HIS 350L • Imperialism: Empire-Globalization-W
This course will study a selection of key issues in the history of Western imperialism, beginning at the high point of 'new imperialism' in the late nineteenth century and continuing through the twentieth century to the globalized world of today. The themes to be considered include: the scramble for unclaimed areas of the world at the close of the nineteenth century, World War I as the 'highest stage' of capitalism, the crisis of the 1930s, World War II as a struggle between existing and aspiring imperial powers, the 'second colonial occupation', the rise of nationalism, the decolonisation debate, neo-colonialism and 'Third World' development, quasi-states and post-colonial globalization. Each of these subjects would make a course in itself. Taken together, these themes embrace history, contemporary history, and current affairs, and therefore throw up a range of issues - including new and unorthodox source materials, approaches from allied social sciences, and the question of 'historical perspective' - that either challenge or add to standard historical procedures.
The precise list of topics and the degree of detail in which each can be studied will be determined partly by the need to secure a span of themes and partly by the interests of the students taking the course. Where possible, each topic will be approached through various 'master works' to ensure that students acquire a sense of the quality of original contributions to historical scholarship as well as a grasp of the substance of particular issues. The course complements Course 350L offered in the Fall semester, but can be studied independently. Students are required to produce three short pieces of written work in the course of the semester and one long essay. Each of the short pieces should be not more than 500 words long. The essay should be 3,000 words long.
85% written (25 pages); 15% seminar contribution
Detailed reading will be provided when the class meets. Relevant studies containing full references to recent scholarship include: the OXFORD HISTORY OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE (Vols. 4 and 5, 1999), P. J. Cain and A. G. Hopkins, BRITISH IMPERIALISM, 1688-2000 (2001), and A. G. Hopkins, ed. GLOBALIZATION IN WORLD HISTORY (2002).