Empire and Decolonization
Eugene Lang College Lib Arts: Political Science
The modern world has been shaped by empires, and the struggles against them. Today when the words empire and decolonization are once again in circulation, this course takes a deeper look at their history, and the ideas that they generated. The course would be divided into three parts. The first part would look at the British Empire – which dominated the world from the eighteenth to mid-twentieth century and is broadly responsible for the political geographies of today. We will look at its political context, economic logic, and ideologies and justifications. The second part would look at the struggles for decolonization in the mid-twentieth century that brought an end to that empire. We will recover the critiques of imperialism that those struggles offered, the diverse ideas of anti-imperial freedom they generated, as well as the challenges they faced in realizing those aspirations of freedom. The last part would look at the informal imperium of the United States – which took over as the global hegemon following the second world war. We would try to understand the fundamental features of US hegemony – political, economic, and military; and the particular ideology and institutions that it produced. As well as how various actors in the peripheries sought to question and contest this hegemony. We would conclude the course by thinking about the challenges faced by the US empire today, and the potential imperial and anti-imperial futures that can be imagined. Through an interdisciplinary – history, politics, economics – engagement with the question of empire and decolonization, this course would encourage students to think about empire and its legacies in a creative, critical, and reflective manner; and help them to think about the current political moment through the conceptual lens of empire/decolonization.
College: Eugene Lang College Lib Arts (LC)
Department: Political Science (LPOL)
Campus: New York City (GV)
Course Format: Seminar (R)
Max Enrollment: 18
Add/Drop Deadline: September 12, 2022 (Monday)
Online Withdrawal Deadline: December 18, 2022 (Sunday)
Seats Available: Yes
* Seats available but reserved for a specific population.
* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 1:44pm EST 2/7/2023