One Week to Deadline: Empire Symposium

Exhibiting the Experience of Empire
Symposium, 9 March 2018
Two funded places for ITP alumni
One-week programme, 3 – 11 March 2018
Application deadline: 11 November 2017, 17:00 GMT
Application form – email to

The symposium Exhibiting the Experience of Empire will be held at the British Museum on 9 March 2018. It has been organised by the Global, Local and Imperial Histories – (GLIH) Research Group at the BM.

We would like to invite two ITP alumni to take part.

The two alumni accepted will return to the British Museum for one week for an additional short programme so we can further support your professional development and offer you additional networking opportunities.
Applicants will need to be free to come to London from 3 to 11 March 2018.

As with the ITP Summer Programme all costs will be covered by the British Museum.

The group will explore how experiences of European imperialism, with a focus on the British Empire, can be researched and exhibited through objects. This event will engage with a central aspect of the Museum’s GLIH research challenge: object approaches to representations of empire.


The background

Narrating Empire can be a challenge because the museum collections of colonial-period material acquired by officials, missionaries and Orientalist scholars was not originally assembled in order to educate the public about the realities of imperialism. It was often collected either for private pleasure, to romanticise the colonies or as a form of trophy. Papers will explore the ways in which we can self-reflectively turn these objects on their heads, re-contextualise them and interrogate the stories they conceal as well as reveal. Speakers will approach the subject of the symposium from a range of object-centred angles, from the need to emphasise alternative perspectives on Empire to transparent approaches to collecting histories.

The event will take place in the Stevenson Lecture Theatre on Friday 9 March 2018 to coincide with the Civilisations Festival (March 2 – 11), a partnership between museums and BBC Arts, and an Asahi Shimbun  Room 3 display exploring slavery and rebellion in the Americas. The participants (speakers and audience members) will number 50-100 people approximately, including up to 20 external invited speakers, as well as external invited audience members and staff from GLIH and other interested research groups.

If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact Claire Messenger (, who will be happy to help and advise.