Mobility, Empire and Cross Cultural Contacts in Mongol Eurasia

Comparative Studies in Imperial History

Comparative Studies in Imperial History (Part I)

All under Heaven? The Empire’s Spatial Dimensions


This international workshop, which will be held in Eisenach, Germany, is the inaugural meeting of a long-term project devoted to the comparative study of empires. The workshop is dedicated to the memory of Shmuel Noah Eisenstadt and organized by Michal Biran (HUJI), Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum (Freie Universität Berlin), Yuri Pines (HUJI) and Jӧrg Rüpke (Erfurt University). The workshop, funded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, brings together leading experts on various imperial enterprises as well as prominent comparative historians and sociologists, and aims to promote a systematic approach to imperial polities through exploring core issues, which were faced by all major continental empires in human history. The first meeting analyzes both practical and ideological factors that prompted or limited the empire’s expansion. What was the impact of geographic, environmental and climatic factors on the empire’s territorial extent? What were the economic stimuli behind expansion or contraction? How did the empires’ different social structures, in particular the role of the military (see below) shape their boundaries? How was the imperial space bounded and how were lands beyond the border conceived? Was there a notion of central and core regions and did a concept of homeland emerge? Which of the empires generated a particular spatial ideology? How did the empires’ territorial scope contribute toward their legitimacy?

The depository of the papers can be found on this secured page.

The final program of the event can be downloaded here.

Venue. The conference will take place in the hotel "Haus Hainstein", located in Eisenach, Germany. The address of the hotel is Am Hainstein 16, 99817, Eisenach and its exact location can found on the Google maps via this link. The hotel is located about 15 minutes by foot from the famous Wartburg castle of Eisenach and can be reached by taxi (6 min) or by foot (about 30 min) from the rail station. The telephone number of the hotel is +49 3691 2420.

The map of the area in separate file can be found here.


Participants include:

Prof. Michal Biran (Organizer, The Hebrew University)

Prof. Eva Cancik-Kirschbaum (Organizer, Freie Universität Berlin)

Prof. Yuri Pines (Organizer, The Hebrew University)

Prof. Jӧrg Rüpke (Organizer, Erfurt University)

Prof. Jane Burbank (New York University)

Prof. Stephen Dale (The Ohio State Unversity)

Prof. Harry Falk (Freie Universität Berlin)

Prof. Pekka Hämäläinen (Oxford University)

Prof. Stefan Heidemann (Universität Hamburg)

Prof. Matthew Mosca (College of William & Mary)

Prof. Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften)

Prof. David Robinson (Colgate University)

Prof. Greg Woolf (University of London)