Linstrum, Erik

The Emergence of Modern Britain, 1688-2000

HIEU
2112
Undergraduate
Spring
2017

Why does Britain — an island, an empire, a multinational state, and a laboratory of modern life — loom so large in world history?  This course explores the astonishing transformations of British society since 1688: from the state-building and overseas expansion of the Georgian years; through the urbanization, inequality, and increasingly assertive imperialism of the Victorian era; and finally to the ruptures of two world wars, the end of empire, and the decline of industry in the twentieth century.  Themes include the evolving meanings of “Britishness,” the ambiguities of liberalism, the complexities of class, and the impact of imperial rule at home.  We consider the lives of ordinary servants, soldiers, and workers alongside iconic figures like Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, and Winston Churchill; we also draw on a wide range of primary sources, from diaries, paintings, and films to classic texts by Edmund Burke, Vera Brittain, and George Orwell.

 

Weekly reading load varies around an average of 150 pages.  Other requirements include an in-class midterm exam; two papers which involve the “close reading” of a primary source; and an in-class final exam.  

Course Instructor: 
Maximum Enrollment: 
60
Course Type: 
Discussion Sections: 
3

Seminar in Post-1700 European History

London: History of a City
HIEU
4502
Undergraduate
Fall
2016

This seminar explores the history of London from the eighteenth century to the present.  Topics include the Enlightenment-era "public sphere" of coffee houses and pleasure gardens; the impact of poverty, disease, and pollution on the role of the state; the relationship between physical space and intellectual modernism; and the reverberations of empire through commodities, migration, and the built environment. 

 

This course fulfills the research seminar requirement for History majors but is open to others.  The central requirement of the course is a 25-page research paper based on original sources.

Course Instructor: 

History of the British Empire

HIEU
3152
Undergraduate
Fall
2016

At its greatest extent, the British Empire encompassed a quarter of the world’s population and a fifth of its land. It redrew the maps of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; made the English language a global lingua franca; and left a legacy of parliaments, railways, and cricket fields from Kingston to Calcutta to Cape Town. It also operated as the world’s first superpower, waging war to advance its interests while drawing far-flung societies into networks of political, economic, and cultural domination. How did Britain’s imperial moment come about, why did it last so long, and what did it mean to the people who lived through it? This course surveys the history of the empire from its origins in the seventeenth century through the aftermath of decolonization in the late twentieth century. We consider the rise and fall of West Indian slavery; the emergence of India as a trading hub and military depot; the creation of settler societies in North America, Australasia, and Africa; the mobilization of imperial resources in two world wars; and the violent though ultimately failed suppression of anticolonial movements across the world. Throughout the course, we stress the tension between liberal and authoritarian forms of rule; the economic, religious, and sexual relationships that spanned racial lines; the role of expert knowledge; and the global movement of people, goods, and ideas.

Average reading weekly load is 150 pp.  Requirements include an in-class midterm exam; an in-class final exam; two five-page papers; and active, informed, and consistent participation in weekly discussion sections. 

 

Course Instructor: 

Spies, Scholars, Scientists: Empire as Information

HIEU
4502
Undergraduate
Spring
2016
Is understanding the world a prerequisite to ruling it?  In the course of expanding across continents and cultures, the British Empire generated a need for knowledge about unfamiliar territories and diverse populations.  This seminar explores the politics of information in the imperial context, asking not only how information conveyed power but also, unexpectedly, how information could undermine and challenge it.  We consider the informants and spies who worked with British authorities, the surveyors and cartographers who mapped the terrain, the anthropologists who crafted ethnic classifications, and the psychologists who tested abilities and probed emotions.  We pay special attention to the fractious relationship between intellectuals and the state; the limits and failures of databases and networks; and the long history of what we now call “data visualization.”


Our texts include primary sources—novels, diaries, photographs, and government publications—as well as secondary works.  Reading assignments average around 150 pages per week.  The skills of historical research are emphasized as each student will write a substantial independent paper on a topic related to the theme of the seminar. 
Course Instructor: 

The Emergence of Modern Britain, 1688-2000

HIEU
2112
Undergraduate
Spring
2016
Why does Britain — an island, an empire, a multinational state, and a laboratory of modern life — loom so large in world history?  This course explores the astonishing transformations of British society since the Glorious Revolution: from the state-building and overseas expansion of the Georgian years; through the urbanization, inequality, and increasingly assertive imperialism of the Victorian era; and finally to the ruptures of two world wars, the end of empire, and the decline of industry in the twentieth century.  Themes include the evolving meanings of “Britishness,” the ambiguities of liberalism, the complexities of class, and the impact of imperial rule at home.  We consider the lives of ordinary servants, soldiers, and workers alongside iconic figures like Queen Victoria, Charles Darwin, and Winston Churchill; we also draw on a wide range of primary sources, from diaries, paintings, and films to classic texts by Edmund Burke, Vera Brittain, and George Orwell.
 
Weekly reading load varies around an average of 150 pages.  Other requirements include an in-class midterm exam; two papers which involve the “close reading” of a primary source; and an in-class final exam.  
Course Instructor: 

Introductory Seminar in Post-1700 European History "The Lives of George Orwell"

"The Lives of George Orwell"
HIEU
1502
Undergraduate
Fall
2015

Eric Blair, better known as George Orwell, was one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century — and also one of the most enigmatic.  Despite his distaste for sloganeering and his leftist politics, his writing has been pressed into the service of right-wing causes from the Cold War to the war on terrorism.  Who was Orwell and why does he still matter today?  In this seminar, we explore these questions by tracing Orwell’s itinerary from the playing fields of Eton to the rice fields of Burma, the slums of Paris, the battlefields of Spain, and the streets of wartime London.  Along the way, we consider some central themes of twentieth-century history: empire and decolonization, fascism and war, the making of the welfare state, the advent of mass culture.  As we situate British history in its European and global contexts, we ask how historians construct their narratives out of the stories told by historical actors, probing the possibilities — and the limitations — of using memoir and literature as sources of knowledge about the past.

Our texts will be Orwell’s essays, novels, and journalism supplemented by a variety of short primary and secondary sources.  Average reading load is around 150pp. per week.  Weekly reading responses; two 5pp. papers; an in-class final exam; and informed, active, and consistent participation in discussion are required.  This course fulfills the College’s second writing requirement.

Course Instructor: 

Tutorial in the History of the Modern British Empire

HIEU
9023
Graduate
Fall
2015

Course Description: This graduate-level tutorial introduces the major themes, debates, and methods of historical writing on the British Empire from around 1750.  It is intended particularly, though not exclusively, as field preparation for the general examination.  Rather than attempting to master a series of local and national histories, we ask how imperialism operated as a global system, tracing connections between metropole and colony and identifying patterns and divergences which emerged from imperial rule in different parts of the world.  Topics include the uses of expert knowledge, the peculiarities of settler colonialism, the lure of liberalism as imperial ideology, and the role of violence.

Sample Reading List:

David Armitage, “Greater Britain: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis?”
David Anderson, Histories of the Hanged: The Dirty War in Kenya and the End of Empire
David Arnold, Colonizing the Body: State Medicine and Epidemic Disease in Nineteenth-Century India
C.A. Bayly, Empire and Information: The British Empire and the World, 1780-1830
C.A. Bayly, Imperial Meridian: The British Empire and the World
James Belich, Replenishing the Earth: The Settler Revolution and the Rise of the Anglo-World
Duncan Bell, The Idea of Greater Britain: Empire and the Future of World Order
Edward Berenson, Heroes of Empire: Five Charismatic Men and the Conquest of Africa
Christopher L. Brown, Moral Capital: Foundations of British Abolitionism
Elizabeth Buettner, Empire Families: Britons and Late Imperial India
Bernard Cohn, Colonialism and Its Forms of Knowledge: The British in India
Linda Colley, Captives: Britain, Empire, and the World
E.M. Collingham, Imperial Bodies: The Physical Experience of the Raj
Frederick Cooper, Decolonization and African Society: The Labor Question in French and British Africa
Mike Davis, Late Victorian Holocausts: El Niño Famines and the Making of the Third World
Richard Drayton, Nature’s Government: Science, Imperial Britain, and the “Improvement” of the World
James Epstein, Scandal of Colonial Rule: Power and Subversion in the British Atlantic during the Age of Revolution
Matthew Edney, Mapping an Empire: The Geographical Construction of British India
Caroline Elkins, Imperial Reckoning: The Untold Story of Britain’s Gulag in Kenya
David French, The British Way in Counter-Insurgency, 1945-1967
Durba Ghosh, Sex and the Family in Colonial India: The Making of Empire
Catherine Hall, Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination
James Hevia, English Lessons: The Pedagogy of Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century China

A.J. Hopkins, “Rethinking Decolonization”
Maya Jasanoff, Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World
Dane Kennedy, Islands of White: Settler Society and Culture in Kenya and Southern Rhodesia
Elizabeth Kolsky, Colonial Justice in British India: White Violence and the Rule of Law
Marilyn Lake and Henry Reynolds, Drawing the Global Color Line: White Men’s Countries and the Challenge of Racial Equality
Alan Lester and Fae Dussart, Colonization and the Origins of Humanitarian Governance: Protecting Aborigines across the Nineteenth-Century British Empire
Philippa Levine, Prostitution, Race, and Politics: Policing Venereal Disease in the British Empire
Joanna Lewis, Empire State-Building: War and Welfare in Kenya
J.A. Mangan, The Games Ethic and Imperialism
P.J. Marshall, The Making and Unmaking of Empires: Britain, India, and America
Thomas Metcalf, Ideologies of the Raj
Stephanie Newell, The Forger’s Tale: The Search for Odeziaku
Miles Ogborn, Indian Ink: Script and Print in the Making of the English East India Company
Richard Price, Making Empire: Colonial Encounters and the Creation of Imperial Rule in Nineteenth-Century Africa
Martin Thomas, Violence and Colonial Order: Police, Workers and Protest in the European Colonial Empires
Megan Vaughan, Curing Their Ills: Colonial Power and African Illness

Course Instructor: 

Tutorial in the History of Modern Britain

HIEU
9024
Graduate
Fall
2015

Course Description: This graduate-level tutorial introduces the major themes, debates, and methods of historical writing on modern Britain.  It is intended particularly, though not exclusively, as field preparation for the general examination.  Topics include the domestic ramifications of war and empire, the expanding reach of the state and the market, the adaptability of tradition, the contradictions of liberalism, and the meanings of modernity. 

Sample Reading List:

Jordanna Bailkin, The Afterlife of Empire
John Barrell, The Dark Side of the Landscape: The Rural Poor in English Painting
John Brewer, The Sinews of Power: War, Money and the English State
David Cannadine, The Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy
Deborah Cohen, Family Secrets: Shame and Privacy in Modern Britain
Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation
Leonore Davidoff and Catherine Hall, Family Fortunes: Men and Women of the English Middle Class
Anna Davin, “Imperialism and Motherhood”
David Edgerton, England and the Aeroplane
Boyd Hilton, Age of Atonement: The Influence of Evangelicalism on Social and Economic Thought
Eric Hobsbawm and Terence Ranger (eds.), The Invention of Tradition
Peter Mandler, The Fall and Rise of the Stately Home
Peter Mandler (ed.), Liberty and Authority in Victorian Britain
Ross McKibbin, Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951
Guy Ortolano, The Two Cultures Controversy
Alex Owen, The Place of Enchantment: Occultism and the Culture of the Modern
Kathleen Paul, Whitewashing Britain: Race and Citizenship in the Postwar Era
Bernard Porter, The Absent-Minded Imperialists: Empire, Society, and Culture in Britain
Sadiah Qureshi, Peoples on Parade: Exhibitions, Empire, and Anthropology in Nineteenth-Century Britain
Jonathan Rose, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes
Jonathan Schneer, London 1900: The Imperial Metropolis
G.R. Searle, The Quest for National Efficiency
James Secord, Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation
Mathew Thomson, Lost Freedom: The Landscape of the Child and the British Postwar Settlement
E.P. Thompson, Customs in Common
E.P. Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class
James Vernon, Distant Strangers: How Britain Became Modern
Judith Walkowitz, Nights Out: Life in Cosmopolitan London

Course Instructor: 

Tutorial in the History of the Human Sciences

HIST
9021
Graduate
Fall
2015

Course Description: This graduate-level tutorial introduces the major problems, debates, and methods of historical writing on the human sciences in Western Europe and the United States since around 1800.  It is intended particularly, though not exclusively, as field preparation for the general examination.  Emphasizing anthropology, sociology, and the mind sciences (psychology, psychoanalysis, and psychiatry), we consider the intellectual as well as the institutional dimensions of how disciplines emerged; how they created new forms of power; how they affected old forms of power; and how they changed everyday life.  We also consider concepts and techniques which cross disciplinary boundaries, including evolutionary theory, probability theory, and “behavioral science.”  Readings include a selection of primary and theoretical texts as well as a broad survey of the secondary literature.

Sample Reading List:

John Carson, The Measure of Merit: Talents, Intelligence and Inequality in the French and American Republics
Jamie Cohen-Cole, The Open Mind: Cold War Politics and the Sciences of Human Nature
Kurt Danziger, Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research
Emile Durkheim, Suicide
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. 1
Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams
Peter Ghosh, Max Weber and The Protestant Ethic: Twin Histories
Nils Gilman, Mandarins of the Future: Modernization Theory in Cold War America
Jan Goldstein, Console and Classify: The French Psychiatric Profession in the Nineteenth Century
Ian Hacking, The Taming of Chance
Henrika Kuklick, The Savage Within: The Social History of British Anthropology
Daniel Immerwahr, Thinking Small: The United States and the Lure of Community Development
Joel Isaac, Working Knowledge: Making the Human Sciences from Parsons to Kuhn
Kathleen Jones, Taming the Troublesome Child: American Families, Child Guidance, and the Limits of Psychiatric Authority
George Makari, Revolution in Mind: The Creation of Psychoanalysis
Peter Mandler, Return from the Natives: How Margaret Mead Won the Second World War and Lost the Cold War
Theodore Porter, The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900
Ron Robin, The Making of the Cold War Enemy: Culture and Politics in the Military Intellectual-Complex
Ben Shephard, A War of Nerves: Soldiers and Psychiatrists in the Twentieth Century
George Stocking, Victorian Anthropology
Max Weber, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism
Alison Winter, Mesmerized: Powers of Mind in Victorian Britain
Eli Zaretsky, Secrets of the Soul: A Social and Cultural History of Psychoanalysis

Course Instructor: 
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Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904

  

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(434) 924-7147
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