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Anthropology of Colonialism & Empire

Not offered in the academic year 2016-17.

Focusing on a wide range of regional case studies, this paper explores the emergence of colonial polities, cultures, and imperial systems of power as objects of anthropological analysis, and considers the ways in which both the making and unmaking of Western as well as non-Western imperial systems have had ramifications for the societies and cultures studied by anthropologists.

A variety of theoretical and interpretative approaches is discussed, but the main emphasis is on ethnographic implications of these approaches, and on the anthropological implications of historical studies. A wide range of examples is covered, including social, cultural, and political transformations arising from Western colonial conquest and rule in Asia, Africa and the Americas, and aspects of empire as conceptualised and experienced under Chinese, Ottoman, and Russian/ Soviet rule.

Paper Resources



For lecture reading lists, additional teaching materials, past exam questions and exam reports please see the Anthropology of Colonialism and Empire Moodle Course.

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