Global Histories of Colonialism - Virtual Workshop

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A two-day virtual academic workshop organized by the Global History Initiative at Queen's University in Kingston, ON

About this Event

  • Description

This two-day virtual workshop explores the relationship between colonial, imperial, and global history, through papers from scholars at various career stages from around the world. This event will be held on Zoom on 5-6 November, 2020, and is hosted by the Global History Initiative at Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada.

The starting point for this workshop was a desire to interrogate the potential of global historical approaches to offer bridges between imperial and colonial history and connect forms of colonialism across the world that are increasingly seen as distinct. As global processes, imperialism and colonialism increasingly connected distant parts of the world as they shaped and were shaped by cultural, material, and social hierarchies of power. A global history perspective encourages the adoption of multiple vantage points to understand these power dynamics, unsettling the boundaries between metropoles and their peripheries. Even as imperial expansion and colonial entrenchment unfolded around the world, anticolonial and anti-imperialist activists challenged and disrupted the underpinnings of imperial power through the same, or parallel, global networks that facilitated and sustained the workings of empire.

If the continuing violence of extraction, dispossession, and oppression is rooted in connected historical processes, how might global history as a perspective offer a means of addressing these temporal, geographic, and historiographic divides? By privileging the global conditions that spread, upheld, and overturned regimes of colonial control, the papers in this workshop explore the causes and consequences of colonialism across multiple scales of time and space.

In addition to the workshop panels, we are extremely privileged to have two exciting keynote speakers for this event:

Tony Ballantyne (University of Otago) Scale and Connection: Thinking about the Global History of Empires and Colonialism in the Pacific (Thursday, November 5th @ 4:00 pm EST)

Kris Manjapra (Tufts University) Colonialism in Global Perspective (Friday, November 6th @ 4:00 pm EST)


  • Registration

Attendance is free, but we ask that attendees register for the specific panel(s) and keynote(s) they would like to attend (see the program below for details). Panels will consist of short presentations and commentary from co-panelists and chairs, and then open up for wider discussion. The conference will be held over Zoom, and attendees will receive further details and a link closer to the event.


  • Conference Program (All Times in EST)

Day 1: Thursday November 5th

  • Panel 1: Producing and Circulating Colonial Knowledge (10:00 – 11:30 am)

A Global Experiment: Colonial Laboratories and the Coproduction of Epizootic Knowledge in Spanish Philippines, 1888-1898

-Nicolo Ludovice, University of Hong Kong

From an Imperial to a Transnational Seed Network: The Quest for Wheat Autarky in Ethiopia from the Italian Occupation to Post-War International Development (1930s-1950s)

-Michele Sollai, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

  • Panel 2: Anticolonialism, Decolonization and Rethinking Global Order (12:00 – 1:15 pm)

From Bandung to the End of Human Rights: Afro-Asian Jurists and the Transformation of Global Governance in the Shadow of Empires

-Ann-Sophie Schoepfel, Sciences Po and Harvard University

Global ‘Networks of Solidarity’: Black Newspapers and Decolonization in Africa, 1937-1957

-Ngozi Edeagu, Universität Bayreuth, Germany

  • Panel 3: Internationalism and Reading Imperial Subjectivity (2:00 – 3:30 pm)

Colonialism, International Law, and the Making of ‘Global Terrorism’

-Joseph McQuade, University of Toronto

Sighting the Family as a Locus of Modernization: Debates on Modernization and Tradition During British Military Administration in Eritrea, 1942-1952

-Samuel Emaha Tsegai, Queen’s University

The Germans in Town and the War at Home: The Second World War in English-language Public Discourse in Hong Kong, 1939-41

-Vivian Kong, University of Bristol

  • Day 1 Keynote Address (4:00 pm)

Scale and Connection: Thinking about the Global History of Empires and Colonialism from the Pacific

-Tony Ballantyne, University of Otago

Day 2: Friday November 6th

  • Panel 4: Connections and Disconnections in Imperial Policy Making (10:00 – 11:30 am)

Land Banks and Body Banks: The Colonial Loan Office System

-Katie Moore, University of California Santa Barbara

Labour Regimes at the (Informal) Empire: Comparative Approaches Towards a Transnational History of a New Zealander Manager in the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego Sheep Farming Industry (1894-1915)

-Nicolás Gómez Baeza, University of Warwick

Empires Watching Empires: Early Modern Russian Documents on the European Invasions of the Americas

-Clare Griffin, Nazarbayev University

  • Panel 5: Regulating Labour and Colonial Subjects: Crossing and Defining Imperial Boundaries (12:00 – 1:30 pm)

Unruly Bodies: The Epistemic Object of Prostitute in the Colonial Historiography of India

-Anna Karthika, Makerere University

The Order of Plantation Labour in Ceylon (c. 1830-1870)

-Cesar Bonamico, University of São Paolo

“A livelihood to seek in this far-famed town:” constructing and controlling the street hawker in colonial Singapore, 1931-1950

-Saanjh Gupta, London School of Economics and Political Science

  • Panel 6: Economics, Geopolitics, and the Globality of Imperialism (2:00 – 3:30 pm)

The Board of Control for India Affairs: Constituting Global Imperial Rule in the Late Eighteenth Century

-Tiraana Bains, Yale University

Colonial Worlds, Imperial Mobilities: India and its inter-Asian networks in the nineteenth century

-Devyani Gupta, University of Leeds

From Imperial to Colonial: Entangled Economies and Firearms trade in 1830s New South Wales and New Zealand

-Sebastian Hepburn-Roper, University of Otago

  • Day 2 Keynote Address (4:00 pm)

Colonialism in Global Perspective

-Kris Manjapra, Tufts University

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