What’s off-centre of empire? Introduction to the special issue

Giulia Carabelli, Miloš Jovanović

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In this Introduction, we discuss the aims of this publication along with guidelines to locate and connect the essays part of the edited volume. We start by highlighting the original contribution of our intervention in terms of what off-centring empire offers in relation to scholarship that de-centres empire. To us, this means to look at the processes, dynamics, and movements that connect empire (as a centre of power) to its peripheries (as a site of difference, struggles, and resistance). To be sure, attempts to off-centre and de-centre empire are related, relational, and they both commit to the project of challenging the centrality of empire, to confronting its lasting legacies and normative powers. Yet to off-centre, as we argue, is to focus on the electrifying force-field generated by the poles of imperial power, rather than oppose centre and peripheries to subvert their relationship. Our aim is to reveal the complex ways centre and periphery connect and distance with the aim to highlight emerging modes of counter-imperial practice. Further, this introduction serves as the opportunity to discuss the structure of the SI and its three main sections – Public Memory, Orientations, and More-than-human. Here we reflect upon how each essay brings to the fore a unique way to off-centre empire, and thus provide examples that may inspire future research. Finally, we highlight how conversations emerging from individual essays can be assembled and read into threads, pointing to multiple ways in which we seek to off-centre empire through empirical research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)675-687
Number of pages13
JournalCultural Studies
Issue number5
Early online date22 Jun 2020
Publication statusEarly online date - 22 Jun 2020


  • empire
  • empire off-centre
  • cultural studies
  • more than human
  • memory
  • affect


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