Britain

101.005 Spring 2013 Anything on Imperial Britain

This class is primarily designed for students who have made Britain or its empire their area of concentration. Class meetings will focus on the process of research and writing. Early readings will explore different models of research and writing and introduce students to the research materials available to them on campus. I am open to students writing on any subject so long as they have a good question and a set of archival sources that will help them answer it.

103C.002 Fall 2012 Passion and the Laws of England

Law is reason free from passion: so goes Aristotle’s axiom.  Yet what is the relationship between historically changing understandings of rationality and supposedly irrational passions such as lust, hatred, madness, fear, sorrow, and hunger?  Is the conception of law as a rationalsystem farcical if, as Hume argued in the eighteenth century, reason is the slave of passion?  Can the power of passion be separated from the power of reason?  And how have historical actors who have come to their own conclusions about this relationship used law to restrain undesired expre

103C.003 Fall 2012 Eating and Drinking in Great Britain

This seminar will explore the history of eating and drinking in Great Britain from early 18th century to the aftermath of the Second World War. Specifically we will examine the roles played by the consumption of comestibles in the context of four broader social processes: state-building and the formation of national, regional, class and gender identities, the expansion of commerce and industrialization, imperial exploration and colonization, and the development of canons of taste and sociability.

280C Fall 2012 Imperial Britain: Maker of the Modern World?

This course will examine why imperial Britain's history was long seen as a model for how the modern world was made. Each week it will, accordingly, focus on familiar historical processes – the demographic revolution, the modern family form, urbanization and secularization, the industrial revolution, the creation of modern economic practices, the creation of national and imperial state structures, the emergence of civil society and representative politics, the invention of modern cultural institutions - and their treatment by the big theorists of modernity.

N151C Summer 2012 Postwar Britain: the Transition from Imperial Powerhouse to Multicultural What?

This course will consider the radical changes Britons have experienced since their self-conceived glorious victory over totalitarianism in 1945. While incorporating and exploring the traditional political and economic narrative, we will focus especially on social and cultural change: the welfare state, the sudden arrival of immigrants of color, the teenage revolution, the sexual revolution, Americanization, punk and the road both to and from Thatcherism. A broad array of music and film selections will be incorporated into the course.

280C Spring 2012 The English Revolution

The English Revolution (1640-1660) was an epochal event in British history and European history more broadly. It marked the first time in the western tradition that a representative assembly asserted sovereignty against its monarch and the first time that a European monarchy was overthrown and replaced with a republic. It was also the high-water mark of the European Reformations as for the first and only time a major territorial state was taken over by radical Protestants who sought to push beyond Calvinism. Out of this ferment arose great works of political thought (e.g.

151A Spring 2012 Tudor Stuart Britain, 1485-1660

In 1485 at the conclusion of the Wars of the Roses, England was a small and impotent European nation whose government had virtually collapsed and whose intellectual, cultural, and political institutions were insignificant and outdated by broader European standards. Two centuries later, in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution of 1688, England was an emerging superpower with a global empire, it was one of the thriving intellectual and cultural centers of Europe, and it had developed new political ideas and institutions which would soon sweep the world.

151C Summer 2011 Postwar Britain: The transition from Imperial Powerhouse to Multicultural What?

This course will consider the radical changes Britons have experienced since their self-conceived glorious victory over totalitarianism in 1945. While incorporating and exploring the traditional political and economic narrative, we will focus especially on social and cultural change: the welfare state, the sudden arrival of immigrants of color, the teenage revolution, the sexual revolution, Americanization, punk and the road both to and from Thatcherism. A broad array of music and film selections will be incorporated into the course.

101.009 Spring 2012 Britain, its Empire and the World, 1700-2000

If history is good to think with, modern British Imperial history is especially so. Just as we are today, eighteenth and nineteenth century Britons were in a moment of great change that involved challenges to every aspect of social, economic and political life. In some cases, British people had control over the changes that then affected their lives. In others, and even at the height of their global, imperial might, Britain and Britons were subject to contingencies they did not anticipate, and forces they could not control.

285C Spring 2011 Modern Imperial Britain: A Research Seminar

The purpose of this course is to enable you to write a research paper on a topic of your choice on an area of British or imperial history. Accordingly the focus is not on a particular thematic or problem but on the process of research and writing itself. We will also use the class to discuss more general matters of professional development - looking forward to your doctoral work, publishing and getting a job.

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