The present project is interested in the way in which the modern colonial empires (19th-20th), Portuguese, German, French, British, Belgian and Italian, invented “mestizaje”, defined it, and constructed it – or not – as a “question” or “problem”. We will also take into account the Spanish empire – and what remained of it in the 19th century -, despite the chronological gap. But the focus will be on the 19th and 20th centuries. There is a historiography on the subject, which has been developing over the last twenty years, but which remains compartmentalized, each empire having its specialists, who do not necessarily dialogue with each other. Rare are the studies that, like that of Capucine Boidin comparing Spanish America and French Indochina or Ann-Laura Stoler, adopt a comparative point of view. It is therefore first of all a question of taking stock of the historiographic situation, beyond the sole case of the French Empire, and of creating a network of researchers specializing in different imperial areas. The aim is to produce a volume with a comparative perspective, prepared during workshops that bring together the researchers concerned, and that makes it possible to put together works concerning various geographical areas. This volume will thus produce a comparative analysis of discourses and practices in various imperial areas, regardless of chronological shifts. It is now a fact that the Empires, in a general way, were inspired by each other, which did not prevent them from cultivating their differences. We will also be interested in the contemporary impact of imperial definitions and policies, in the perception of miscegenation in contemporary societies, and in a certain return of the repressed in the form, for example, of demands for reparation. The “mestizo question” is very present in the memorial debates on colonial legacies, including at the highest institutional level. In Belgium, there has recently been a complaint for “crimes against humanity”.

 This volume will therefore approach the question from three different angles: Imperial discourses and policies; mestizo trajectories; contemporary impacts.