This course will explore Europe’s often brutal -- and always complex -- encounter with some of the peoples it colonized in the modern “Age of Empire,” and the many different ways in which historians have written about this encounter. Special attention will be paid to the French, British and Belgians in Africa, the devastating impact of their policies, and the way Africans shaped colonial cultures in Europe itself. Themes we will consider include the motives for European expansion; the emergence of new racist and humanitarian ideologies; masculinity, interracial unions, and fears of miscegenation; women’s roles in empire; strategies of resistance and accommodation to colonial rule; and the continuing influence of the colonial past on Europe’s multicultural societies today. Students may write their final paper on an aspect of modern European imperialism in some other part of the world if they so choose (e.g. the British in India, the Dutch in Indonesia, the French in Vietnam, etc.)
REQUIRED TEXTS (all available from University Bookstore, and on reserve in library):
Alice L. Conklin and Ian Christopher Fletcher (eds.), European Imperialism 1830-1930
Hergé, The Adventures of Tintin in the Congo
Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost
Andrew Porter (ed.), The Oxford History of the British Empire, vol. 3: The Nineteenth Century
All other readings (except those marked “handout” in the syllabus) are on Electronic Reserves(on-line), as well as on regular reserve in the library. For instructions on how to access Electronic Reserve, please see attached sheet.
OFFICE HOURS: Thursday, 1:30-3:30 p.m. or by appointment
Students should come to all classes prepared, and participate actively in discussions. You will be asked to read a number of articles, primary sources, and book chapters each week, and should have the reading completed before class.
Each week, by the day before we meet for class, I want you to e-mail me one or two questions suitable for class discussion based on that week’s readings. Try to come up with questions that will help us to discuss and interpret the assigned sources in class.
There will be three short papers (not to exceed three double-spaced pages) due in the first half of the quarter. The course will conclude with a final paper (approximately ten double-spaced pages) on one of the topics discussed in class. This paper must incorporate three additional sources beyond those used in the class. Students must choose their topics in consultation with me no later than the seventh week of the quarter, and to submit their final bibliographies in the ninth week of the quarter.
Please note that all students must be officially enrolled in the course by the end of the second full week of the quarter. No request to add the course will be approved by the department chair after that time. Enrolling officially and on time is solely the responsibility of each student.
Your grade will be based on the following components:
Final paper: 35%
First short writing assignment: 10%
Second short writing assignment: 10%
Third short writing assignment: 10%
Classroom participation: 30%
E-mailed questions based on weekly readings (weeks 3-10): 5%
Grades will be computed on the following standard scale:
A+ 97.5% and above B+ 87.5% and above C+ 77.5% and aboveD+ 67.5% and above
A 92.5% and above B 82.5% and above C 72.5% and above D 60% and above
A- 90% and above B- 80% and above C- 70% and above E below 60%
Week One (5 January)
Course introduction: European expansion in the nineteenth century
Week Two (12 January)
Theme: What is imperialism?
Stephen Howe, “Who’s an imperialist?” in Empire: A Very Short Introduction, 9-34