HIST 395 The Imperial Idea

Spring, Fall

Major Requirement: Global/Comparative History
The past two decades have witnessed an explosion of scholarly interest in European imperialism as a cultural and intellectual phenomenon. This course examines some of main currents of this trend, focusing on the modern period and the British empire, which has drawn the lion’s share of attention. The course will begin by examining how leading intellectuals in Europe and its colonies engaged the idea of empire; the authors we will read may include John Locke, J. G. Herder, Edmund Burke, J. S. Mill, George Orwell, and Frantz Fanon. After this, the course will turn to critical studies of empire emanating from those engaged in literary discourse theory and
postcolonial studies. (Course offered in alternate years.)

Prerequisite: Sophomore Status