This site was created in June 2020 as a space for viewers to revisit and further explore the themes of the 2020 Annual International and Interdisciplinary Conference hosted by the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs. Here, you will find abstracts of each presentation, full recordings covering all three days’ events, and short videos summarizing each session. On the homepage, you will find a conference highlight reel, which introduces some of the major themes and contributions.

This project was created by Aine McAlinden, Rohatyn Center Program and Outreach Fellow, 2019–2020.

About Anxieties of Empire: New Contexts, Shifting Perspectives

The conference, Anxieties of Empire: New Contexts, Shifting Perspectives was hosted from March 5–7, 2020 in the Robert A. Jones ’59 House Conference Room on the campus of Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT.

Although the era of “hard” European imperialism had effectively ended by the middle of the twentieth century, the power dynamics established under that system persist to the present day; so do anxieties about the hegemon’s stability and cultural integrity, which had also defined the earlier imperial period. The current stage of Empire involves a global system of power in which international elites exercise political, economic, and/or physical domination over the spaces and bodies of marginalized people, driven in part by fear of being overwhelmed by them. In this interdisciplinary conference, we will use the critical framework of “imperial anxiety” to examine policy decisions, economic imperatives, subject-formation, and global cultural production under the new imperial regime. Ultimately, we aim to theorize imperial systems of the past as well as subsequent articulations of Western imperialism and current non-Western imperial projects.

This conference was organized by Tamar Mayer, professor of geography and director of the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, and Daniel Silva, associate professor of Luso-Hispanic Studies.

Anxieties of Empire was the 8th conference of its kind. Each March, the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs hosts its signature international and interdisciplinary conference, which examines a pressing global issue. Our multi-day program brings scholars and practitioners from around the world to Vermont for intense discussion with Middlebury faculty and students. For more information about past and future conferences, click here.