The last six centuries of the past millennium saw the emergence of major empires that dominated every part of the world. Inevitably, then these imperial formations governed diverse and polyglot peoples. Such political formations failed to withstand the shocks of numerous cataclysmic events that beset humanity in the twentieth century. Would-be national states emerged from the wreckage and for a time projected an image of being the natural and optimal end of experiments in governance. But it is ahistorical to think so. This workshop explores the ways in which ethnic groups were variously generated, integrated, segregated, deployed and marginalized in various imperial formations from the seventh to the eighteenth century across the Eurasian land-mass. It hopes to generate productive conversations across regional boundaries and enrich our understanding of the relation of social identity and political power through historical time.
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