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Imperial places. Built manifestations of a European imperial culture, 1815-1945

This PhD project is concerned with European buildings and building types part of imperial networks with overseas colonies, that because of this function contributed to the formation of an imperial culture in the societies around them.

I am interested in the ways such buildings, 'imperial places', functioned in these networks and in what imperial meanings they were invested with. By focusing on architecture, the local and spatial workings of empire are underlined. The project Imperial places shows how for Europe, imperialism was never a faraway and abstract phenomenon but very much tangible in European cities ranging from Paris to Glasgow or Hamburg.

A number of concrete case studies from several domains in several European states are used, both in states with and states without colonies of their own. This European perspective serves to investigate the European and transnational dimensions of imperial culture and to complement the hitherto dominant national perspective. The case studies each represent a domain or route with which metropolitan European societies were linked to empire: industry, shipping, missionary activity, politics, and museums.

Funded by: NWO
Budget: EUR 214.474

Miel Groten MA, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Prof. dr. Susan LegĂȘne
Professor of Political History, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Dr. Freek Schmidt
Associate Professor Architectural History