We might read the title of this section in two moods. First, interrogative: what residues, visible or obscured, does empire leave in its wake? What anti-imperial work—historical, political, theoretical, aesthetic—remains to be done? Second, indicative: here are the leavings, the imperial remnants. Here is the methodological task before us in our contemporary imperial moment. On the one hand, a question; on the other, an accounting. As meditations on ‘empire’ and its remainders, the works reviewed in this section offer both question and account. They trace various material and discursive instantiations of global imperialism that can’t be easily relegated to the past, and they offer a wide range of methodological approaches for apprehending, representing, and reckoning with those remnants in the present. Taken together, they thus also illustrate the proliferation of ‘empire’ as both violent historical reality and subject of scholarly inquiry.

Kerri Kilmer opens the section more squarely in the realm of history with her review of Gale L. Kenny’s Christian Imperial Feminism: White Protestant Women and the Consecration of Empire. As Kilmer writes, Kenny’s monograph marks an important expansion of the historiography of the nineteenth and twentieth-century US empire, one that more fully accounts for the enabling intersection of race, religion, and gender in the period. What such an account uncovers is a particular strain of feminist social liberalism through which white Protestant women “tethered their moral, social, and political authority to their expertise in managing difference.”

Reviewing Mel Y. Chen’s Intoxicated: Race, Disability, and Chemical Intimacy Across Empire, Minh Huynh Vu takes a different tack. Here, ‘intoxication’ names “a reflexive method of knowledge production”—one that eschews academe’s typical privileging of linearity and argument in order to follow empire’s messier configurations of race, disability, and sexuality across space and time. “Messing with the isotopic mutations of toxicity rather than mining its carbon copies,” Vu writes, Chen’s book aims less to find answers than to sketch provisional associations of imperial codes.

Next, Haley Eazor considers the wide-ranging meanings and instantiations of ‘disappearance’ in a transnational context in her review of Book of the Disappeared: The Quest for Transnational Justice, edited by Jennifer Heath and Ashraf Zahedi. Eazor sketches a multimedia collection of artists, authors, and scholars who variously grapple with the problem of “figuring and animating absence”—of seeing the remnants of empire that can no longer be seen. “How do we make something—laws, ratifications, kin—of the testimony, the bones, the paper trails left behind?” Eazor poetically provokes. “What forms of dissent can emerge from the decay, aftermaths, and traces of the disappeared?”

Iana Robitaille finds a tentative response in her review of Neferti X. M. Tadiar’s Remaindered Life, a Marxist- feminist account of contemporary imperial capitalism told from “the side of the surplus, the peripheral, the dispossessed.” Outlining a temporally inflected theorization of the ‘life-times’ that define our global-capitalist present, Robitaille follows Tadiar as she unearths provisional transnational solidarities and alternative modes of life-making that nevertheless exist outside of and beyond capital. But as Tadiar writes, and as Robitaille cautions us, we must resist the urge to political instrumentalization as we read these “small excesses.”

To conclude the section, Keerti Arora asks what other literary-aesthetic forms might be required to apprehend the traumatic residue of empire. Reviewing Adrie Kusserow’s prose poem memoir, Trauma Mantras, Arora locates a self-reflexive critique of Western psychological and affective epistemes of trauma and of US global intervention. And in a gorgeous closing meditation—and a critical reminder of empire’s enduring presence— she reflects on the potentially healing power of words themselves as an “instrument of thought.”

What remains, after all, are the words we repeat.