Welcome to the Nation Empire Globe (NEG) Research Cluster

Who are we?

The Nation Empire Globe (NEG) Research Cluster is a leading centre for inter-disciplinary study in the humanities and social sciences.

The triangulated paradigm of Nation Empire Globe is this Research Cluster’s distinctive mark internationally, and places the University of Sydney’s strength at the forefront of historical studies of colonialism, nationalism and globalisation.

RIHSS established the Nation Empire Globe Research Cluster in mid-2005 in order to bring together academic staff currently divided by disciplinary and administrative boundaries, to build on complementary research methodologies and to develop research opportunities.

What do we study?


The nation is at the heart of contemporary studies of imperialism and the globe, both as the subject of study, and as a category to be transcended.

The problematic nature of national sovereignty and national identity, and the idea of transcending the nation as a unit of political and social organisation has inspired some of the most stimulating new work in the social sciences and humanities.

Transnational methodologies are a shared and dominant aspect of the research of members of the history department. They give evidence of the strength of studies of nation and empire, and concepts of globalism, postcolonialism, and internationalism, emerging from the department, as unique to and definitive of Sydney History.


The study of European overseas empires is one of the most significant fields in modern history, an area of study that has been revitalised by trans-cultural perspectives that seek to compare different imperial and local agendas and scenarios.

Nation Empire Globe members have been in the forefront of cutting-edge historical work, including publications on

  • the study of gender, medicine and violence in the empires
  • the representation of empire and the role of empire in the creation of national identities
  • the historical memory of empire
  • ‘Atlantic history’ (the study of trans-national links between Europe and the new worlds of the Americas) is at present one of the most innovative historical fields, and the NEG Research Cluster is extremely well placed in this area.
  • Study of ‘cross-periphery’ links (for instance between South Africa, Canada and the Australian colonies, or between different French colonies) is also a growing area of concern, investigation of which aids in decentring colonial history from a bilateral axis of imperial centre and colonised periphery.


Linked to these fields is the complicated modern history of how nationalism, imperialism, internationalism and globalisation are connected.

The current explosion of globalisation studies is only just beginning to be historicised.

The NEG Research Cluster is leading the way by developing local, national and international links in the field and in the community. In particular, developing links with museums and cultural heritage institutions is a major aim. Many members already have such connections, which will be strengthened and extended.