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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course focuses on the development of the British empire between Siraj ud Daulas 1756 storming of Calcutta and the establishment of the Kenya Colony in 1920. The course pays particular attention to the roles played by race, gender and ethnicity in constructions of British imperialism.
Course description This 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.
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 Administrator to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 504030).
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students must have 3 History courses at grade B or above (including a British history survey course). We will only consider University/College level courses. Enrolments for this course are managed by the CAHSS Visiting Student Office, in line with the quotas allocated by the department. All enquiries to enrol must be made through the CAHSS Visiting Student Office. It is not appropriate for students to contact the department directly to request additional spaces.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
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 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
1,500 word source analysis (15%)
3,500 word essay (35%)

Exam (50%)

Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
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. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, command of the body of knowledge considered in the course;
  2. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship;
  3. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, an ability to understand, evaluate and utilise a variety of primary source material;
  4. demonstrate, by way of coursework and examination as required, the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Burton, Antoinette, (ed), Gender, Sexuality and Colonial Modernities (1999).
Goot, Joanna de. ' "Sex" and "Race": the construction of language and image in the nineteenth century', in Susan Mendus and Jane Rendall, (eds), Sexuality and Subordination (1989).
Hyam, Ronald. Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience (1990).
Midgley, Clare, (ed). Gender and Imperialism (1998).
Cannadine, David. Ornamentalism (2001).
McClintock, Anne. Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Conquest (1995).
Rainger, Ronald. 'Race, politics and science: the Anthropological Society of London in the 1860s', Victorian Studies, 22 (1978): 51-70.
Said, Edward. Orientalism (1978).
Ballhatchet, Keith. Race, Sex and Class under the Raj: Imperial Attitudes and Policies and Their Critics, 1793-1905 (1980).
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills This course will help students develop a range of transferable skills, including:
- the ability to manage ones 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 secretaryMiss Lorna Berridge
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