COLLAPSED EMPIRES. Post-colonial Nations and the Construction of Historical Consciousness. Infrastructures of Memory after 1917


Project: HAR2015-64155-P, Ministry of Economy (Spain) 2016-2018

The project focus on the consequences of the imperial and state collapses after 1917 in spatial and chronological comparison, researching the changing of institutions that created narratives and representations of national memories. The effects of World War I in terms of creating or transforming institutions to keep or –re-imagining the collective memory of such states, were overwhelming. The Russian Revolution of 1917 exerted its influence all along the globe. We want to compare these processes with the post-world war II independencies and/or consolidation of post-colonial states (such as Morocco and Egypt) and with the independencies and recovery of full sovereignty after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989/91.



1. Universidad Complutense de Madrid

                a. Departamento de historia contemporánea
                      José M. Faraldo (IP)
                 b. Departamento de Estudios árabes e islámicos
                      Josep Puig Montada
                      Mohammed Dahiri


2. Universidad de Barcelona.
                 a. Instituto de Ciencias Políticas y Sociales.
                       Luiza Iordache


3. Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
                  a. Facultad de Formación de Profesorado y Educación
                       Fernando Hernández Sánchez


4. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich.
                   a. Historisches Seminar, Lehrstuhl für die   Europäische Geschichte des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts
                        Xosé Manoel Núnez Seixas


5. University of Washington, USA
                         Glennys Young


6. Martin-Luther-Universität Halle.
                    a. Institut für Geschichte, Aleksander Brückner Zentrum für Polenstudien
                          Paulina Gulinska-Jurgiel


7. Orient Institut Istanbul (Stiftung Deutsche Geisteswissenschaftliche Institute im Ausland/Max Weber-Stiftung).
                           Zaur Gasimov


8. Institute of Linguistics, history and literature in Carelian Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAN), Petrozavodsk, Russian Federation.
                           Olga Ilyukha


9. Ab Imperio Quarterly. Studies of New Imperial History and Nationalism in the Post-Soviet Space

                            Ilya V. Gerasimov


1. The project aims at objectifying the research on historical memory-building, taking the analysis of mere repression and war traumas to examine how institutions develop concrete constructions of elements of historical consciousness.

2. By introducing in the analysis of modern empires, questions about post- imperial myths, which had been reaffirmed in historiography by post- colonial studies, we aim to explore critically the imperial legacies and forms of nation building after empires, as well as the consequences of independencies in Europe.

3. The project concentrates on the research on the memory of the former colonial/subordinate past of nations which gained independence after collapses but in the context of imperial nations that lost their empire and stay as national-states or regain some status as new empires.

4. The main objective is to analyse a large series of cases of different transformations/creation of this institutions we name infrastructures of memory in different contexts and compare between them in order to find how the new regimes build proposals of identity.

5. The first question to be raised is on permanence and stability of narratives of memory in times of dramatic transformations, and to the purpose we will focus on three definite periods. In the project we will analyse how countries adjusted to the new situation and how they created or reformed administrative structures in the humanities. We want to study if the “old” infrastructures were kept and used, or if they were simply destroyed. If they were kept, how they were transformed to create the new ones. Important are also Infraestructures of Memory created by organizations of the civic society or by national or regional minorities during the period of the empire but which are, after an independence, part of the new construction of national memories.