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This conference, organised by professor of Modern History Elizabeth Buettner (University of Amsterdam) and NIAS fellow James Mark will explore questions such as How did the end of European Empires shape the processes of Europeanisation in the second half of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries? How were its dominant iterations– such as neoliberal or ‘fortress’ Europe – forged in the reaction to this transformation? How were anti-colonial visions of Europe reshaped? How does such historical work help to explain the current ‘crisis of Europeanness’ from Brexit to the Balkans?

Detail Summary
Start date 24 February 2020
End date 25 February 2020
Time 09:00


Monday, 24 February 

9:00-9:30 Registration

9:30-9:45 Welcome and opening remarks by Liz Buettner (University of Amsterdam) and James Mark (University of Exeter/NIAS)

9:45-10:45 Keynote I: Mythical Surplus, Democratic Deficit: Why the European Union’s Colonial Past and Legacy Is Yet to Be Re-Discovered by Peo Hansen (Institute for Research on Migration, Ethnicity and Society, REMESO, Linköping University)
Chair: Liz Buettner (University of Amsterdam)

10:45-11:00 Coffee/Tea break

11:00-13:00 Imagining EUropes
Chair: Luiza Bialasiewicz (University of Amsterdam)

Manuela Boatcă (Institute of Sociology and Global Studies Programme, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Germany): Unfinished Decolonization and Forgotten Europes

Patrick Pasture (KU Leuven): Explorations beyond the EUtopia: Decolonization, Enlargement, and Waves of Heterotopia in Postwar European History

Laia Soto Bermant (University of Helsinki): The Mediterranean Question: EUrope’s Predicament in the Southern Peripheries
Anne-Isabelle Richard (Leiden University): Eurafrica: Decolonization by Participation?

13:00-14:15 Lunch (at NIAS)

14:15-15:15 Keynote II: The Decolonial Project of Europe: From Colonial Histories to Postcolonial Reparations by Gurminder K. Bhambra (University of Sussex)
Chair: Lora Sariaslan (University of Amsterdam)

15:15-15:30 Coffee/Tea break

15:30-17:00 Cultural Representations
Chair: Claske Vos (University of Amsterdam)

Liz Buettner (University of Amsterdam): Envisioning Entangled Histories of European Migration and Ethnic Diversity

Lora Sariaslan (University of Amsterdam): A Strategic Modernity on the Shores of the Bosphorus: Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

Chiara de Cesari (University of Amsterdam): Outside in Inside out: Negotiating Decoloniality at Museums’ Threshold

18:00 Drinks

19:30 Dinner (for speakers and chairs)


Tuesday, 25 February

9:45-10:45 Keynote III: ‘Only a Matter of Time’: Locating Europe’s shared history of decolonization by Stuart Ward (University of Copenhagen)
Chair: James Mark (University of Exeter/ NIAS)

10:45-11:00 Coffee/Tea break

11:00-12:30 Re-Casting Europe’s Global Roles: Development, Humanitarianism and Solidarity
Chair: Artemy Kalinovsky (University of Amsterdam)

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (University of Coimbra): Developing alternatives: Interimperial dynamics and the imagination of Europe in the global decolonization momentum (1945-1965)

Peter van Dam (University of Amsterdam): Developing Europe: Humanitarianism after Empire, 1945-1989

Kim Christiaens (KU Leuven) “From Europe rings the bell of peace”: European Reconfigurations of Global Struggles, 1960s-1980s

12:30-13:30 Lunch (at NIAS)

13:30-15:00 Bordering Europe: A View from the East
Chair: Alex Drace-Francis (University of Amsterdam)

Zsuzsa Gille (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign): Right-wing Postcolonialism in Europe

James Mark (University of Exeter/ NIAS): An Anti-Colonial Continent to “Fortress Europe”: The Role of the East in re-imagining Europe

Artemy Kalinovsky (University of Amsterdam): Our Very Own “Third World”: How Russians Discovered Their Europeanness

15:00-15:30 Wrap Up

There are limited spaces in the audience. Please register by sending an email to


Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study (NIAS)
Korte Spinhuissteeg 3, 1012 CG Amsterdam