History 81601: Imperial Encounters
Fall, 2013-Winter, 2014
Prof. Leora Auslander, Prof. Faith Hillis
This two-quarter seminar explores the range of encounters, collisions, and exchanges that modern European empires have fostered. Geographically, our readings traverse the space from Russia to the Atlantic World, covering overseas colonial empires as well as their overland counterparts; chronologically, they focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We will consider governance, mobility, imperial politics, the built environment, and consumption as venues of cross-cultural contact and exchange; examine the role that imperial societies have played in the construction of ethnic and racial difference, religious practices, and gender norms; as well as consider how the collapse of empires restructured networks, identities, and subjectivities. This course also aims to familiarize students with the range of sources that can be used to write the history of imperial encounters and to equip them with practical and professional skills vital to the historical profession.