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Nation Empire Globe Research Cluster

Exploring colonialism, nationalism and globalisation
We conduct interdisciplinary research to reconcile the theories and histories of nationalism and globalisation.

About us  

The Nation Empire Globe was established in 2005 as a leading centre for interdisciplinary research, studying colonialism, nationalism and globalisation. The centre brings together academics from across various disciplines to build on research methodologies and to develop research opportunities.

Our vision

Nation Empire Globe aims to develop links with national and international museums and cultural heritage institutions. We do this through the study of three main areas:  

The nation is at the heart of contemporary studies of imperialism and the globe, both as the subject of study, and as a category to be transcended.  
The problematic nature of national sovereignty and national identity, and the idea of transcending the nation as a unit of political and social organisation has inspired some of the most stimulating new work in the social sciences and humanities.  
Transnational methodologies are a shared and dominant aspect of the research of members of the history department. They give evidence of the strength of studies of nation and empire, and concepts of globalism, postcolonialism, and internationalism.  

The study of European overseas empires is one of the most significant fields in modern history, an area of study that has been revitalised by transcultural perspectives that seek to compare different imperial and local agendas and scenarios.  

Linked to these fields is the complicated modern history of how nationalism, imperialism, internationalism and globalisation are connected. The current explosion of globalisation studies is only just beginning to be historicised.  

Our research

The centre is involved in historical work, including publications on:

  • the study of gender, medicine and violence in the empires
  • the representation of empire and the role of empire in the creation of national identities
  • the historical memory of empire
  • ‘Atlantic history’ - the study of transnational links between Europe and the new worlds of the Americas, one of the most innovative historical fields
  • the study of ‘cross-periphery’ links (for instance between South Africa, Canada and the Australian colonies, or between different French colonies) which is a growing area of concern and investigation to decentring colonial history.


Dignity workshop, 1 September 2016

Co-sponsored by the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation, the Nation Globe Empire Research Cluster and Sydney Intellectual History Network, this workshop forms part of a general project concerning the 'recovery' of dignity. Delivered by:

New histories of international law, 18 August 2016

Brought to you by the Laureate Research Program in International History, Nation Empire Globe Research Cluster and the Department of History at the University of Sydney, a panel of academics discuss the history of international law.

  • Dr Marco Duranti, University of Sydney – A Romantic Approach to the History of International Law
  • Lisa Ford, UNSW – Mixed commissions, human rights and municipal law
  • Natasha Wheatley, University of Sydney – Spectral Legal Personality in Interwar International Law: On New Ways of Not Being a State
  • David Armitage, Harvard – "A Specimen of Marco Polo" or "The Modern Grotius": C. H. Alexandrowicz (1902-75) on Sovereignty and Statehood
  • Professor Andrew Fitzmaurice, University of Sydney – Travers Twiss on the equality of non-European nations in international law

Medieval legacies of human rights in Australasia, Europe and Muslim Societies, 20 June 2016

A panel of national and international academics consider the medieval origins of human rights and the legacy of foundational medieval texts today.

  • Chris Jones, University of Canterbury (New Zealand) – Mana & Magna Carta: The New Zealand Experience of a Medieval Legacy
  • Clare Monagle, Macquarie University – The Christian Problem: Scholastic Theology and the New Histories of Human Rights
  • Lisa Worthington, University of Western Sydney – Human Rights in Islam: Examining Progressive Muslim Thought and Practice

Centre Director

Dr Marco Duranti