This research seminar will begin by reading some central examples of the historical literature on the first global empires in early modern Europe: Spain, Portugal, France and Britain. As a research seminar, we will spend the first weeks focusing on the major tasks, themes, sources, methods and theoretical orientations of this literature with an eye towards their relevance and helpfulness to the research topics of the seminar members. Among our themes will be the Renaissance ideas at the roots of this imperialism, the political practices and institutions of empire, and the art and architecture that comprised the cultural foundations of European empire. Requirements include weekly participation in the seminar for the first half of the semester followed by researching and writing a thesis of roughly 30 to 40 pages.
Thomas James Dandelet is a Professor in the Department of History.