Please note that this module was available
until 2007, but has since been
withdrawn and is no longer available.
Tutor: Professor Margot Finn
This undergraduate first-year and second-year option module introduces students to a series of ongoing debates on the material and cultural origins, experience and implications of British imperialism. Recent years have seen an increasing divide develop between scholars who locate imperial power primarily in the sphere of economics and those who emphasise instead the overwhelming importance of social and cultural phenomena, such as perceived racial differences, gender hierarchies and conflicting interpretations of British nationality. By integrating these increasingly disparate approaches to British imperialism, this module will allow students to develop a multi-faceted understanding of empire which encompasses both metropolitan and indigenous, male and female perspectives. 'Comparative British Imperialisms' is, further, designed to interrogate the coherence of imperialism as a process by examining British colonial rule both from the perspective of metropolitan London and from three contrasting vantage points within the empire-India, Australia and Kenya. In each instance, the focus is on the initial establishment and consolidation of colonial rule, rather than upon the development of independence movements and the processes of decolonisation. The module gives particular attention to the significance of three foci of imperial power: economic relations, racial and ethnic identities, and gender roles.