This field studies colonialism and its lasting after effects around the world. In contrast to earlier schools of scholarship that focused on European metropolitan powers and their impact on the colonial periphery, colonial studies examines the diversity of colonial histories, the varied responses of the colonized, and their role in shaping the metropolitan powers and the modern world. Building on revisionist histories of European and United States imperialism, in recent years the field has broadened to encompass the universal study of colonial relations, including the Russian, Japanese and Ottoman empires. Courses offered in the field emphasize comparative and interdisciplinary approaches. Examples of concepts that guide discussion include: racialization, orientalism, colonialism and gender, contact zones, environmental issues, plantation economies, slave societies, borderlands, popular culture, the "middle ground", networks of knowledge, transnationalism, diasporas, hegemony, resistance, cultural modernism, informal empire, colonial forms of knowledge, and imperialist nostalgia. Colonial and post-colonial studies embraces several historical approaches, ranging from cultural studies and comparative social history to analysis of the means of domination and resistance. Select courses: Gender and Colonialism, History and Post-Colonial Studies, Plantation Societies in the Americas, Problems in Comparative History: Environmental History, History of Travel, Pan-Chinese Cinemas: In Search of Modernity, and Globalization The Cultures of Nature and the Nature of Culture.

Related Faculty

  • Ikuko Asaka, (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2010), African American Diaspora and Transnational History, Race, Intimacy, and Empire, Gender and Sexuality, U.S. in the World to 1877
  • Teresa Barnes, (Ph.D. University of Zimbabwe, 1994) Department of History: Women, gender and feminist histories in Zimbabwe and South Africa
  • David Beck, (Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 1994) 19th and 20th Century American Indian history, Federal Indian Policy, and American Indian Tribal Sovereignty
  • James Brennan, (Ph.D. Northwestern University, 2002), Africa, South Asia, political thought, urbanization, media, Islam
  • Claudia Brosseder, (Ph.D. Munich University, 2002), Colonial Latin America; Peru, indigenous Andean history, transatlantic intellectual history, intellectual history of Early Modern Europe.
  • Adrian Burgos, (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 2000), U.S. since 1865, U.S. Latino, sport history, and urban history, with emphasis on the intersection of race, culture and nation in post-emancipation societies in the Americas.
  • Antoinette Burton, (Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1990), Modern Britain; South Asian women; feminist/cultural theory; women in the British empire.
  • Jerry Davila, (Ph.D., Brown University, 1998) Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, History of Latin America, Brazil, African Diaspora, race and ethnicity.
  • Augusto Espiritu, (Ph.D. UCLA, 2000), Asian American Intellectuals, Transnationalism, post-Colonialism, Race and Gender, 1898 and American Empire.
  • Poshek Fu, (Ph.D., Stanford, 1989), Modern China, film culture, Hong Kong cultural and social history.
  • Kristin Hoganson, (Ph.D., Yale, 1995), United States in world context, cultures of U.S. imperialism, globalization.
  • Rana Hogarth, (Ph.D., Yale, 2012), Atlantic World History, History of Medicine, Slavery, Race.
  • Rosalyn LaPier, (Ph.D., University of Montana, 2015), Native American & Environmental History in the 19th & 20th century United States.
  • Robert Morrissey, (Ph.D.,Yale University, 2006), Early America, Indigenous history, environmental history, frontiers and borderlands.
  • Carol Symes, (Ph.D. Harvard, 1999), Medieval Europe, especially Francia, England, and the Low Countries from 1000-1300; pre-modern global studies; the history of media, mansucripts, and theatre; medieval reception of ancient texts.
  • Roderick Wilson, (Ph.D., Stanford University, 2011), Modern Japan; environmental history; urban history; and science, technology, and medicine.