This course is only available for second year students in the BA International Studies.
The number of participants is limited to 25.
In this course we will survey the social and cultural history of the British Empire over the past 500 years, with an emphasis on the ways in which diverse groups of people experienced empire. Since the course will cover a long period and a wide variety of geographic spaces, we cannot expect to learn everything there is to know about people’s experiences in every part of the Empire. Instead, we will look closely at certain key moments and regions in order to address larger questions about empire. How do power dynamics work in situations where one group of people is ruling over another? How do worldwide travel and migration affect people’s lives and identities? How do regular people cope with cross-cultural interactions? How did the British Empire function through a series of divisions and interactions based on class, race, and gender? How does studying the Empire help us to learn more about British politics, culture, and society, in a European and global context? And how have historians dealt with the shifting legacies of empire in the years since decolonization? Readings will include both primary and secondary sources.
Additionally, the students will work through:
- W.C. Booth, G.G. Colomb, J.W. Williams, The Craft of Research, third edition, Chicago/London: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
The elective courses for International Studies are designed to teach students how to deal with state-of-the-art literature and research questions. They are chosen to enhance the students’ learning experience by building on the interdisciplinary perspectives they have developed so far, and to introduce them to the art of academic research. They are characterised by an international or comparative approach.
Academic skills that are trained include:
Oral presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation; b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria; c. using up-to-date presentation techniques; d. aimed at a specific audience;
3. to actively participate in a discussion following the presentation.
1. to be socio-communicative in collaborative situations;
2. to provide and receive constructive criticism, and incorporate justified criticism by revising one’s own position;
3. adhere to agreed schedules and priorities.
Basic research skills, including heuristic skills:
1. to collect and select academic literature using traditional and digital methods and techniques;
2. to analyze and assess this literature with regard to quality and reliability;
3. to formulate on this basis a sound research question;
4. to design under supervision a research plan of limited scope, and implement it using the methods and techniques that are appropriate within the discipline involved;
5. to formulate a substantiated conclusion.
Written presentation skills:
1. to explain clear and substantiated research results;
2. to provide an answer to questions concerning (a subject) in the field covered by the course a. in the form of a clear and well-structured oral presentation; b. in agreement with the appropriate disciplinary criteria; c. using relevant illustration or multimedia techniques; d. aimed at a specific audience.
The timetable is available on the BA International Studies website.
Mode of instruction
Seminars are held every week, with the exception of the midterm exam week. This course includes supervised research.
Total course load for this course is 10 EC (1 EC = 28 hours), this equals 280 hours, broken down by:
Attending lectures: 2 hours per week x 12 weeks = 24 hours
Time for studying the compulsory literature and completing weekly assignments: 122 hours
Writing the final research essay (including reading / research): 134 hours
Assessment & Weighing
|Final research paper (5000 words)||50%|
To successfully complete the course, please take note that the end grade of the course is established by determining the weighted average.
Students who have been active participants in class and submitted the final paper on time, but scored an overall insufficient mark, are entitled to a resit. For the resit, students are given a chance to hand in a new version of the final paper.
In case of resubmission of the final essay (insufficient grade only) the final grade for the essay will be lowered as a consequence of the longer process of completion. The deadline for resubmission is 10 working days after receiving the grade for the final essay.
Retaking a passing grade
Please consult the Course and Examination Regulations 2017 – 2018.
How and when an exam review takes place will be determined by the examiner. This review will be within 30 days after official publication of exam results.
Philippa Levine, The British Empire: Sunrise to Sunset (second edition, 2013)
Linda Colley, The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History (2007)
David Cannadine, Ornamentalism: How the British Saw their Empire (2000)
Andrea Levy, Small Island (2004)
Other reading will be made available on Blackboard.
Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis can be found here.
Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs
When contacting the lecturer, please include your full name, student number and tutorial group number.
The deadline for submission of the final essay is 15 June 2018.
Passing this course is an entry requirement for the thesis and thesis seminar.