The Working Group on Trans/Anti-Imperialism began in fall 2021 as an experiment in collaborative scholarship between graduate students and faculty in the History/History of Art and Architecture Departments at the University of Pittsburgh. In the 2021-2022 academic year, we focused on the US, German, and Japanese empires in 19th and 20th centuries in our readings and discussions, focusing on the role of nationalism and the rise of nation states in studying modern empires.

The highlight of our activities in the past year featured Dr. Satoshi Mizutani, historian of the British and Japanese empires at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. In our workshop, Dr. Mizutani shared his working paper, “Indians and Koreans in Crosscolonial Solidarity” (Part one can be found here on the Transimperial History Blog). This discussion underlined the role of the anti-imperial in transimperial networks and approaches and served as a basis for a critical discussion of the concept of transimperial and the many implications and connotations the term carries.

In the spring of 2022, we also had the opportunity to connect with the newly commenced Center for Transimperial History @ Doshisha University and its network of scholars in Japan, Canada, Germany, and the United States. With this exciting new venture, the working group seeks to expand both its geographical and temporal scope with the addition of new members in the 2022-2023 academic year.

In addition to strengthening the international networks that we have created in the past year; we also hope to bring the ‘transimperial’ in conversation with World History. What can the transimperial do for a field that is built on connectivity, networks, and the transregional, if any? Furthermore, what are the various ways that one can approach the ‘transimperial’ in their respective regional fields? We hope that this study group can begin exploring these important questions and continue to serve as a space for both graduate students and established scholars interested in this new and exciting field of transimperial history.

List of Participants: 

Marisol Villela Balderrama (Pitt, History of Art and Architecture) 

Gregor Thum (Pitt, History) 

Michel Gobat (Pitt, History) 

Vicky Shen (Pitt, History) 

Eloy Romero Blanco (Pitt, History)

Ricky Law (Carnegie Mellon University, History)

Esteban Corella Ovares (University of Costa Rica, School of General Studies)