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(Re)Imagining Empire-Part II

December 7, 2018 @ 8:45 am - 5:30 pm

Event poster for the workshop listing all of the speakers


Multiple Speakers (see below)

Few themes are subject to as much cross-disciplinary inquiry as empire. From critical international relations theory on empire’s ideological dimensions to historians’ examination of the motivations and effects of imperialist states, from comparative diachronic studies of empire to analyses of empires’ continuing legacy through the lenses of post-colonialism or critical race theory, empire exerts a strong pull on the contemporary humanities and humanistic social sciences. The Borghesi-Mellon Workshop, “(Re)Imagining Empire,” will bring together a cross-disciplinary group of scholars and graduate students with a focus on the diverse ways that empire has been (re)imagined in antiquity, early modernity, the 18th and 19th centuries, and the contemporary world. “(Re)Imagining Empire” will center on three day-long conferences; each conference will feature a keynote speaker and a mix of graduate student and faculty paper presentations. The first conference, to be held on November 2, 2018, will focus on Mediterranean antiquity, with particular attention on the Roman Empire. The second conference, to be held on December 7, will center on early modern, 18th, and 19th century Europe and the Americas, and will focus in part on how Rome itself was imaginatively reinvented in that period. Harnessing the insights of transnational history and post-colonial scholarship, the third and final conference will also explore imaginings of empire from a comparative perspective, e.g. Han Dynasty China and the Ottoman Empire. A key concern for all three conferences is to explore the place of empire in shaping our own perspectives on today’s globalizing world.



Opening Remarks (8:45-9:00am)

Karen Britland, Halls-Bascom Professor of English, UW-Madison

Johann Sommerville, Professor of History, UW–Madison

Panel 1 (9:00-10:15am)

Leonora Neville, History: “The Imaginary Byzantine Empire and Its Uses”

André Wink, History: “On Environmental Determinism”

Respondent: Richard Avramenko, Political Science and ILS

Panel 2 (10:30-11:45am)

Katherine Robiadek, Political Science: “Tragic Imperialism in Aeschylus and Cervantes”

Lauren Surovi, French and Italian: “Lucrezia Reborn: Machiavelli’s Vision for an Imperial Republic”

Respondent: Kristin Phillips-Court, French and Italian

Lunch Break (11:45am-1:30pm; a limited number of lunches will be provided)

Panel 3 (1:30-2:45pm)

Matteusz Ferens, Art History: “The Empire’s Second Body”

Joseph Bowling, English: “Before the Nation: Translating Imperium in Early Modern England”

Respondent: Nancy Rose Marshall, Art History

Afternoon Coffee and Refreshments Break (2:45-3:45pm)

Keynote Speaker (4:00-5:30pm)

Lia Markey, Director of the Center for Renaissance Studies, the Newberry: “Vicarious Conquest: The Medici and the New World”


This program is a part of the Borghesi Mellon Interdisciplinary Workshops in the Humanities, sponsored by the Center for the Humanities at UW-Madison, with support from Nancy and David Borghesi and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The “(Re)Imagining Empire” Workshop series is sponsored by the African Cultural Studies, American Democracy Forum, Art History, Center for Early Modern Studies, CANES, Center for European Studies, Center for the Study of Liberal Democracy, English, History, History and Politics Workshop, Institute for Research in the Humanities, Integrated Liberal Studies, Philosophy, and Political Science.



December 7, 2018
8:45 am - 5:30 pm
Event Categories:


Memorial Union
800 Langdon Street
Madison, 53703 United States