Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Jordanna Bailkin
HSTEU 484
Seattle Campus

Colonial Encounters

History of European colonialism from the 1750s to the present, with an emphasis on British and French colonial encounters. Offered: jointly with CHID 484.

Class description

From Columbus’ voyages to the New World in the late fifteenth century to the era of decolonization in the 1960s, Europeans and the peoples they colonized were engaged in a vast project – often an extremely violent one – of trying and failing to make sense of one another. This course offers an opportunity to study the history of encounters between Europe and its colonies in a variety of geographical contexts. We will focus on a comparative analysis of British and French colonial encounters from the mid-eighteenth century to the twentieth, but will refer to Spanish, Dutch, and German colonial histories as well as to earlier incarnations of colonial encounters. The course will proceed chronologically and thematically, considering the impact of colonial science, law, sexuality, education, and economy on European identity and politics and, more broadly, on the trajectory of global history.

Readings will include works by Oloudah Equiano, Charles Darwin, George Orwell, Frantz Fanon, and M.K. Gandhi. We will also watch a number of films that deal with colonial themes. These films will be shown during our regular class meetings and will include Pontecorvo's Battle of Algiers, Ousmane Sembene's La Noire/Black Girl, Edmond Greville's Princesse Tam Tam, and Matthieu Kassovitz's La Haine/Hate.

This is a "W" course.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Combination of lecture and discussion

Recommended preparation

No prerequisites; some background in European history is helpful, but not necessary

Class assignments and grading

2 exams; 2 papers

Exams and papers, plus participation in discussion


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Jordanna Bailkin
Date: 10/03/2013