Conference, Sorbonne University, Paris, France (June 21st-22nd, 2017) : Domination as European and American experience, 16th-17th centuries / La domination comme expérience européenne et américaine, XVIe-XVIIe siècles

David Chaunu's picture
June 21, 2017 to June 22, 2017
Subject Fields: 
American History / Studies, European History / Studies

Europe is a space in which the imaginations and practices of domination over populations are multiple and composite. Its history is the result of processes of internal reconquest, external conquests and American projections. These processes respond both to logics of intensification in an already dominated territory and to processes of expansion. Since the logics of domination are more easily identifiable in a (re)conquest dynamic, we propose an archeology of the processes of social and political (re)domination in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

While it is generally agreed that Europeans have the capacity to impose their will on conquered peoples, a history of European domination devices can prove fruitful. In order to overcome an artificial separation between metropolises and colonies, we wish to explore the community of experiences of domination on both sides of the Atlantic. We propose to question the link between the multiplicity of cultures of domination both in Europe and in America. These cultures of domination cohabited at small, medium and large scale, catalyzing emulation, collaboration, entanglement and competition. Over the longue durée, the purpose of this conference is to question the production and perfecting of apparatuses of domination ever more capable of being recomposed and projected again.

We consider social and political domination not as an invariant or obvious, but as a process of daily, collective and individual reaffirmation. This is why we wish to question, between macro and micro-history, its different matrices, its inflections, its variants, its tools and its vectors. To do this, we will target the 16th-17th centuries, the key period for ultramarine projections, inter-state wars, and European civil wars that are conducive to many (re)conquests. We will question the possibility of historical levels and sequence of processes. Without assuming the existence of direct causal links, we will ask whether this process of sedimentation of domination experiments was not one of the catalysts for the construction of Europe and its ultramarine projections.

All welcome. Attendance is free. Please email at for programme details and to reserve a place. The conference takes place in Sorbonne University, Thursday 21st June (9.00am), G stair, 1st floor and a half, Room G 647.

Contact Email: