History BC 3039x
Lisa Tiersten
Fall 1998
422A Lehman
854-4733
M W 11:00-12:15
ltiersten@barnard.columbia.edu
328 Milbank
Off. Hrs: Tuesdays, 5:00-7:30

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COLONIAL ENCOUNTERS: EUROPE AND THE CULTURE OF EMPIRE

 

This course will explore the shaping of European cultural identity through encounters with American, African, Middle Eastern, and Asian cultures from 1500 to the post-colonial era. We will examine how Europeans have "civilized" themselves by constructing, denigrating, and appropriating aspects of non-western cultures. Topics include exoticism in the Enlightenment, the role of slavery in the development of European capitalism, orientalisms in art and literature, comparative colonization, the rise of ethnographic and other scientific discourses on the primitive, tourism, and consumer culture and colonialism.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS:
1. In-class midterm examination on October 14 (25% of grade).
2. A 5-7-page paper analyzing the use of a novel, travel memoir, or other primary source as a historical document. (25% of grade). Due November 25. E-mailed prospectus due on October 28. 3. Final examination. (35% of grade).
4. Participation in class discussion and screening of all required films. (15% of grade).

COURSE MATERIALS:
All readings are on reserve at Barnard Library and most are on reserve at Butler Library. A reader is available for purchase at Village Copier on 115th Street, between Broadway and Riverside. The following books may be purchased at Labyrinth Books on 112th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam:

Jean de Brunhoff, The Story of Babar.
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe.
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India.
Hergé, Prisoners of the Sun.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origin of Inequality.
Edward Said, Orientalism.

 

I. EARLY COLONIAL MENTALITIES

1. Wednesday, 9/9: Introduction

2. Monday, 9/14: Voyages of Discovery

Assignment:
Hernan Cortés, Letters from Mexico [trans. and ed. Anthony Pagden], (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 1986), "Second Letter": 48-51, 54-69, 83-92, 99-112, 116-117, 124-142.
Bartolome de las Casas, The Devastation of the Indies, trans. Herma Briffault (NY: Seabury Press, 1974), 27-43; 79-87.

****Tuesday, 9/15: The Mission, (dir. Roland Joffe, 1985)****
7:30-9:30 pm, 304 Barnard


3. Wednesday, 9/16: "Savage and Barbaric Peoples"

Assignment:
Michel de Montaigne, "On Cannibals, " Essays [1580].
The Mission.


4. Monday, 9/21: Science and Exoticism in the Enlightenment

Assignment:
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe.
Labyrinth Books: Penguin Classics, 1985: 198-241.
Barnard Reserve PR 3403.A1 1975: Norton Critical Edition, 1975, ed. Michael Shinagel: 151-188.
Barnard Reserve PR 3403.A1 1975b: Dent, 1975: 141-175.
Barnard Reserve D82D36 S73 C.5: Dent, 1931: 138-177.
Signet Classic: 191-236.

5. Wednesday, 9/23: The Noble Savage

Assignment:
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The First and Second Discourses "Discourse on the Origin and Foundations of Inequality" (Second Discourse): First Part.

6. Monday, 9/28: The Slave Trade and European Capitalism

Assignment:
Orlando Patterson, Slavery and Social Death, Chs. 2, "Authority, Alienation, and Social Death," and 3, "Honor and Degradation."


7. Wednesday, 9/30: The Slavery Debate in England

Assignment:
Thomas Fowell Buxton, The African Slave Trade and Its Remedy [1840] Ch. 4, "Superstitions and Cruelties of the Africans," 226-45; 267-73.
Anti-slavery poetry (hand-out).

 

II. NATIONS AND EMPIRES

8. Monday, 10/5: Nation-Building and National Consciousness

Assignment:
Linda Colley, "Britishness and Otherness: An Argument," Journal of British Studies 31 (1992): 309-29.

9. Wednesday, 10/7: Orientalisms

Assignment:
Edward Said, Orientalism, Ch. 1, "The Scope of Orientalism," 49-92.
Orientalist poetry (hand-out).

Slides: Delacroix, Gerôme, and other Orientalist painters.

10. Mon, 10/12: The Case of India

Assignment:
E.M. Forster, A Passage to India, Part I, "Mosque," chs. 3-11.


11. Wednesday, 10/14: Midterm Examination


12. Monday, 10/19: Darwin and the Invention of Race

Assignment:
Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man, Ch. 7, "On the Races of Man."

****Tuesday, 10/20: Tarzan (dir. W.S. Van Dyke, 1932)****
7:30-9:30 pm, 304 Barnard

13. Wednesday, 10/21: Africa, the Childhood of Man

Assignment:
Tarzan

Slides: images of Africa.

14. Monday, 10/26: The New Imperialism in Africa

Assignment:
Henry Stanley, Through the Dark Continent, vol. 2.(New York: Harper & Brothers, 1878), Ch. 3 (61-93).

15. Wednesday 10/28: Cultures on Display

Assignment:
Bernth Lindfors, "Ethnological Show Business: Footlighting the Dark Continent," in Rosemarie Thomson, ed., Freakery: Cultural Spectacles of the Extraordinary Body, 207-18.

Slides: Worlds’ Fairs, advertising, tourism

Paper prospectus due (on e-mail)

 

III. THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: THE DECLINE OF EMPIRE

16. Monday, 11/2: Primitivism in Art

Assignment:
Sally Price, Primitive Art in Civilized Places, Chs. 5, "Power Plays," and 6, "Objets d’Art and Ethnographic Artifacts," 68-99.

Slides: Gauguin, Nolde, Picasso and other primitivist painters


17. Wednesday, 11/4: Europe in Crisis: The Interwar Years

Assignment:
W. Somerset Maugham, "Rain," Collected Short Stories.


18. Monday, 11/9: No class.


19. Wednesday, 11/11: Anthropology and Eugenics in the Interwar Period

Assignment:
Franz Boas, The Mind of Primitive Man [1911], Ch. 1, "Racial Prejudice."


20. Monday, 11/16: Empire and Popular Culture: Babar and Tintin

Assignment:
Jean de Brunhoff, The Story of Babar.
Hergé, Prisoners of the Sun.

****Tuesday, 11/17: Chocolat (dir. Claire Denis, 1988)****
7:30-9:30 pm, 304 Barnard

21. Wednesday, 11/18: Things Fall Apart: The Aftermath of World War II

Assignment:
Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, Chs. 2, "The Woman of Color and the White Man," and 3, "The Man of Color and the White Woman."
Chocolat.


22. Monday, 11/23: The Algerian War: A Case Study

Assignment:
Jules Roy, The War in Algeria, Chs. 1, 2, 4, and 6.


23. Wednesday, 11/25: No class

Short paper due in my box in the History Office, 415 Lehman, at 5 pm.


24. Monday, 11/30: Consumerism and Postcolonial Culture

Assignment:
Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, "Images of Empire: Tokyo Disneyland and Japanese Cultural Imperialism," in Eric Smoodin, ed. Disney Discourse: Producing the Magic Kingdom.

Slides: contemporary advertisements

25. Wednesday, 12/2: Cannibal Tours (Dennis O’Rourke, 1987)


26. Monday, 12/7: The Tourist and the Souvenir

Assignment:
Philip Frick McKean, "Towards a Theoretical Analysis of Tourism," in Valene Smith, ed., Hosits and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism
Alfred Conkling, Appleton’s Guide to Mexico, etc. (Guidebook excerpts)
Cannibal Tours.

Wednesday, 12/9: Conclusions


28. Monday, 12/14: Final Exam Review Session