01.12.2021 Call for Papers: Sources of Decolonization: Interdisciplinary Approaches Toward the Ends of Empires

April 6-8, 2022 (Digital)

The workshop will provide an interactive space for doctoral candidates and early-career researchers to present ongoing projects on the processes of decolonization in imperial metropoles. It aims to draw attention to the underexplored spaces and sources that historicize empire’s lasting presence at home. Through a mixture of presentations and hands-on source discussion, we hope to foster debate on the historical experiences of decolonization as well as on interdisciplinary theoretical or methodological approaches to the study of the end of European and non-European empires.

In recent years, public attention has been directed to the remnants of empire hiding in plain sight throughout imperial metropoles. The tearing down of the Edward Colston statue in the UK, public outcry over the presence of streets named after colonial officers in France or Uganda, popular demonstrations in support of decolonizing university curriculums around the world, and controversial efforts to deal with the holding of colonial objects in museums are all testaments to the shadowed persistence of empire, long after its formal end. This awareness has been heightened by new historical research on the traces of empire, left to dust during and after the processes of formal decolonization. Building on these impulses, our workshop will bring together doctoral candidates and early-career researchers to discuss their new and innovative approaches to historicizing the afterlives of empire. By bringing a diverse group of scholars together, our workshop hopes to facilitate a wider understanding of the processes of decolonization and their impact on “post-imperial” societies.

We Invite proposals from a variety of imperial (non-European and European) and disciplinary contexts, concerning but not limited to:

• Identifying “empire” in imperial metropoles during and after decolonization

• Innovative sources in imperial history

• Perspectives on comparative decolonization processes

• Continuity of imperial practices and logics after the end of empire

• Theoretical or methodological approaches to sources in imperial history

• Examples of “overlooked” contexts of imperialism in post-imperial histories

The workshop will take place digitally over two days, with an evening lecture on the eve of the workshop to kick it off. The first day will be made up of presentations and discussions of individual projects, concluding with a keynote comment on historical sources in the writing of decolonization histories. The second day will be hands-on and include deliberation on the diverse body of sources used by the participants. We ask participants to bring a paper that includes consideration of their selected sources to be shared with the group. We aim to foster a discussion on the methodological and epistemological concerns regarding various sources and their potential(s).

An Abstract of 200-300 words should be submitted to stephen.foose@uni-marburg.de and lena.jur@uni-marburg.de by December 15, 2021. It should include a brief overview of the applicant’s project and a few words on their proposed source.