HomeMemory, perception and politics of empire today

HomeMemory, perception and politics of empire today

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Published on Thursday, January 04, 2024


The study of empires is a dynamic field; we are constantly revising our knowledge of empires, inspired by newly discovered sources as well as new approaches. The context of historical writing itself significantly influences our perception of imperial history. Post-imperial realities also force us to rethink the empire. This special issue of Diacronie. Studi di storia contemporanea invites contributions that present perspectives on how we remember and study the empires that collapsed at the end of the First World War.



Diacronie. Studi di storia contemporanea invites contributions for a special thematic issue entitled “Memory, perception and politics of empire today”, focusing on the representation of the idea of empire in contemporary historiography, politics and memory. The special issue focuses specifically on the empires that collapsed at the end of World War I.The study of empires is a dynamic field; we are constantly revising our knowledge of empires, inspired by newly discovered sources as well as new approaches. The context of historical writing itself significantly influences our perception of imperial history. Post-imperial realities also force us to rethink the empire. For example, intellectual interest in the empire as a political entity is growing in the literature in parallel with elaborations on the present condition and conflicts in ex-empire territories such as the Balkans, the Middle East, the Caucasus and Ukraine.While the interest in empire is stimulating for academic historians, imperial nostalgia can become distracting and energy-draining, leading to an excessive preoccupation with everyday polemics. Political and ideological uses of the past, as in the case of neo-Ottomanism in Turkish foreign policy or “Ottomania” in contemporary popular culture, the identification of Russian historical territories with the space of the Tsarist Empire or the recovery of symbols and memories associated with this legacy, are examples of the challenges that complicate matters for the historian. Therefore, perhaps more than ever, we need to remember, revise, and contextualize our own historiographical journey and the interplay of several factors that shape our view of the history of empires in the 21st century. The memory of empires also plays an important role in our perceptions of multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies, challenging the boundaries of national narratives. Commemorations and celebrations are among most important public expressions of the imperial collective imagination, with tasks of legitimation and building mass consensus, and with particular attention to the anniversaries of historical events as key moments in the consolidation of the imperial imagination. The question of ruptures and continuities between empire and successor states is another interesting topic that generates fruitful academic debate.Irredentism, as a political project oriented towards the dismantling of empires, or, in a very peculiar historical and interpretative twist, animated by the goal of nationalizing empires, presents itself in this sense as a mirror of particular importance for the analysis of political, ideological and cultural dynamics, especially at the turn of the 20th century.

This special issue invites contributions that present perspectives on how we remember and study the empires that collapsed at the end of the First World War. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Romantic discourses and nostalgia for empire;
  • Shifts in the representation of empire in nationalist historiographies (rejection and/or incorporation);
  • The commemoration and celebration of empires, past and present;
  • Debates on the legacy of empires;
  • Imperial nostalgia;
  • The politics of empire and the revival of irredentist political projects.

How to submit an article

Authors can submit abstracts and articles in Italian, English, French, Spanish or Portuguese (submissions in the latter language will be translated by the editorial staff). Articles will undergo a double-blind peer review process and should have a length of between 35,000 and 55,000 characters (including spaces), following the editorial guidelines and author instructions provided here).

Abstracts and articles should be sent to the following email address: redazione.diacronie@studistorici.com.

Please send an abstract of a maximum of 1500 characters (including spaces) by January 23, 2024;

acceptance or rejection of proposals will be communicated by January 30, 2024. The deadline for submitting articles is May 15, 2024. The journal issue will be published in September 2024.

For any additional information, you can write to the following address: redazione.diacronie[at]studistorici.com

Peer review

Articles submitted to the journal undergo a double-blind reviewing process. The two anonymous referees are chosen for their specific expertise and research field. The papers are then evaluated according to several criteria, indicated in an “evaluation form”. When submitting a paper, the author implicitly accepts the double-blind peer review process. The editorial board agrees to assess either the acceptance or rejection of the article within a maximum period of four months from the date of receipt.

Open Access

All Diacronie’s papers are published on following a Open Access policy, with the belief that free and open access to research allows a greater sharing of knowledge. Thus, the author, when submitting an article, agrees implicitly to its publication under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License.

The submission of articles and their publication in Diacronie is free of charge.

You can find a .html version of Diacronie’s articles on the revues.org version of the journal: https://journals.openedition.org/diacronie/

All articles printed in Diacronie. Studi di Storia Contemporanea are published under a Creative Commons 4.0 License.

Comitato di direzione

  • Naor BEN-YEHOYADA (Columbia University, New York)
  • João Fábio BERTONHA (Universidade Estadual de Maringà – UEM)
  • Christopher DENIS-DELACOUR (RMIT University, Ho Chi Minh City)
  • Maximiliano FUENTES CODERA (Universitat de Girona)
  • Tiago Luís GIL (Universidade de Brasília – UnB)
  • Deborah PACI (Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia; direttrice)
  • Jean-Paul PELLEGRINETTI (Université Côte d’Azur)
  • Mateus Henrique de Faria PEREIRA (Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto – UFOP)
  • Spyridon PLOUMIDIS (National and Kapodistrian University of Athens)
  • Wilko GRAF VON HARDENBERG (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Comitato di redazione

  • Jacopo BASSI
  • Roberta BIASILLO (Universiteit Utrecht)
  • Luca G. MANENTI (Istituto regionale per la storia della Resistenza e dell'Età contemporanea nel Friuli Venezia Giulia)
  • Andreza MAYNARD (Universidade Federal de Sergipe)
  • Mariangela PALMIERI (Università degli Studi di Salerno)
  • Elisa TIZZONI (Scuola Normale Superiore – Pisa)
  • Matteo TOMASONI (Universidad de Valladolid)
  • Luca ZUCCOLO


BARKEY, Karen (ed.), After Empire: Multiethnic Societies and Nation-building: The Soviet Union and The Russian, Ottoman, and Habsburg Empires, New York, Routledge, 2019.

BERGER, Stefan, MILLER, Alexei (eds.), Nationalizing Empires, Budapest, Central European University Press, 2015.BROWN L. Carl (ed.), Imperial Legacy: The Ottoman Imprint on the Balkans and the Middle East, New York, Columbia University Press, 1996.

CARABELLI, Guilia et al. (eds.), Sharpening the Haze: Visual Essays on Imperial History and Memory, London, Ubiquity Press, 2020.DEAK, John, «The Great War and the Forgotten Realm: The Habsburg Monarchy and the First World War», in The Journal of Modern History, 86, 2/2014, pp. 336-380.

GERWARTH , Robert, MANELA, Erez (eds.), Empires at War: 1911-1923, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

LOHR, Eric, Nationalizing the Russian Empire: The Campaign Against Enemy Aliens During World War I, Cambridge (MA), Harvard University Press, 2003.

LOHR, Eric, TOLZ, Vera et al. (eds.), The Empire and Nationalism at War, Bloomington, Slavica Publishers, 2014.

RIEBER, Alfred, The Struggle for the Eurasian Borderlands, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

ROSHWALD, Aviel, Ethnic Nationalism and the Fall of Empires: Central Europe, Russia and the Middle East, 1914-1923, London, Routledge, 2001.

SOHRABI, Nader, «Reluctant Nationalists, Imperial Nation-State, and Neo-Ottomanism: Turks, Albanians, and the Antinomies of the End of Empire», in Social Science History, 42, 4/2018, pp. 835–870.SANBORN, Joshua, Imperial Apocalypse: The Great War and the Destruction of the Russian Empire, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2014.

STALIUNAS, Darius, AOSHIMA, Yoko (eds.), The Tsar, the Empire, and the Nation: Dilemmas of Nationalization in Russia’s Western Borderlands, 1905–1915, Budapest, Central European University, 2021.

STOLER, Ann Laura, Duress: Imperial Durabilities in Our Times, Durham, Duke University Press, 2016.

YAVUZ, Mehmet Hakan, Nostalgia for the Empire: The Politics of Neo-Ottomanism, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2020.

ZURCHER, Erik Jan, The Young Turk Legacy and Nation-Building: From the Ottoman Empire to Atatürk’s Turkey, London – New York, I.B. Taurus, 2010.


  • Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Attached files


  • empire


  • Çiğdem OĞUZ
    courriel : cigdem [dot] oguz [at] unibo [dot] it

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Deborah Paci
    courriel : deborah [dot] paci [at] unimore [dot] it


CC0-1.0 This announcement is licensed under the terms of Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal.

To cite this announcement

« Memory, perception and politics of empire today », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, January 04, 2024, https://doi.org/10.58079/ve7o

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