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CIGH seminar: Julio Decker (Bristol), 'Lines of Power? Railroads and Territoriality in German Southwest Africa, 1884-1914'

Centre for Imperial and Global History Seminar

This talk explores the relationship between technology, territory, and contestation in colonial rule. Imperial infrastructures have long been regarded as “tools of empire” (Daniel Headrick), enabling Western nations to project military power, integrate colonies into a global economy, and secure strategic interest. Such ambitions, however, often clashed with the realities on the ground, as the agency of colonizers, the colonized, and the environment contravened visions articulated in the metropole. Exploring the history of colonial railways in German Southwest Africa (present-day Namibia), this talk explores how new forms of territoriality, created or connected by the railroads, were negotiated. Julio Decker is lecturer in North American History at the University of Bristol. His current project analyzes German and American colonial railroads in inter-imperial perspective.

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Amory B315