Ansatte på Saxo-Instituttet – Københavns Universitet

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Martin Müller

Martin Müller


Aktuel forskning

My ongoing postdoc project is sponsered by The Danish Council for Independent Research – Humanities (FKK), and it bears the title: Territoriality, Governmentality & Colonial Rule: A Global History of the War on Non-Sedentary Peoples and Itinerant Cultures during the Long 19th Century.

This project studies the importance of the concept of territoriality in the entwined processes of national and imperial state formation throughout the long 19th century. It emphasizes the foundational part played by this concept in the perception of non-sedentary peoples and cultures; the focus is on how it facilitated the marginalizing discourses and violent practices through which these peoples were excluded from modernity’s trajectories. A central hypothesis is that this concept was pivotal not merely by stipulating geographical, political, and economic demarcations on the map, but also by constituting conceptual grids and in defining cultural worlds. As a result, non-sedentary peoples came to be perceived as deviating from the norm and thus posing a problem in need of explanation as well as a threat that had to be contained. Applying a framework of global history allows us to examine the aspects of conceptual connectivity with regard to the ideas associated with territoriality and their impact upon non-sedentary peoples. Notwithstanding their ubiquity, these ideas and practises also have to be located within their linguistic, cultural, economic, and political contexts. I contend that the perceptions of- and politics towards these ‘nomads’ provide a thematic prism that accentuates central – albeit often ignored – aspects concerning the production of space, place, and identity: of the connections between geographical location, political affiliation, and cultural grounding.


  • Colonial history and history of empires
  • The British Empire
  • Global history
  • The long nineteenth century
  • Intellectual history
  • History of ethnology and anthropology
  • History of philology
  • Postcolonial theory
  • History of Southeast Asia

ID: 152301333