Science, Environments and European Colonialism

HISTORY 103S.002

Fall 2015
Instructor (text): 
Angelo Caglioti
3205 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Th 12-2P
  • Note new room.
  • Science and colonialism were both driving forces in the making of the modern world. However, the ways we understand them have changed dramatically over time. Until recently, Europeans told themselves that science was something done in Europe, by Europeans, and then exported to the rest of the world. Indeed, they justified western imperialism because of the role played by western science and technology in “improving” colonial environments. Quite to the contrary, modern science was the result of Europe’s encounter with the world. The challenges and opportunities of the colonies as "scientific laboratories" shaped the way Europeans explored, analyzed, and studied nature. This seminar will introduce students to current historiography about the relationship between science, colonial environments, and European empires. Students will develop their reading skills and will explore key topics in the history of science, colonialism, European, and environmental history.
    Angelo Caglioti is a PhD Candidate in the Department of History at UC Berkeley.  He is pursuing a designated emphasis in Science and Technology Studies. He graduated from the University of Padua (Italy), where he studied the history of nationalism, race and anthropology in the nineteenth century. His current research deals with European history and the history of science in the nineteenth and twentieth century. His dissertation focuses in particular on the relationship between science, environment and colonialism.

Course Books

Triumph of the Expert by Joseph Morgan Hodge Ohio University Press. ISBN: 978-0821417188 Required
Empire and Information by Christopher Bayly Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0521663601 Required
Africa as a Living Laboratory by Helen Tilley University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 978-0821417188 Required
Green Imperialism by Helen Tilley Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-0226803470 Required
Putting Science in its place by David Livingstone University of Chicago Press . ISBN: 978-0226102849 Required