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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Vicente L. Rafael
SISSE 490
Seattle Campus

Special Topics in Southeast Asian Studies

Content varies.

Class description

The topic of the course is "Comparative Colonialism" and is also offered as HIST 485A. What is colonialism and how does it historically come about? How is the practice of comparison related to colonial histories? In what ways are questions about authority–for example, the narrative authority to impose one’s stories and the political authority to impose one’s will-- repeatedly raised in Western encounters with non-Western peoples? Indeed, in the wake of colonialism and in an era of globalization, do these categories “Western” and “non-Western” still make sense? What role does nationalism play in determining the limits and possibilities of colonial rule? How is nationalism related to cosmopolitanism as twin alternatives to imperial domination? In addressing these questions, this course will examine a variety of historical, literary, and cinematic productions set in colonial contexts ranging from the Americas to Asia and Africa, including the recent US "war on terror." In doing so, the course will treat colonialism as a world historical event whose effects continue to be felt and whose power needs to be addressed.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Lectures, discussions, films.

Recommended preparation

None.

Class assignments and grading

Readings, one take home mid-term, one take home final exam.

Mid-term and final exam.


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 Vicente L. Rafael
Date: 02/08/2008