Online Seminar, Global Urban History Project track “Cities, Empires, and their (Dis)Contents”

Cyrus Schayegh's picture
February 11, 2022 to March 18, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Urban History / Studies, World History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Area Studies

Call for applications for an online seminar series in the Global Urban History Project (GUHP) track “Cities, Empires, and their (Dis)Contents”

Dates: Online, Fridays, February 11, February 25, March 11, and March 18, always 12:30-14:00 UTC

The team leading the “Cities, Empires, and their (Dis)Contents” track of the Global Urban History Project - - is organizing an online seminar series from mid-February to mid-March 2022.

Representing a broad range of sub-specializations in global history, urban history, and the history of empires, we, the track team, would like to invite advanced doctoral students and junior and senior scholars to present work in progress relating to the broad range of themes at the core of GUHP/Empire.

GUHP/Empire track description: A fascinating and impactful development in the fields of empire studies and colonialism in the past decade or so has been the rise of interest in inter- and trans-imperial and -colonial histories. Far transcending an older interest in competition and conflict between empires, these histories study a wide range of relationships between empires’ governments and peoples. Filling empirical lacunas, this scholarship pushes back against and goes beyond what one may call “methodological empire-ism:” historians’ well-established (and ultimately politically rooted) tendency to study single empires.

This historiographic development one focus of our conversation, titled “Cities, Empire, and its (Dis)contents, c.  1500-2000.” Our central question is: how do inter-, trans-, post-, and comparative imperial case studies of “the global urban” fit into, question, complicate, and/or further the afore-noted historiographic development, and vice versa? Possible examples are: anti-colonial & decolonizing networks, methods & memories; inter-city competitions and hierarchies; inter-municipal relationships; compared urban “citizenship”; cities dia- or synchronically governed by multiple empires; internationally governed cities; and compared ambivalences, e.g. cities as sites of peak resistance and repression or of great imperial confidence and doubt.

We as warmly welcome other submissions and themes that correspond to the conversation title, too, including case studies and conceptual texts that connect imperial cases of the “global urban” to other bourgeoning scholarly concerns. Possible examples include, but by no means are limited to: cities as disconnectors; colonialism and/versus settler colonialism; urban-rural relations (where “is” the city?); environmental dimensions; and, most broadly: how to (not) square “the global” and “the imperial” through the lens of cities.

(See also:

Format: Papers do no need to be pre-circulated. Presentations should be max. 30 minutes long, to allow for an hour of Q&A. The GUHP track members will participate, too, including the track’s present “mentees,” who are advanced doctoral students and freshly minted PhDs/postdocs.

Application mode: Apply by 20 January 2022 to Include a presentation title, a 100-200 word abstract, a short CV, and a note stating which of the four dates do not work for you.

Cities, Empires, and their (Dis)Contents Co-coordinators:
Contact: Cyrus Schayegh,

Geert Castryck

Camille Cordier
Kristie P Flannery
Anindita Ghosh
Stephen Legg
Su Lin Lewis
Dries Lyna

Joseph Prestel
Anna Ross


Contact Info: 

Professor Cyrus Schayegh

Department of International History and Politics

Geneva Graduate Institute (IHEID)

Ch. Eugene-Rigot 2

1211 Geneva