Empire, Colonialism and Globalisation
(LSE, 2015/2016, 2016/2017, HY 423. Taught jointly with Drs Gagan Sood and Padraic Scanlan)
This course examines the history of empires since the fifteenth century, and their legacy for our world today. It analyses specific imperial formations, with prominence given to the Ottoman, Mughal, Qing, Spanish, Portuguese, French, British and American empires. It explores conceptual and methological debates concerning the nature and significance of given empires, and the dynamics of their rise and fall. The course also explores the extent to which the imperial past has helped to shape the processes of globalisation in early modern, modern and contemporary times. A number of major themes are addressed, including: financial and industrial capitalism; cross-cultural encounters; the role of the periphery and local actors; climate, diseases and the environment; imperial ideologies; the great divergence; colonial science and technology; the relationship between colonial and metropolitan societies; race, ethnicity and gender; postcolonialism. The course is structured so as to encourage general and comparative discussions rooted in specific case studies.