure, please email me entries so I can add them to the list. Posts will feature new lists on a first-come-first-serve basis and will appear with the degree of frequency that the number of items I receive demands.

Categories: Announcement