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Guided Pathways: Colonialism and Imperialism


For thousands of years, empires have been one of the world’s most widespread and influential forms of political and social organization.  Ranging in time from the empires of ancient Mesopotamia to the European empires that dominated much of the globe until the mid-20th century, they have done much to shape the contours of human history.  The study of colonialism and imperialism includes attention to gender, environmental history, religion, slavery, the history of science and medicine, and histories of indigenous peoples.  Colonial authorities remade landscapes, polities, and societies.  Empires also shaped beliefs, impacting the inner worlds of colonizers and colonized alike.

Yet with colonial rule came dissent and contestation.  In the face of often exploitative and hierarchical regimes, colonized peoples sought to retain control of their own lives, refashioning the dynamics of imperial influence in the process.  In the modern era, the legitimacy of empires has been comprehensively called into question.  The phenomenon of decolonization was one of the most important political developments of the twentieth century, and, while imperialism has not disappeared from the contemporary world, colonial practices have taken new forms.

Students who choose to pursue coursework in Colonialism and Imperialism will explore the complex dynamics of colonial interactions, which remain profoundly relevant to the textures and structures of contemporary human experience.

(HIST 1300) Latin American Civilization to the 1820s
(HIST 3140) Victorian Britain
(HIST 3160) Soviet Union
(HIST 3540) The Japanese Empire
(HIST 3590) Modern Southeast Asia
(HIST 3650) Histories of the Pacific Islands
(HIST 3670) History of Hawai'i
(HIST 3700) Colonial America
(HIST 4010) Roman Republic
(HIST 4020) Roman Empire
(HIST 4270) The Age of Global Empires, 1400-1750
(HIST 4275) The End of Empires, 1750-Present
(HIST 4290) The Americas After 1492
(HIST 4671) American Indian History to 1850
(HIST 4672) American Indian History since 1850
(HIST 4720) The Worlds of Benjamin Franklin
(HIST 4865) Gender, Race, and Empire in Asia

Last Updated: 8/31/21