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Pathways to Empire? Belgian Global Expansion 1830 - 1930


On September 11-13, 2024, KU Leuven and CegeSoma/State Archives of Belgium will host an international conference on the interrelated themes of imperialism and Belgian expansionism. The conference explores the theoretical and methodological challenges involved in writing new global histories of imperialism between 1830, when Belgium was founded, and the Great Depression of the 1930s. Focusing on different actors, institutions, organizations, learned societies, and transnational associations involved in Belgian overseas expansion is an invitation to reflect on historical practices and present-day definitions of imperialism, colonization and empire, to apply this to the case of Belgian global expansion, and to transcend the conventional focus on the 'Great Powers'.

The first two days of the conference will take place at KU Leuven and the third day at CegeSoma.

We are happy to announce that you can now register for the conference. The QR code on the program and poster will guide you to the conference webpage where you can complete your registration.

The programme for the three days and all practical information can be found here