Reflecting upon Everyday Empires

by Dr. Nathan Cardon and Simon Jackson, conference organisers (University of Birmingham) with Josh Allen (Past & Present) 

Over the summer of 2017; Nathan Cardon and Simon Jackson, the co-organisers of the Everyday Empires conference, edited a series of blog posts that reflected upon, responded to and rifted off; the intellectual conversations sparked at the two day event.

Highly ambitious in terms of its global sweep and desire to make legible the ways in which the process of imperialism in the modern era wove its way into the material fabric of everyday social existence. Past & Present was very pleased to support the conference, speaking as it does to exciting new ways of approaching questions that have exercised the journal ever since its foundation over sixty years ago.

Image from the American Colony in Jerusalem Collection, Library of Congress

To this end we were delighted when the co-organisers approached us to jointly host-alongside hosting on their own platform-a series of rapid responses by panellists and other attendees to the themes under discussion at the conference. Generally taking the form of panel reports serving to make accessible in concise and engaging form the ongoing work being undertaken by those who spoke, whilst also forming a permanent record of the event, the blogs published as part of the “Reflecting Upon Everyday Empires” series serve to point towards exciting new and ongoing discussions in the field.

Presented in order of publication the full series can be read below:

Rob Fitt;Imperial nostalgia, aesthetics, and the contemporary ‘everyday’: thoughts on Everyday Empires and selective historical memory

Past & Present; Looking Back at Everyday Empires

Nathan Cardon, Simon Jackson; Everyday Empires: Descriptive or Analytical Category?

Charles Fawell; “Engineering Imperialism, Building Empire”

Shahmima Akhtar, Carmen Gitre, Vernadette Vicuña Gonzalez; Everyday Performance/Performing the Everyday: Exhibitions, Leisure and Hospitality

Stephen Tufnell; Accelerated Mobility: Travel and the Culture of Everyday Empire

Ruth Morgan; Everyday Empire’s Tools

Sarah Frank; “Not Soul but Stomach (and Stench)”

Manjeet Baruah, Jasim Damm, James McDougall; “Bordering Empire, Crossing Frontiers: Exile, Extraction and Expediers”


J.W. Lindt, Irrigation at Mornington plantation, Mildura, 1890. H96.160/1915, State Library Victoria, Australia.

Past & Present was pleased to support this event and others like it. We welcome funding applications from historians of all fields and time periods at any stage in their career. More information can be found here.

Leave a Reply