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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

IAS Fellows' Seminar - Taking Megalomanias Seriously: On Empires, Nations and States’

20th March 2017, 13:00 to 14:00, IAS Seminar Room, Palace Green, Professor John Hall (McGill University, Canada)


The change of scale in modern times that matters most is clear: empires have been replaced by nation-states. Why? A standard view is that the rise of nationalism simply destroyed empires, as peoples sought to escape the prisons within which they lived. The research undertaken whilst at IAS suggests a more complex picture. Nationalism was to some extent created by empires, above all when empires themselves sought to become nation-states. This latter development brings to the centre of attention the geopolitical realities of the late nineteenth century world, whose contours need to be understood if we are to explain the great transition in question.

Fellows' seminars take place on Monday lunchtimes in the seminar room at Cosin's Hall.

Places are limited and so any academic colleagues interested in attending a seminar should contact the Institute in advance to reserve a place.

The aim of these seminars is to develop new thinking on the big issues that are of current concern/interest for the Fellows . Each Fellow is asked to present a core idea that informs their current work, or a problem that they are tackling, that could benefit from cross-disciplinary thinking. These seminars are informal and designed to encourage discussion.

Contact for more information about this event.