[Webinar] "Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State" Book Launch with author Benjamin D. Hopkins

Adam Bubanich Announcement
District of Columbia, United States
Subject Fields
Asian History / Studies, Borderlands, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, South Asian History / Studies, World History / Studies

Learn about frontier governance and the making of the modern state in this webinar book launch.

From the Afghan frontier with British India, to the pampas of Argentina and the deserts of Arizona, nineteenth-century empires drew borders with an eye toward placing indigenous people just on the edge of the interior. They were too nomadic and communal to incorporate in the state, yet their labor was too valuable to displace entirely. Elliott School Associate Professor of History and International Affairs, Benjamin Hopkins, argues that empires sought to keep the “savage” just close enough to take advantage of, with lasting ramifications for the global nation-state order.

The Elliott School Book Launch Series and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies are proud to present a lecture by Dr. Hopkins on his latest book, Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State. The talk will be followed by a live Q&A with the audience moderated by GW Professor of History, Dr. Dane Kennedy.

This event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.

Books can be purchased from Harvard University Press. Follow us at @GWUSigurCenter and @ESIAResearch!


About the Speakers:

Benjamin D. Hopkins a historian of modern South Asia, specializing in the history of Afghanistan and British imperialism on the Indian subcontinent. He has authored, co-authored, and co-edited numerous books on the region, including The Making of Modern Afghanistan, Fragments of the Afghan Frontier, and Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier. His new book, Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State, presents a global history of how the limits of today’s state-based political order were organized in the late nineteenth century, with lasting effects to the present day. He is currently working on A Concise History of Afghanistan for Cambridge University Press, as well as a manuscript about the continuing war in Afghanistan provisionally entitled, The War that Destroyed America.

Professor Hopkins’ research has been funded by Trinity College, Cambridge, the Nuffield Foundation (UK), the British Academy, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, as well as the Leverhulme Trust. He has received fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the National University of Singapore, the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC. Writing for the public, Professor Hopkins has been featured in The New York Times, The National Interest, and the BBC. He regularly teaches courses on South Asian history, the geopolitics of South and Central Asia, as well as World history and the legacies of violence and memory in Asia. Professor Hopkins has directed the Sigur Center for Asian Studies since 2016.


Dane Kennedy teaches courses in British imperial, modern British, and world history. He is the author of six books, the most recent being The Imperial History Wars: Debating the British Empire (2018), Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction (2016), and The Last Blank Spaces: Exploring Africa and Australia (2013), and editor or co-editor of three others, including How Empire Shaped Us (2016) and Reinterpreting Exploration: The West in the World (2013). Kennedy was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003-04 and a National Humanities Center Fellowship in 2010-11. He was president of the North American Conference of British Studies from 2011-13. He currently directs the National History Center.

Contact Information

Helen Jiang

Program Coordinator, Sigur Center for Asian Studies at the George Washington University

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