Image: Lewis Wickes Hine


Convener:  Dr A Sen

Course entry requirements: None

Histories of modernity are inextricably entwined with histories of empires. Even in a time when the formal empires have arguably collapsed, the categories through we approach the modern world are still deeply shaped by the persistence of imperial modes of thinking. This course focuses on a range of such key concepts of modernity and encourages the students to think critically about the promises and problems of these concepts by drawing particular attention to the tensions between their metropolitan and colonial careers. Through these categories is offered a broad and critical narrative of world history from the nineteenth through the twenty-first century. A primary goal of the course is to provide students with an under-standing of how these concepts carry many different histories within them, how they are open to contending interpretations, and how crucial the sense of their varied historical contexts is to the practice of social sciences and humanities. We use both primary sources and secondary historiography in this course.