15 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: The Nineteenth-century British Empire was ruled through a complex colonial bureaucracy, violent conquest, and exploitative economic relationships. But, arguably the most controversial element of British colonialism was its cultural projects. Missionaries, humanitarians, educationalists and doctors all had their own aspirations for indigenous people and came bearing 'western' and ostensibly very different ways of understanding the mind and the body. This course will introduce you to debates around cultural imperialism in the nineteenth-century British Empire. The seminars will explore the texts and issues around specific areas of 'cultural' intervention: English-language education; religion; medicine; and what is discussed today as 'women's rights'.

Staff Contact: Beky Hasnip
Teaching Methods: The module will be taught in five, two-hour seminars. The first four seminars will focus around a specific areas of 'cultural' intervention: religion and missionaries; policing ritual violence; women's rights and 'imperial feminism'; medicine and the body. The last class will invite students to reflect more generally on the issues raised and on the current debates around cultural and 'human rights' imperialism. Preparation for classes will involve reading both primary and secondary sources. Classes will enable students to research and present their ideas, share knowledge and debate controversial issues. Students will, in addition, have individual tutorial contact with the module leader in order to discuss their written work for this module.
Assessment: Course work

Information on the department responsible for this unit (History):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK