CALL FOR PAPERS: Beyond Imperial Centre and Colonial Periphery: Reconnecting the Global and the Local Friday and Saturday, March 11-12, 2005, University of Cambridge, UK

An interdisciplinary postgraduate/post-doctorate conference organized by the World History Workshop, University of Cambridge

This conference seeks to explore new ways of understanding the global movement of ideas and information. Moving beyond the problematic ideas of the ‘centre’ and ‘periphery’ which have dominated the recent historiography of the extra-European world, it will explore exchanges between colonisers and colonised, and between Atlantic, African and Asian colonial spheres. As well as questioning current conceptions of the geography of knowledge, we hope to present work challenging conventional chronological divisions between the colonial and the post-colonial.

Part of the ‘Conversation’ theme coordinated by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Cambridge (, the conference will discuss dialogues and conversations between cultures, media, knowledge systems, geographies and chronologies.

The conference aims to highlight the work of graduate students and scholars at an early age in their careers. While its focus is historical, we welcome papers from historians, anthropologists, social scientists, geographers, and other disciplines.

Particular themes will be: – The limits of imperial reach: how ideas associated with empire have been reshaped by the social and cultural practices of individual communities; and how ideas and knowledge move beyond national and imperial borders. – ‘Trans-imperial’ ideas: the movement of ideas between different imperial systems, both within the same geographical area, and between Africa, Asia and the Atlantic. – Bridging the colonial and the post-colonial: continuities between colonial and post-colonial experiences, whether through the retention of ideas, policies, and personnel; or through the emergence of ‘post-colonial’ ideas within colonial states. – Science and medicine: encounters between different knowledge systems; tensions between European science’s ideal of universal knowledge, and the difficulties of science’s geographical and cultural extension. – Modernity and knowledge: how connections between ideas and information have been expanded and reshaped by new technologies of media, commerce and transport; and by distinctively modern spaces, from new cities to factories.

Deadline for submission of abstracts for 30-minute papers (approx. 300 words, preferably by email) is November 15, 2004. Deadline for submissions of paper is January 31st, 2005.

Abstracts may be sent to: [email protected]

For more information, see, or contact the conference organizers Rachel Berger ([email protected]) or Michael Lewis ([email protected]).