European Imperialism in the 19th and 20th Centuries
From pineapples grown in Hawaii to English-speaking call centers outsourced to India, the legacy of the "Age of Imperialism" appears everywhere in our modern world. This class explores the history of European imperialism in its political, economic, and cultural dimensions from the 1840s through the 1960s. While much of the class will focus on the place of imperialism in European society, we will also engage with case-studies and counter-narratives from Africa, India, and Asia, which offer experiences and perspectives that contrast vividly with those of the Europeans. Over the course of the semester, we will address such topics as the theories of imperial expansion; the rise of "scientific" racism; the myths of empire as elements of national identities; the role of social class and gender in colonial ideologies; the economic, social, and environmental impact of colonial rule; the forces behind decolonization; and globalization in the post-colonial world. The subject engages with a range of textual and visual sources, from historical writing to documents, from fiction to film.