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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: The White Man's Burden: Race, Gender and the Victorian Empire (HIST10383)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will introduce students to the key themes, events, and personalities of the Victorian Empire. British imperial power came in many forms and drew on a variety of strategies for rule, including but not limited to: military conquest and subjugation, collaboration with indigenous elites, cultural subversion, and technological hegemony. This course will investigate each of these strategies while also considering the full spectrum of colonial responses which they provoked. However, the course pays particular attention to the ways in which 19th century gender and racial thought shaped the imperial project. Recent years have seen an increasing divide develop between scholars who locate imperial power primarily in the sphere of economics and those who emphasise instead the overwhelming importance of social and cultural phenomena, such as perceived racial differences, gender hierarchies and conflicting interpretations of British nationality. By integrating these increasingly disparate approaches to British imperialism, this module will allow students to develop a multi-faceted understanding of empire which encompasses both metropolitan and indigenous, male and female perspectives. The domestic impact of imperial expansion was massive, and this course will therefore also consider the formative role played by imperialism in the construction of British culture, identity, and economic policy.
Course description Week 1) Introduction
Week 2) Inquilab: The British East India Company in South Asia
Week 3) When the sky fell down: the aboriginal encounter
Week 4) Orientalists and Anglicists
Week 5) Imperial safety valves
Week 6) The settler revolution
Week 7) Policing indigenous cultures
Week 8) The Indian revolt and the making of the Raj
Week 9) Imperial eyes
Week 10) The debate of the 1870s
Week 11) Race and land policy in East Africa
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503783).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStandard VS pre-reqs for this level in this Subject Area
Or other (please specify): students should normally have taken and passed a university-level British history survey course.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  26
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 35 %, Practical Exam 15 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The proposed course will use the following assessments:
- two-hour Degree Examination, comprising gobbets and an essay (50%)
- 2,500-3,000 word essay, including footnotes but excluding bibliography (35%)
- oral presentation (10%)*
- class participation (5%)

* oral presentations will be assessed against a rubric which will measure effectiveness of delivery, organization, and content/evidence. Students will also be asked to submit paper or electronic copies of presentation materials (powerpoints, outline, etc.) for the benefit of the external examiner.
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. On successful completion of this course, students should be able to demonstrate:
    - An understanding of the political, social, economic and cultural causes and effects of British imperialism.
  2. - The ability to analyze the imperial strategies and geo-political contingencies which enabled the long-term growth of British imperialism.
  3. - An appreciation of the methodologies of cultural theory and gender studies to explain the character of British imperialism.
  4. - The ability to present an argument in a clear, logical and persuasive manner, in both written and oral form, using appropriate evidence and referencing;
  5. - A degree of research initiative commensurate with this level of study, including the ability to identify research questions and select relevant primary and secondary material (using the course bibliography as a starting point).

    In their preparation and contributions to weekly seminars, students will in addition be expected to show:
    - the ability to formulate appropriate questions and to provide answers to them using valid and relevant evidence and argument;
    - the ability to engage in reasoned, respectful debate with others and amend views as necessary in the light of evidence and argument.
Reading List
Students may wish to prepare for this class by reading one or more of the following:
- Hall, Catherine, (ed), Cultures of Empire: A Reader (2000).
- Hyam, Ronald. Britain's Imperial Century, 1815-1914: A Study of Empire and Expansion, 2nd edition (1993).
- Louis, William Roger, (ed), The Oxford History of the British Empire, 5 volumes (1998-99).
- Mackenzie, John M. Imperialism and Popular Culture (1986).
- Porter, Bernard. The Lion's Share: A Short History of British Imperialism 1850-1995. 3rd edition (1996).
- Burton, Antoinette, (ed), Gender, Sexuality and Colonial Modernities (1999).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will help students develop a range of transferable skills, including:
- the ability to manage one¿s time effectively, work to deadlines, and perform effectively under pressure;
- the ability to gather, sift, organise and evaluate large quantities of textual evidence;
- the ability to marshal argument in both written and oral form;
- the ability to work independently and as part of a pair or larger group.
KeywordsThe White Man's Burden
Course organiserDr Benjamin Weinstein
Tel: (0131 6)50 3762
Course secretaryMrs Caroline Cullen
Tel: (0131 6)50 3781
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