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Research activity

PhD students seminar / Violences coloniales, violences impériales. Comparaisons, circulations, transferts (XIXe-XXe siècles)


The topic of this seminar is violence in colonial empires in the modern era. Considered as the disruption of a routinized domination or as the naked truth of power, paroxysmal or ordinary, violence enables us to analyze the colonial fact through actions rather than institutions. By forcing the colonizer to define the border between civilized and uncivilized, it produces or questions discourses about what makes colonization legitimate.
We will stay within the traditional boundaries of the modern era, the 19th and 20th centuries, when nation-building and imperial expansions coexisted. But the inquiries will not be limited to European empires: North American and Japanese cases will be addressed. Violence will be studied in the diversity of its forms and functions, from military conquest to forced labor including daily abuses and the colonial handling of grassroots violence.