Spaces of Empire


We are excited to announce our new essay series: ‘Spaces of Empire’. 

Information about the series and contributions can be found below.

Guest Editor:                           Mahshid Mayar

Entry Length:                          ca. 1500 words

Submission Deadline:              August 15, 2020

Few other concepts in US history have proven as impossible as ’empire’: the term continues to be tough to pin down with a clear-cut definition and tricky to use in reference to the nation’s history. Indeed, despite its currency in 21st century discourses that grapple with the many manifestations of US global power and its practices, mapping the spaces of US Empire in scholarship has been difficult. As the United States expanded first across the American continent and later overseas at the beginning of the 20th century, expounding an anti-imperialist rhetoric that rejected European models of colonialism, it nonetheless colonised minds, mines, and markets. Probing this history has proven to be one of the most challenging, yet enduring, intellectual endeavours of recent years.

In light of this vibrant scholarly environment, and following Arjun Appadurai’s take on the notion of ‘scapes,’ the proposed essay series Spaces of Empire re-visits the many sites of construction, negotiation, and negation that have given shape to our 21st-century conceptions of the US Empire. By bringing together contributions that attend to the historical, literary, inter-medial, cultural, (meta-)geographical, and political practices and perceptions of empire, the series’ objective is to arrive at a fresh understanding of the fate and forms of American empire exercised over the course of almost three centuries. In so doing, the series invites scholarly contributions that examine the domestic and global spaces and agencies that have produced, promoted, refurbished, recorded, ludified, re-garbed, or revolted against the notion and practice of empire as well as its many and varied (meta-)geographic materializations.

Possible sites to examine include, though are not limited to, the following:

  • American homes and churches
  • schools and university campuses
  • US military bases
  • digital gameworlds
  • periodical press and social media
  • cartography workshops
  • the entertainment industry
  • US overseas colonies, quasi-colonised spaces, and inland internment camps
  • incarceration sites and border walls, and
  • historical archives as well as works of fiction

Contributions (essays and book reviews), 1500 words excluding bibliography, should be submitted as Word documents to by August 15, 2020. Each contribution should be accompanied by the author’s short academic bio (ca. 150 words). For any inquiries, please contact the series’ editor, Mahshid Mayar [she/her], at

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