Writing the history of empires

July 04, 2022

The joint workshop ‘Writing the history of empires’ organised in cooperation with Philipps-Universität Marburg and convened at the mpilhlt on Monday, 27 June 2022, provided a compelling forum for the collective discussion of shared research interests related to the history of colonialism, imperialism and decolonisation. The workshop was the last, special session of the Legal Transfer in the Common Law World Research Seminar for the summer semester 2022. It offered the organisers an opportunity to invite to Frankfurt the group of doctoral and postdoctoral researchers working on dynamics of governance, control and securitisation in the British imperial framework under the lead of Professor Benedikt Stuchtey, who holds the chair of Modern History at the University of Marburg.

The enriching four-hour programme of presentations spanned two centuries and encompassed several colonial and imperial contexts from the Caribbean to South Australia, from India to West Africa and back to the British metropole. But the event was also of interest to scholars working on topics not necessarily related to the British Empire and the common law world, as subjects also addressed the North American and Portuguese Empires. The workshop emphasised the fruitful convergence between legal history and the history of empires. Most importantly, it represented the starting point for what promises to be productive cooperation between mpilhlt researchers and Professor Stuchtey’s research group. The conversation launched at the Institute will continue in other workshops alternately convened in Marburg and Frankfurt. The plan is to expand the range of topics by including researchers engaging with the history of other imperial formations.

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