Convenor: Dr Guido van Meersbergen
Empires, as plural polities linking and incorporating a variety of peoples and territories in unequal relationships of power and subjection, have shaped much of human history across the globe from the ancient world to the present. This spring term module introduces students to the study of empire in the early modern and modern periods, following a thematic approach that highlights the different themes in the history of empire that scholars have focused on and the variety of methods and perspectives they have adopted. In weekly seminars, students will reflect on and engage with historiographical approaches to empire as a global and trans-historical phenomenon with profound historical effects and lasting consequences for contemporary politics, society, culture, and economics. It is open to all MA students and may particularly appeal to those interested in global and comparative history.
- To widen and deepen students’ understanding of themes in the study of empire in history across chronological periods and geographical areas
- To help students develop a conceptual and practical understanding of the skills of an historian of empire
- To help students hone their ability to formulate and test concepts and hypotheses, to undertake independent critical analysis, and to formulate and produce a piece of critical and reflective historiographical writing.
By the end of this module, students will be able to demonstrate a conceptual and practical understanding of the skills of an historian of empire; demonstrate the ability to undertake critical analysis; demonstrate the ability to formulate and test concepts and hypotheses; and demonstrate the ability to formulate and produce a piece of critical and reflective historiographical writing.
One 6000-word assessed essay, to be submitted via Tabula. Deadline: Term 3, Week 1.
This essay can explore any aspect of the module. You are encouraged to formulate your own essay question, which may be based on one of the weekly seminar questions, in consultation with the module convenor or the relevant seminar tutor. The purpose of the essay is for you to engage with the major concepts discussed in the module in a broad way. This means that we expect you to read beyond the required reading, and use further secondary sources to expand on our class discussions. Primary research is encouraged but is not required as part of this essay. Rather, what we are looking for are compelling arguments in answer to the question, which demonstrate sophisticated, thoughtful, and original reflections on the ways in which historians have written and continue to write on the history of empire. Please consult the marking criteriaLink opens in a new window for further detail.
Any reschedules will be noted in the Outline Syllabus