Historian William Roger Louis to Discuss “The European Colonial Empires in Asia and Africa”

Historian William Roger Louis will survey the differences and similarities in European colonial empires from the 19th century to the post-World-War-II era, in a lecture July 12 at the Library of Congress.

Louis will present “The European Colonial Empires in Asia and Africa” at 4 p.m. on Monday, July 12, in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., Washington, D.C. The lecture is free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are needed.

By 1914, Europe controlled some 85 percent of the world’s surface. The British Empire alone extended over one quarter of the globe. There were profound contrasts, however, among the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, French, German, Italian and British colonial systems, with regard to political and religious cultures and social and economic organizations. The legacy of empire in different regions endures to the present.

At the Library’s John W. Kluge Center, Louis holds the Chair in the Countries and Cultures of the North. He is the Kerr Professor of English History and Culture at the University of Texas, where he recently was chosen professor of the year. He is also an honorary fellow of St. Antony’s College at the University of Oxford and a past president of the American Historical Association (AHA). Louis is director of the association’s National History Center. He served on the Historical Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of State from 2001 to 2008.

The lecture is sponsored by the Kluge Center, in conjunction with the National History Center’s Decolonization Seminar. The four-week seminar, held at the Library, brings together international scholars to examine various dimensions of decolonization, primarily 20th-century transitions from colonies to nations in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The seminar, supported by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is cosponsored by the AHA and the Kluge Center.

The National History Center promotes research, teaching and learning in all fields of history. Created by the American Historical Association in 2002, the center is a public trust dedicated to the study and teaching of history, as well as to the advancement of historical knowledge in government, business and the public at large. Click here for more information on the National History Center.