The Historiography of Empire and Imperialism

History 280C.001

Spring 2007
3104 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Mon 2-4

This course will examine the recent extensive historical writing on empire and imperialism. It will focus on the modern British Empire, situated in the context of larger European and American overseas expansion. We will begin with a look at the 'classic' historiography associated with historians ranging from J.R. Seeley to Ronald Robinson to Cain and Hopkins. We will assess the work of several 'postcolonial' theorists of empire, and engage with the ongoing debates on the role of empire in shaping the metropole. With Charles Meier and Niall Fergusson we will briefly consider the contentious question of parallels between the United States and Britain as 'imperial' powers. Students will be required to write two analytical papers. One will assess the work of an individual historian, or the writings about a major historical event. The second may develop themes from the student's own research interests so long as they are placed in the context of the course.


Note new schedule!

Also listed as 280B.005