Transimperial Cooperation and Transfers in the Age of Colonial Globalization. Towards a Triangular History of Colonialism?

Erfurt / Gotha
Augustinerkloster Erfurt and Forschungszentrum Gotha
Florian Wagner and Christian Methfessel (Erfurt)
22.03.2018 - 24.03.2018
Florian Wagner and Christian Methfessel

This workshop explores to what extent transimperial cooperation and transfers shaped colonial governmentality in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Going beyond the conceptual and ideological similarities between empires, the focus is on colonizers and colonized who used cooperation and transfers to increase their agency. Referring to the concept of “triangulation” we ask whether shifting networks and solidarities among three groups led to the reinforcement of colonial domination (two colonizing powers against the colonized) or the subversion of colonial hierarchies (indigenous solidarity against the colonizer). In a long-term perspective, the workshop seeks to examine how imperial and anti-colonial forms of cooperation were institutionalized and thus impacted the development of international organizations in the twentieth century.

Funded by the Forum for the Study of the Global Condition and the Ernst-Abbe-Stiftung


Thursday, 22 March 2018, Gotha Research Centre

2-2:30 p.m.

2:30-3:30 p.m.
Guided Tour: The Perthes Forum
Sven Ballenthin (Gotha)/Iris Schröder (Erfurt/Gotha): Maps Made in Gotha and the Trans-imperial Archive – A Tour of the Perthes Collection

4-4:15 p.m.
Florian Wagner (Erfurt)/Christian Methfessel (Erfurt)

Presentation of the Gotha Research Centre
Iris Schröder (Erfurt/Gotha)

4:15-5 p.m.
Panel I: Archives of Trans-imperial History?

Reiner Prass (Erfurt/Gotha): Letters from Africa in the Perthes Collection
Bruno Schelhaas (Leipzig): The Archives of the Leibniz-Institut für Länderkunde

5:15 p.m.
Corey Ross (Birmingham): The Nature of Trans-imperialism: Ecological Interconnections and Colonized Environments

Friday, 23 March 2018, Augustinerkloster Erfurt

9 a.m.
Florian Wagner (Erfurt)/Christian Methfessel (Erfurt)

9:30-10:30 a.m.
Véronique Dimier (Brussels): The Internationalisation of the Colonial Debate: Colonial Science, the Politics of Comparisons, and the Limits of Transfer

11 a.m-1 p.m.
Panel II: Colonial Governmentality and Trans-imperial Cooperation

Nicola Camilleri (Berlin): Citizenship Policy in the German and Italian Colonies: Beyond a Comparison (1880s-1920s)
Angelo Matteo Caglioti (Florence): Ethiopia 1935: The Failure of Trans-imperial Cooperation
Comment: Katja Naumann (Leipzig)

2:45-4:45 p.m.
Panel III: African Agency Between and Within the Empires

Geert Castryck (Leipzig): The ‘Triangulation’ of Territoriality in Berlin’s Africa: Juggling between European Knowledge Orders, Imperial Rivalries, and African Agency
Catherine Atlan (Aix-en-Provence): Between Africa, Germany, and France: Trans-imperial Itineraries of African Intellectuals in the Twentieth Century (ca. 1910-1960)
Reginald Elias Kirey (Dar es Salaam/Hamburg): Racial Divisions and Alliances in Mandate Tanganyika:1919-1945
Comment: Maximilian Georg (Leipzig)

5:15-6:45 p.m.
Panel IV: Asia and America: Between Cooperation and Resistance

Andreas Weiß (Braunschweig): From Anti-colonial Resistance to Regional Cooperation: The European Powers and Southeast Asia
Sebastian Dorsch (Erfurt): Imperial Mappings and the Argument of Local Agency: Transatlantic Forms of Cooperation and Colonial Techniques in the Guayana-Conflicts (1870s-1920s)
Comment: Ute Wardenga (Leipzig)

6:45-7:15 p.m.
Wrap-Up Discussion Day 1

Saturday, 24 March 2018, Augustinerkloster Erfurt

9-10 a.m
Maria Framke (Rostock): ‘We Fight for the Liberation of Humanity’: Exploring the Entangled Web of Indian Anti-colonialism, (Humanitarian) Internationalism and Pan-Asian Solidarity in the 1930s and 1940s

10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Panel V: Trans-imperial Cooperation and the International History of the 20th Century

Daniel Hedinger (Rome): Trans-imperial History and the Global 1930s
Roel Frakking (Leiden): Dumb, Stubborn and on the Way to Senility: Trans-national Meddling and the End of Empire in Indonesia
Niels Schliehe (Hamburg): Decolonization in Times of the Cold War. The Late Portuguese Colonial Empire and Its International Allies
Comment: Christian Methfessel (Erfurt)

12:30-1:00 p.m.
Final Discussion


Florian Wagner

Universität Erfurt, Nordhäuser Straße 63, 99089 Erfurt

Transimperial Cooperation and Transfers in the Age of Colonial Globalization. Towards a Triangular History of Colonialism?, 22.03.2018 – 24.03.2018 Erfurt / Gotha, in: H-Soz-Kult, 22.02.2018, <>.
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