Empires in Global History

(class leaders: Professor James Belich, Dr John Darwin, Dr Jan-Georg Deutsch, Dr Miles Larmer)

This course examines some of the major features of Empires in Global History, among them: the geopolitical context of empire-building; the emergence of imperial ideologies and the anti-imperial ideas, the economic development and/or exploitation of colonial regions and subjects; systems of colonial rule and collaboration; the role of migration and settlement; the importance of indigenous resistance and racial domination; the impact of world war and depression; the growth of anti-colonial nationalisms; the onset of decolonization and the imperial legacy. The themes are studied in particular contexts. The course embraces both the ‘formal’ empire (coloured red or green on the map) and the informal zones where imperial influence predominated. It includes both ‘settlement colonies’ and colonies of rule in Asia, Africa the Pacific, and the Middle East.

There is considerable freedom to select themes, topics and regions of particular interest. The main requirement is to gain a breadth of perspective by studying the experience of empire in particular contexts and the course of their change over time.

Class (weekly)
Students are required to read selected items, prepare short presentations for the class, and engage actively in group discussions

Tutorials (fortnightly)
Students are required to write 2 tutorial essays (max. 2,000 words) on subjects of their choice in consultation with their supervisors.