German Historical Institute London

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Contested Borders?

Practising Empire, Nation and Region in the 19th and 20th Centuries


26–28 April 2018

Conveners: German Historical Institute London
Venue: Levke Harders (Universität Bielefeld) and Falko Schnicke (GHI London)


This conference intends systematically (1) to contribute to the definition of ‘belonging’ as a research concept, (2) to explore the region as a category of historical research, and (3) to combine regional analyses consistently with perspectives drawn from the nation-state and (post)imperialism, as has been repeatedly demanded in recent literature, (4) to contribute to overcoming a widely criticized ‘methodological nationalism’ via transregional and transnational approaches. We will examine how belonging is created, as well as instances of suppressed or prevented belonging, and the political, social, and personal hierarchies associated with them. How were inclusion and exclusion created? What role did the different forms of boundaries between empires, states, nations, and regions play? What actors were involved in the creation of belonging, in the drawing of borders, and in crossing them? Fractures, resistance, and interrogations can be used to reveal lines of conflict and demonstrate the elementary functioning of the policies of belonging, and the logic behind them. We are interested both in specific local/regional and state practices of belonging, and in the concepts inherent in them.

There are a limited number of participant/discussant places available on a first come basis. Expressions of interest should be emailed to Carole Sterckx () by 19 April 2018. Please note that (free of charge) advance registration is mandatory and that participants will have to make their own travel arrangements.


Conference programme (PDF file)

Conference report (PDF file), published in: GHIL Bulletin 40 (2018), Vol 2