Start a new search?

HIST105: 'Histories of Violence: How Imperialism made the Modern World'

Department: History NCF Level: FHEQ/QCF/NQF4//RQF4
Study Level: Part I Credit Points: 16.0
Start Date: 20-01-2017 End Date: 24-03-2017
Available for Online Enrolment?: N Enrolment Restriction: Fully available to all students
Module Convenor: Dr DR Sutton

Syllabus Rules and Pre-requisites

Curriculum Design: Outline Syllabus

  • This module is an introduction to the systemic and episodic violence that characterised Imperial British authority during the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The module will draw on examples and analysis from a range of geographic areas: the Translantic, South Asia, Australia, East Africa, North Africa and the Caribbean. The module will look at the ways in which violence was normalised as inevitable and necessary and will proceed, broadly, chronologically through three themes: resourcing in labour, land and markets, rebellion and counter-insurgency and the colonised subject and the psychological damage of empire.

    The module will be book ended by topics that require the students to reflect on the relationship between Empire and the British nation. It will begin with debates about imperial nostalgia and reparations and end with Aime Cesaire’s argument that European fascism represented the return of imperial violence to Europe.

    The module will consist of weekly lectures and seminars. Indicative content will include:

    1.  Are we sitting comfortably?: The British Empire in (and) hindsight.

    2.  Production: empire and unfree labour

    3.  White settlers, terra nullus and eradication

    4.  Late-Victorian holocausts: famine and empire 

    5.  Rebellion and retribution

    6.  Anthropology and empire

    7.  Sexuality and empire

    8.  The end of empire: emergencies and retreat

    9. Franz Fanon on European empire and fascism







Curriculum Design: Single, Combined or Consortial Schemes to which the Module Contributes

  • Optional for all History Major and Combined Major degree schemes; namely:

    History: UCAS Code: V100 BA/Hist

    English Literature and History: UCAS Code: QV31 BA/EnglHis

    French Studies and History: UCAS Code: RV11 BA/FrH

    German Studies and History: UCAS Code: RV21 BA/GerH

    History and International Relations: UCAS Code: VL12 BA/HisIR

    History and Philosophy: UCAS Code: VVC5 BA/HiPhil

    History, Philosophy and Politics: UCAS Code: V0L0 BA/HiPhiP

    History and Politics: UCAS Code: LV21 BA/HisPol

    History and Religious Studies: UCAS Code: VV16 BA/HisRes

    Medieval and Renaissance Studies: UCAS Code: V125 BA/MedvRS

    Spanish Studies and History: UCAS Code: RV41 BA/SSH

  • 100% Coursework

Assessment: Details of Assessment


    The nature of this module (and the fact that Hist 100 has an examination) as well as the rationale behind its introduction lends itself to coursework-only assessment. In addition, the skills gained through attendance of this module are designed to inform practice in all other modules, the majority of which are assessed through the standard coursework-examination format. The module is therefore assessed on the basis of two pieces of coursework (20% and 60%) and seminar performance (20%).


    Seminar performance will be assessed according to the following criteria:

    • preparation: careful preparation for seminars, including reading; research; and individual and/or group contributions;
    • content: effective contribution to seminar debate, including selection and analysis of material; coherence of argument; and development of ideas beyond received lecture or seminar information;
    • participation: effective participation in seminars, including raising questions and initiating debate; responding to other members and reflective listening; and (where relevant) working in groups.


    Feedback forms will be prepared for each student giving the mark for this element and the rationale for it, and clear guidelines will be available via the module Moodle site for how students are expected to prepare for seminars and contribute to them.   

Educational Aims: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Students who enrol on this module will have the opportunity to:

    • learn about how empire operated economically, governmentally and culturally.
    • learn about a variety of types of colonial and imperial authority and consider how different modes of labour, economy and society were created by colonial and imperial exploitation.
    • learn about the types of resistance and rebellion that confronted imperial and colonial authority.
    • engage with the varied cultural, economic and social means through which racism has been normalised over a 300-year period.


Educational Aims: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • Students who enrol on this module will have the opportunity to:

    •  demonstrate independent, critical analysis of historical information
    • participate in group discussions, drawing on information and opinions from a range of sources, both primary and secondary

    •  articulate opinions and argument drawing on a range of information
    •  draw thematic connections between the operation of authority in a range of localities.







Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

    • follow complex arguments about the construction of and resistance to imperial and colonial authority
    • acquire sufficient geographical and historical knowledge to follow a range of narrative histories in specific localities in Australia, Jamaica, South Asia and East Africa.
    • trace the imprint of colonial and imperial authority across a broad geographical theatre and make meaningful connections between those contexts
    • transfer their understandings of colonial culture to contemporary debates about colonialism
    • engage with debates about the influence of colonial and imperial history on contemporary British identity and society. 

Learning Outcomes: General: Knowledge, Understanding and Skills

  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to...

    • formulate independent arguments on the basis of a range of sources.
    •  evaluate complex arguments.
    • evaluate the relationship between scholarly and journalistic argument about the past and identity.
    • consider the relationship between violence, law and authority in different contexts.

Contact Information

If you encounter any difficulties accessing Online Courses Handbook information please contact the Student Registry:

If you require further details in relation to academic content please contact the appropriate academic department directly.

Related Pages