Empire Studies Magazine Blog


The Three Gorges Dam

In their ambitious book Empires of Food, authors Evan D.G. Fraser and Andrew Rimas take on a huge topic: the cause-and-effect relationship between food systems, societies and governments or, as they phrase it in the book’s subtitle, “feast, famine and the rise and fall of civilizations.”


Masked Fictions

Smart people see elements of imperial narratives in novels like Robinson Crusoe and Lord of the Flies. The same elements can be identified in contemporary stories movies like Avatar. As empires change, so do the stories we tell to make sense of the machineries and processes that support them


The Second Death of Latin

Language is a powerful shaping force of civilization, and each of the world’s languages is changing constantly. The way we speak has a profound effect on – and is itself profoundly affected by – other vectors of empire. Here, a master historian looks at how a “mother” tongue was ended (but not really) by powerful forces that, at first glance, seem to have


The Birth of Indic Architecture

In many cases, we can see a clear link between architecture and the cycles of empire. There can be little question that the great 17th century Ottoman architect Sinan is an imperial architect, a rising-empire artist whose work seems to exist to glorify


Dracula as a Foretelling of WWI

With the 1897 publication of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the English were exposed to a terrifying Gothic novel that expressed the fears of the age: Questions of invasion, identity, and war were entangled in a dramatic story about vampires feeding on women and