We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Imperial Formations

Edited by Ann Laura Stoler, Carole McGranahan, and Peter C. Perdue

Publication Year: 2007

The contributors to this volume critique and abandon the limiting assumption that the European colonialism of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries can be taken as the representative form of imperialism. Recasting the study of imperial governance, forms of sovereignty, and the imperial state, the authors pay close attention to non-European empires and the active trade in ideas, practices, and technologies among empires, as well as between metropolitan regions and far-flung colonies. The Ottoman, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, and Japanese empires provide provocative case studies that challenge the temporal and conceptual framework within which colonial studies usually operates. Was the Soviet Union an empire or a nation-state? What of Tibet, only recently colonized but long engaged with several imperial powers? Imperial Formations alters our understanding of past empires the better to understand the way that complex history shapes the politics of the present imperial juncture.

Published by: SAR Press


pdf iconDownload PDF (549.6 KB)
pp. 1-5

Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF (65.2 KB)
p. 6-6


pdf iconDownload PDF (55.7 KB)
p. 7-7


pdf iconDownload PDF (75.7 KB)
pp. vii-viii

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF (69.9 KB)
pp. ix-xii

If “the pulse of teaching is persuasion,” as George Steiner contends, then its strongest pulse, as we were to learn in this collaborative work, is generated by mutual persuasions that course in unexpected ways.1 This project began in a graduate seminar at the University of Michigan in the fall of 1995. ...

read more

1 Introduction Refiguring Imperial Terrains

pdf iconDownload PDF (191.2 KB)
pp. 3-42

In the early and mid-nineteenth century, a colon—a term that would be more firmly fixed later in the century to overseas settlers throughout the French empire—conveyed multiple referents. Colon could refer to a “pioneer settler” in Algeria, as one might expect, but as frequently to a member of a state-run establishment for paupers in ...

Part 1 The Production and Protection of Difference

pdf iconDownload PDF (40.4 KB)
pp. 56-57

read more

2 Bringing America Back into the Middle East A History of the First American Missionary Encounter with the Ottoman Arab World

pdf iconDownload PDF (169.9 KB)
pp. 45-76

Neither Ottoman nor American history is normally considered an integral part of colonial studies. This omission reflects not only the tendency of colonial studies to focus on Europe’s colonies as the exclusive center of inquiry but also the hegemonic self-representation of US and Ottoman historiographies in which colonialism is at best seen as a marginal or late chapter in the unfolding story of the nation-state.1 ...

read more

3 The Rights of Difference Law and Citizenship in the Russian Empire

pdf iconDownload PDF (177.7 KB)
pp. 77-111

If we focus on the structure of states, rather than their names,Russia presents itself as a particularly enduring imperial formation. An imperial mode of rule was successfully configured on the territories of sixteenth-century Muscovy and endured as the foundation of Muscovy’s successor states—imperial Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist ...

read more

4 The Soviet Union as an Imperial Formation A View from Central Asia

pdf iconDownload PDF (160.4 KB)
pp. 113-139

The Soviet Union became an empire in its dotage, and its reputation as an empire has continued to grow since its demise. During its time as a superpower, the Soviet Union claimed to be a multiethnic federal state, a claim that most observers accepted, with only the political right in the West calling it an empire. However, during the crisis of...

read more

5 Erasing the Empire, Re-racing the Nation Racialism and Culturalism in Imperial China

pdf iconDownload PDF (162.9 KB)
pp. 141-169

Historical empires have long provided a source of contemporary political and social guidance. Just as the Roman empire informed the goals of the British and other Europeans in the early modern age, analysts today draw on the nineteenth-century British empire as a model for American policy. ...

Part 2 Rethinking Boundaries, Imaginaries, Empires

pdf iconDownload PDF (58.6 KB)
pp. 184-185

read more

6 Empire Out of Bounds Tibet in the Era of Decolonization

pdf iconDownload PDF (186.0 KB)
pp. 173-209

Tibetan discourses on empire have always had an edge to them. From nationalist alternatives to aristocratic Anglophilia in the 1940s to impassioned charges of Chinese colonialism in the 1990s, the twentiethcentury Tibetan imperial experience is best described as slightly off center. Never colonized by a European power, Tibet instead had imperial ...

read more

7 The Imperialism of “Free Nations” Japan, Manchukuo, and the History of the Present

pdf iconDownload PDF (162.8 KB)
pp. 211-239

As the editors of this volume stress, we would be hard-pressed to find an imperialism or empire that operated in a historical vacuum without reference to other imperial practices and ideas circulating since at least the early modern era. Meiji (1868–1912) Japanese imperialism was shaped by two historical forces: modern Western imperialist ...

read more

8 After Empire Reflections on Imperialism from the Américas

pdf iconDownload PDF (167.0 KB)
pp. 241-271

The subject of empire, an old-fashioned and respected scholarly issue usually confined to erudite rumination in ivory towers, has recently become a public concern in the United States as well as abroad. Tossed around and accented with new meanings by competing parties at the onset of this new millennium, “empire” has been brought from its seclusion ...

Part 3 New Genealogies of the Imperial State

pdf iconDownload PDF (43.2 KB)
pp. 286-287

read more

9 Modern Inquisitions

pdf iconDownload PDF (182.8 KB)
pp. 275-309

Hannah Arendt, puzzling over the rise of fascism, searched for a precedent in Western history—a form of government supporting the worldwide dominance of a master race—that would have eased the way for “civilized” peoples to embrace barbarity. She found it in nineteenth- century imperialism, when northern European nations, such as ...

read more

10 Imperial Sovereignty

pdf iconDownload PDF (163.2 KB)
pp. 311-340

This chapter returns us to the period imperial historians used to characterize as the founding of the “second British empire,”2 when in the last decades of the eighteenth century Britain abandoned its experiment in American colonization and Asian trade in favor of a different kind of imperial ambition. The chapter does so, however, by drawing ...

read more

11 Provincializing France

pdf iconDownload PDF (183.5 KB)
pp. 341-377

Léopold Sédar Senghor, the Franco-Senegalese intellectual and political activist who was to become Senegal’s first president, wrote in 1945, “the colonial problem is fundamentally nothing but a provincial problem, a human problem.” Leading luminaries of the French colonial establishment, like René Pleven, were saying something similar: ...


pdf iconDownload PDF (208.1 KB)
pp. 379-420


pdf iconDownload PDF (119.7 KB)
pp. 421-429

Other Titles in the Series

pdf iconDownload PDF (81.9 KB)
pp. 444-446


pdf iconDownload PDF (852.2 KB)
p. 447-447

Back Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF (1.3 MB)
pp. 447-448

E-ISBN-13: 9781938645259
E-ISBN-10: 1938645251
Print-ISBN-13: 9781930618732
Print-ISBN-10: 1930618735

Page Count: 448
Publication Year: 2007

Edition: 1