CFP: Empire and Aftermath: Core and Periphery (2/15/06; 6/4/06-6/10/06)

full name / name of organization: 
James Gifford
contact email: 




The Durrell School of Corfu will hold a seminar on the topic 'Empire and
Aftermath: Core and Periphery' at its Library and Study Centre in Corfu,
4-10 June 2006.

The 400-year rule of the Ionian islands by the 'Serenissima' Republic of
Venice and the 50-year administration of the 'Septinsular Republic' of those
islands by Britain provide us with examples of strategic control of
Mediterranean communications by interests vested in the diplomatic and
commercial manipulation of trade routes and nodes of power.

Although Venice created an aristocracy in the Ionian islands (remnants of
which are still evident), it cannot be said to have 'colonised' the islands,
nor can the many British people living in Corfu today claim any connection
with the previous British presence. Nevertheless, The British empire, as the
most extensive territorial and economic enterprise in the world, had many
continuing links with the Ionian islands. One of its greatest architects,
W.E. Gladstone, was 'Lord High Commissioner Extraordinary' in Corfu 1858-59.
General Charles Napier, later famed for his one-word telegram to London
signalling that he had captured the city of Sind ('Peccavi'), was
Commissioner in Cephallonia 1822-30.

It is a debatable proposition that an imperial, rather than a colonial,
presence on the part of Venice and Britain had a benign effect on these
islands, and this may contrast with the experience of societies elsewhere
which continue to live in the aftermath of colonisation: colonisation is
essentially invasive and rapine, encouraging movements towards resistance
and independence, whereas imperial administration per se may not lead to
such movements.

The Durrell School of Corfu's seminar will therefore concentrate on
post-imperial, rather than post-colonial, issues, although it is
acknowledged, expected and hoped that many contested areas will be addressed
by participants.

The purpose of the seminar is to examine:

• the relations between the centre of empire and the subjects of its rule at
its periphery, both during the imperial period and after
• discourse (or the lack of it) between core and periphery, particularly
through the lenses of literature;
• the effects of the aftermath of empire in former imperial subjects.

The chief focus of the seminar will be on the empires which controlled the
Ionian islands from 1386 to 1864: Venice (1386-1797)
                                        France (Republic, 1979-99; Empire, 1807-14)
                                        Britain (1814-64),
in addition to the brief involvement of Russia and Turkey (1799-1807). The
occupation of mainland Greece by the Ottoman empire will provide another
Other imperial powers within the region ( e.g. Austro-Hungary) may also be
Due to the fact that the Durrell family were born in India, and that
Lawrence Durrell wrote extensively of India, an additional focus will be
provided by the experience of India under, and after, British rule.

The seminar will be moderated by Neil Lazarus (Warwick University, UK),
Gautam Kundu (Georgia Southern University, USA) and Reed Way Dasenbrock (New
Mexico State University, USA). The component on India will enjoy the
distinguished participation of Ashis Nandy (Centre for the Study of
Developing Societies, Delhi, India).

Priority will be given to proposals relating to the imperial/post-imperial
experience of Greece and in particular of the Ionian islands.

The DSC invites submission of proposals for short papers (no more than 30
minutes) based on original research. The seminar will be of particular
interest to doctoral candidates and those with post-doctoral experience.

TOPICS (the following topics are not exclusive)

• interaction between imperial and indigenous cultures
• the symbiosis of 'coloniser' and 'colonised'
• the imperial subject as 'other' or 'different': can the 'other' ever
become 'the same'?
• critiques of 'orientalism'
• the transition of societies under imperial rule
• Eurocentrism and the rhetoric of map-making
• the meaning of 'subaltern'
• real and imaginary perceptions of landscape from the imperial and
indigenous perspectives
• 'allochronism': linear time and circular or periodic time
• suppression of, or revolt or collaboration by, imperial subjects
• nationalist and independence/resistance movements: emphasis may be placed
on cultural nationalism and questions of emergent identity
• post-imperial or post-colonial literatures, especially 'varieties of
english', including Africa, Australia and New Zealand, Canada, the
Caribbean: is there such a genre as 'Commonwealth literature'?
• the literature(s) of Latin America
• post-imperial literature(s) re-writing the 'Western canon': 'the empire
writes back'
• the role of narrative in post-imperial society: memory and re-membering
• departure and arrival in the moment of freedom/independence
• revisionism in post-imperial historiography

Proposals relating to India are encouraged to examine, in particular:

• the Macaulay memorandum on Indian education (1835) and its aftermath
• the relationship of English writers with India (especially those born in
India, including Rudyard Kipling and Lawrence Durrell)
• the development of Indian writing in English

Proposals relating to the Ionian islands are encouraged to examine:

• the launching of the 4th Crusade from Corfu (1203)
• the architectural contribution to the islands of the Venetians, French and
• the pervasiveness of Italian culture: language, cuisine, music and
• the effects of British administration
• enosis with Greece in 1864
• is The Tempest set in Corfu?

The format of the seminar will facilitate detailed discussion of each paper
with members of the School's faculty, and will therefore permit no more than
6 papers each day. Full texts of accepted presentations must be received at
the DSC by 1 May 2006 in electronic format in order to facilitate
circulation to all participants.

A selection of papers and the discussion they inspire will be published by
the DSC as part of its Proceedings.

In absentia presentations are not acceptable.

Proposals (2 pages maximum), together with the proposer's CV, should be
received at the DSC by e-mail before 15 February 2006 (

The registration fee for the seminar will be 300 euros for participants (to
include costs of field classes) and 350 euros for those who wish to attend
and take part in the discussions, but who do not wish to present papers.

The Durrell School of Corfu will not be responsible for any costs associated
with travel or accommodation. Intending participants should consult the DSC
website ( for details of accommodation
available in Corfu.

A limited number of scholarships is available: in the first instance,
contact the Administrative Director at:

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Received on Sat Jan 14 2006 - 09:47:06 EST