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DHIS 1005A - European Empires in Asia

Type d'enseignement : Lecture alone

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English



Course Description

What was the nature of the European colonial projects in Asia? Why have historians been so divided about their capacity and drive change to local colonial societies? Having these questions in mind, this course aims at analysing different projects of European expansion that took place in Asia in the early modern and modern times. More than any other historical process, imperialism is responsible for the formation of the modern world order—that is, a global system of nation states and transnational governance. As the only region of the globe that experienced all of the world's imperial powers (particularly British, Dutch, French, Portuguese and Spanish), Southeast Asia is the ideal laboratory for the examination of "empire". British, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch imperial experiences in the region will be at the core of the analysis and will serve as a basis for wider thematic-based conclusions, leaving aside as much as possible traditional nation-centred narratives. The course will explore a series of issues central to the character of global empires—the causes of global expansion, the drive for military security, the phycology of colonial dominion, ecological and economic transformations, the rise of nationalist resistance, and the dynamics of imperial decline. The course will also focus on the importance of "colonial legacies" in the region and the way in which they are understood.


DE LA ROSA LORENTE, Miquel (PhD. Teaching fellow)

Course validation

- Assessment (to be confirmed): Book/article review (25% of the final grade): Consists of a short review (1000 words) of a book article to chose from a list attached to the syllabus. Further details on the methodological expectations and requirements will be given during the first class. Oral presentation (25% of the final grade): The presentation shall last 15 minutes. Presentations should not limit to enumerate facts, but to try to understand the questions and issues evoked by their topic. - Research paper (50% of the final grade) You will be expected to writer a research paper of approximately 2000 words on a specific topic connected with the mains themes of the syllabus. Topics will be decided on seminar 2. Y a firm structure based on the formulation of a problématique, and should present references from the most recent historiography, and not only from textbooks. Examples and case-studies will be highly valued, as much as the quality of spelling and expression.

Required reading

BAYLY, Cristopher. The Birth of the Modern World, 1780-1914. Global Connections and Comparisons (Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub, 2004).

Additional required reading

  • BURBANK, Jane, and COOPER, Fred, Empires in World History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010).
  • COOPER, Nicola, France in Indochina: Colonial Encounters (Oxford: Berg, 2001).
  • CUSHMAN, Gregory T., Guano and the Opening of the Pacific World: A Global Ecological History (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013).