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Colonial borderlands were not marginal spaces in the history of global empires. Rather, they were the very fabric of which political maps were fashioned – maps that might seem to present a world of neatly divisible territories, but which were in fact attempts to make order out of patchwork systems of inter-imperial geographies. Drawing on historical evidence from the Caribbean during the age of revolutions, this talk presents an analytical lens for studying such inter-imperial spaces. Communities within these colonial borderlands often subverted notions of centralized imperial power, and they linked maritime and land-based networks, at once fostering increased regional integration and bringing such regions into closer contact with one another, via transoceanic routes of people, violence, and capital. 

Jeppe Mulich is Lecturer in Modern History at City, University of London. He is a global historian of empire and colonialism, especially in the Caribbean and in the Asia-Pacific. Most of his work deals with legal and political aspects of this history, including trans-imperial networks, sovereignty and jurisdictional contestations, resistance and revolution, and the lasting legacies of colonization. He is the author of J. Mulich (2020) In a Sea of Empires: Networks and Crossings in the Revolutionary Caribbean (Cambridge University Press)

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