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Literature Seminar Colonial and Global History: Globalization and Empire


Admission requirements



The concept of First Global Age (1415-1776) has been broadly accepted as the first moment in history when one may speak of globalization as a historical process. This literature seminar will explore the relationship between concepts of globalization and the movement of European Expansion and the formation of Empires since the first steps of European expansion overseas until the decolonisation process many colonies underwent during the 20th century.

Course objectives

  • Acquire knowledge about the Great Divergence and global interdependence through the centuries and the historiographical debates surrounding these issues.

  • Be able to discuss the connection between European expansion, formation of colonies and creation of empires and the on-going development of perceptions of historical globalization.

  • Operationalize a range of concepts linked to discussions about globalization in history.


See course schedule.

Mode of instruction

Literature seminar

Course Load

  • A total of 280 hours of both reading, participating in class and writing a final paper.

  • There will be six sessions of two hours of intensive discussion and one individual meeting with one of the instructors to discuss the final paper.

Assessment method

  • Write short-essays weekly.

  • Make an oral presentation.

  • Writing a Book Review.


Blackboard is used for handing in the weekly essays.

Reading list

  • David Held et al, Global Transformations. Politics, economics and culture, Cambridge: Polity, 1999.

  • G. Hopkins (ed.), Globalization in world history, London: Pimlico, 2002.

  • K. Ward, Networks of Empire: Forced Migration in the Dutch East India Company, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

  • Anthony Pagden, The Lords of All the World: Ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain and France, c. 1500-c. 1800, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

  • Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra and Erik R. Seeman, The Atlantic in Global History, 1500-2000, London: 2007.

  • Joseph Stiglitz, Making Globalization Work, New York: Norton, 2006.


Via uSis.

Contact information

E-mail: Dr. J.T. Lindblad.


If only native speakers of Dutch participate, the course can be taught in Dutch.