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(Re)Imagining Empire-Part III

April 19, 2019 @ 8:45 am - 5:30 pm

Poster with date, time, and speaker information listed aboveWorkshop:

Multiple Speakers (see below for schedule and speakers)


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 (8:50-9:00am)

Florence Hsia, History, Associate Vice Chancellor for Arts and Humanities, UW-Madison

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

So Yeon Bae, History: “Whom Shall We See from Rome?”

Luke Urbain, Spanish and Portuguese: “Earthquake Aesthetics and Incommensurate Necrologies in and around José Martí’s “Terremoto en Charleston””

Respondent: Michelle Schwarze, Political Science

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

Ximing Lu, CANES: “The Romans’ German and the German’s Mongolians: Influences of Ancient Greek and Roman Literature on Gerder’s Description of China”

Lin Li, History: “Imagining Empire: Colonial Feminism within the Japanese Empire (1895-1945)”

Respondent: Kristina Huang, English

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

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

Jason Yackee, Law: “Empire as Farce: The Curious Case of Bokassa the First”

Sarah Clayton, Anthropology: “Imperial Aims and Local Realities: The Political Landscape and Legacy of Teotihuacan”

Respondent: Nandini Pandey, CANES

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

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

Jane Burbank, Collegiate Professor of History and Russian and Slavic Studies, New York University: “Empire Now: Re-Imagining Russia”


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. 


Poster with date, time, and speaker information listed above