Graduate Student Roundtables on Empire (31 January)

Kate Imy's picture
Call for Papers
January 31, 2019
Texas, United States
Subject Fields: 
Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, African History / Studies, Asian History / Studies, Black History / Studies, European History / Studies

Graduate Student Roundtable(s) on Empire

CFP Deadline January 31, 2019

Conference Date: April 19-20, 2019 Denton, TX

The UNT Conference on "Imperial Legacies of 1919" welcomes submissions from graduate students who would like to be considered for inclusion on one or more graduate student roundtable(s) on any time period or theme related to empire. We welcome MA students, pre-ABD PhD students, or PhD students who are exploring a new part of their research. Priority will be given to roundtable participants who engage with the themes of “identity and empire” or “war and empire.”


Graduate students who wish to be considered for the graduate student roundtable session should send a 100-200 word abstract to Presentations will be 5-10 minutes. Proposals should give a general idea of what the scholar would like to contribute to a roundtable on empire. According to the AHA “The roundtable format—which can be used for the presentation of original research, work-in-progress, or discussion of professional concerns—offers short presentations, a fluid organization (not limited to the chair/presenter/commentator structure), and ample time for discussion with the audience. Roundtables foster a congenial exchange between audience and discussants.”


These roundtables will be part of the "Imperial Legacies of 1919" conference, discussed below. One of our main goals for the roundtables is to open up broader conversations about the meanings and legacies of imperialism and coloniality around the world. We welcome submissions from any field and time period related to these themes.


Registration Fees:

Thanks to the generous support of the Charn Uswachoke International Development Fund and several UNT departments, colleges, and schools, we will be able to offer discounted registration to all presenters and participants. Travel assistance is not available.

Registration costs:


UNT undergraduate and graduate students: Free registration for panels, film screening and keynote  (registration required, meals not included)


Non-UNT undergraduate and graduate students: $25 (includes all panels, invited talks, and two conference meals)


About the "Imperial Legacies of 1919" conference:

Journalist and author Shrabani Basu will provide a distinguished lecture on Indian soldiers related to her recent work: For King and Another Country (2015). Prior to the conference, she will also host a screening of Victoria and Abdul, a film based on her book of the same name. Historian of the British Empire Dr. Susan Kingsley Kent will provide the keynote address. Her esteemed works include Aftershocks: Politics and Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931 (2009); The Women's War of 1929: Gender and Violence in Colonial Nigeria (2011) and The Global Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1919 (2012).


Conference Description

            The year 2019 is the perfect opportunity to analyze the global consequences of war and peace. That year marks the centenary of the Treaty of Versailles, which set the terms for peace after the First World War. Unfortunately, the meaning of “peace” was dictated largely by European Empires with limited visions for avoiding future conflict, not only in Europe but around the world. This conference will commemorate the 1919 centenary by hosting an international 2-day conference that explores the on-going legacies of war and imperialism.

            Shifting our lens to colonial spaces and debates, “Imperial Legacies of 1919” explores the multiple and contending meanings of 1919. In South Asia, for example, the year 1919 was not known for international peace treaties but rather the 1919 Amritsar Massacre during which a British officer commanded troops to open fire on an unarmed crowd. This gave leading figures such as Mohandas Gandhi the moral imperative to fight against colonialism. At the same time, the year 1919 connotes important moments in anti-colonial revolutions in places like Ireland and Egypt. Meanwhile, strikes and labor activism intensified around the world in response to the Bolshevik revolution (1917) and the return of soldiers to the home front. Soldiers, veterans, and civilians coped with wartime traumas, postwar disabilities and demobilization well beyond 1919.

            The terms of peace and creation of the League of Nations mandates led to the dismantling of the German, Ottoman, Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires. This meant redrawing international borders, including in the Near East, in what became known as the “Middle East” in the United States. Aerial warfare in the League of Nations mandates and during the Third Anglo-Afghan War (1919) targeted civilians with ongoing violence across the imperial world. Pan-Asian, Pan-African, Pan-Islamic and anti-colonial activists attempted to find alternative sources of unity to challenge European imperialism.

While the year 1919 holds an important place in world history, issues such as economic inequality, unstable border relations, religious and linguistic identities, veteran and civilian relations, gender inequality, and the long-term traumas of war remain harsh realities for people around the world. This conference will be a timely reflection on pressing global issues that link past and present.

          Papers and panels accepted for this event focus on post-1919 geographies around the world, and include topics such as soldiers' encounters with empire, migration, trauma, remembering war, US Institutions and the contest for global dominance, coloniality in Nepal, forging national idenities, resisting intervention, afterlives of the Central Powers, and sovereignty in South Asia.


About UNT

The conference will be hosted in the new, state-of-the-art, Union facilities at the University of North Texas. UNT is a tier-1 research university of over 35,000 students in the Dallas-Forth Worth Metropolitan area. We are conveniently located in Denton, about 30-45 minutes from the DFW airport. Denton is center of arts and music with a growing independent restaurant scene in North Texas. The conference organizers welcome and encourage the participation of LGBTQIA+ presenters.


We will also host a screening of Victoria & Abdul and a Q&A with the original book’s author, Shrabani Basu, on the evening of April 18, 2019, for UNT and interested conference participants and members of the public.


Conference Organizers:


Kate Imy, UNT History (Principal Organizer)

Shobhana Chelliah, UNT Linguistics

Andy Nelson, UNT Anthropology

Nancy Stockdale, UNT History

Sadaf Munshi, UNT Linguistics

Geoffrey Wawro, UNT History, Director of UNT Military History Center

Waquar Ahmed, UNT Geography

Graduate Student Ambassador: Kevin Broucke, UNT History, Military History Center Fellow

Undergraduate Student Ambassador: Savannah Donnelly, UNT History


Special thanks to Charn Uswachoke International Development Fund, the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, the College of Information, UNT-International, the UNT Military History Center and departments of History, Linguistics, Anthropology, Political Science, English, Women’s and Gender Studies, Communications Studies, and World Languages and Literatures and the School of Journalism for sponsoring this event.



Contact Info: 

Kate Imy, Assistant Professor of History, University of North Texas