Empires, Imperialism, and Colonialism
What we call empires have varied greatly from place to place and from time to time. Nevertheless, they have shared many of the same opportunities, challenges, and constraints in their expansion, administration, and dissolution. We participate in the broader scholarly trend of bridging historiography on different empires, including the Mughal, Ottoman, Japanese, Roman, Byzantine, and a variety of African states; European colonial empires with significant overseas possessions, notably those of Iberia, Britain, and France; and also the indigenous groups they encountered in Africa, Asia, and throughout the Americas. Many of us examine the lived experience of empire—at the level of the nation-state, the region, and the individual—and explore things like the creation of, and institutionalization implementation of, imperial ideologies; regional adaptations in material culture and trade networks in spaces of cultural contact; resistance, revolutions and rebellions; and the processes of acculturation and creolization. Others of us give attention to the aftermath, or “echo” of empire in these different registers. We investigate the broader impacts of imperialism in its various guises, with an eye to issues such as the return of former colonial inhabitants (“peripheries”) to European metropoles (“centers”), decolonization, and the ways post-colonial peoples around the globe have interpreted and articulated their own colonial pasts. We welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students interested in the history of empire in its various iterations.
HIST 101 Western Civilization to 1660
HIST 102 Western Civilization since 1660
HIST 103 World History to 1500
HIST 104 World History since 1500
HIST 105 History of the United States
HIST 106 History of the United States
HIST 210 Russian Civilization
HIST 214 History of England
HIST 226 History of Texas
HIST 232 History of American Sea Power
HIST 258 American Indian History
HIST 304 Mexican-American Frontier to 1848
HIST 305 Mexican-American History 1848-present
HIST 307 Latino Communities of the U.S.
HIST 308 History of American Indians in the U.S. South
HIST 320 History of the Atlantic World
HIST 321 The Age of Revolution in the Atlantic World
HIST 322 History of the Iberian World
HIST 325 Texas Cultural History
HIST 326 History of the Caribbean to Emancipation
HIST 329 Modern Mediterranean World
HIST 333 Europe in the Age of Absolutism, 1660-1815
HIST 334 History of Europe in the Nineteenth Century
HIST 339 Eastern Europe Since 1453
HIST 343 Inter-American Relations
HIST 344 History of Africa to 1800
HIST 345 Modern Africa
HIST 347 Rise of Islam, 600-1258
HIST 348 Modern Middle East
HIST 354 Imperial China
HIST 355 Modern China
HIST 357 Out of Africa: The Black Diaspora and the Modern World
HIST 367 Colonization of North America
HIST 368 The Birth of the Republic, 1763-1820
HIST 369 The United States, 1820-1860
HIST 406 The Era of the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era
HIST 407 History of France since 1815
HIST 411 Imperial Russia, 1801-1917
HIST 429 The Roman Empire
HIST 430 Ireland, 1690-1922: Colony, Kingdom and Nation
HIST 431 The Kingdom of Ireland, 1541-1800
HIST 432 The Nation of Ireland, 1800 to the present
HIST 435 Tudor England, 1450-1603
HIST 436 Stuart England, 1603-1714
HIST 437 Eighteenth-Century Britain
HIST 438 Nineteenth-Century England
HIST 439 Twentieth-Century England
HIST 441 History of Mexico, 1821 to the Present
HIST 453 The American Frontier
HIST 462 American Foreign Relations
HIST 463 American Foreign Relations
HIST 464 International Developments since 1918
HIST 475 Empire and History
HIST 465 Extremism and Terrorism in the Contemporary World
HIST 601 Colonial North America
HIST 604 The Age of Jefferson
HIST 613 Twentieth Century United States Diplomacy
HIST 615 Colonial Latin America
HIST 617 Latin America: The National Period
HIST 621 The Emergence of Modern America
HIST 628 Historiography
HIST 633 The American West
HIST 634 Maritime History and Sea Power
HIST 643 Reading Seminar in European History from Renaissance to French Revolution
HIST 678 Comparative Border Studies
HIST 679 Topics in Comparative Border Studies
HIST 689 Politics and Culture in Modern China
Troy Bickham specializes in the history of Britain and its empire, particularly the Atlantic world, during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His first book, Savages within the Empire (2005) explores how encounters and relations with American Indians affected British material, political, intellectual and religious culture in the eighteenth century. His recent book, Making Headlines: The American Revolution as Seen Through the British Press (2008), explores British reactions to the American Revolution, as seen and experienced in the British press. His articles on the impact of the imperial experience on British culture and society have appeared in the William & Mary Quarterly, Eighteenth-Century Studies, the Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies, and Past & Present. He is currently completing a transatlantic study of the Anglo-American War of 1812.
Carlos K. Blanton earned his PhD from Rice University in 1999 and arrived at Texas A&M in 2001. He teaches undergraduate surveys of Texas history and U.S. history as well as specialized courses on Latinos and education history. At the graduate level, he teaches courses in U.S. history covering the Gilded Age to the Cold War, Comparative Borders, and Chicano History. Blanton has published articles in prominent journals, including the Journal of Southern History, Pacific Historical Review, and Western Historical Quarterly, as well as a monograph, The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836–1981 (2004), resulting in book and article awards. His next book is a biography of the major Mexican American intellectual and civil rights activist George I. Sanchez.
Cynthia Bouton (Ph.D., State Univ. of New York, Binghamton, 1985) is a social and cultural historian focusing on early modern and Revolutionary Europe and the Atlantic. She studies the ways that inequities in access to basic subsistence needs—often linked to status/class, gender, race/ethnicity, patronage/political relations, and location—have influenced responses to suffering (both the threat of it and strategies to alleviate it). Her first book studied responses to a subsistence crisis in 1775 France, several articles explored the history of the politics of provisioning in France from the 17th to the 19th centuries, and her second book analyzed 19th- and 20th-century cultural and political engagements with an episode of social violence over food security. Her next book, “Subsistence, Society, and Culture in the Atlantic World in the Eighteenth Century and Age of Revolution,” studies staple food production, marketplace interaction, entangled Atlantic trade networks, and government policies to understand adaptations to the “Atlanticization” of food regimes in the French, Spanish, and British Atlantic during the 18th century and revolutionary era.
James C. Bradford focuses on maritime, naval, and Early American history and teaches courses in those fields, including HIST 368: Birth of the Republic, HIST 604: The Age of Jefferson, and HIST 643: Maritime History and Sea Power, that last of which pays significant attention to the rise and decline of maritime empires from the Athenian and Roman Empires of the ancient Mediterranean through the oceanic empires of the modern era.
Glenn A. Chambers received his Ph. D. from Howard University in 2006 and joined the history department at Texas A&M the same year. Dr. Chambers teaches courses on the history of the Caribbean, Latin America and the African Diaspora. His most recent book Race, Nation, and West Indian Immigration to Honduras, 1890-1940 (Louisiana State University Press, 2010) focuses on the migration of West Indians to Honduras at the turn of the twentieth century to work in the American-dominated banana industry. His works demonstrates the ways in which the British and American empires, through immigration and/or dominance in the political and economic spheres of Honduran society converge with the state's efforts at nation building.
Olga Dror (Ph.D. Cornell University, 2003) is a specialist in Southeast Asian and East Asian history. In her research of popular religion and culture in Vietnam, she traces the relations between the Vietnamese society and France, the colonial master of Indochina. She has explored how French colonial authority appropriated Vietnamese cultural attributes for their own agenda and how the same attributes were used by Vietnamese to boost their nationalism and self-identifications vis-a-vis the French. She currently works on cultural transformations that took place in Vietnamese societies between 1965 and 1975 as, at least, a partial result of American intervention in Vietnam. Her main focus is Vietnamese identities on the opposing sides in the conflict. Her academic interests translates into teaching: in addition to teaching a course on the war in Vietnam, which encompasses both French and American policies towards this country, she also introduces students to the multi-faceted Japanese wartime empire, stressing political, social, and cultural developments in Japan and its colonies that allowed the establishment of the empire and those that led to its demise.
Thomas Dunlap’s research on empire, and in particular the transmission of ideas, popular and scientific, about nature began with Saving America’s Wildlife, which dealt with predator policy and wildlife preservation in the United States and Canada. That led to a larger, work, Nature and the English Diaspora, dealing with these ideas in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand from the early nineteenth century to the late twentieth. He has participated in conferences here and in Great Britain, and has served as external examiner on Ph.D. dissertations in seven Australian universities and one in New Zealand.
Side Emre (Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2009) specializes in the late medieval and early modern history of the Ottoman Empire and Egypt. She examines the historical trajectories of one Islamic mystical order (Gülşeniye) and its members with a focus on their socio-political and cultural impact in the local/inter-regional communities they lived and networked in the pre-modern Muslim world. Her research brings together Near/Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean/North African history (social, political, cultural and religious) and establishes dialogues with medival, early modernist and modernist scholars from a wide array of disciplines. Specifically she focuses on the connections between politics, society, religion, and Sufism (Islamic mysticism) in the pre-modern Muslim world. Her most recent work in progress is on a revisionist 100-year political and religious history of the Ottoman Empire, and Egypt, with a focus on the Gülşeniye order of dervishes in the empire formation period of 16th century. The larger themes and topics she is interested in include: Cultural transformations, social history, Islamic mystical literature, politics and religion, empire and state making, law, heresy and Sufism, with its cultural and social reflections in the Ottoman historical context. At TAMU, she is affiliated with the Religious Studies and Arabic Studies Programs and her courses are currently cross-listed with these programs. She teaches HIST 347: The Rise of Islam (ca. 600-1258); HIST 348: History of the Modern Middle East; HIST 221: History of Islam (ca. 600-1600); HIST 103: World History to 1500. She is hoping to contribute to the history curriculum by offering two new courses: “Religious Outsiders in the Early Modern Mediterranean and the Near East, ca. 600-1600” and “Gunpowder Empires of the Middle East: The Mamluks, Ottomans, and Safavids, ca.1250-1700 C.E.”.
April Hatfield received her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1997 and began teaching at Texas A&M the following year. Her work examines how borders and migration shaped individuals and institutions in the early modern Atlantic world. Her publications include several book chapters and articles and the monograph Atlantic Virginia: Intercolonial Relations in the Seventeenth Century (2004). Her current project “Creole Allegiances” follows a variety of individuals as they negotiated the borders of English and Spanish imperial spaces in the western Caribbean and southeastern North America during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Angela Pulley Hudson is a specialist in American Indian history, with a particular interest in southeastern Indian ethnohistory. Her broad areas of research are the ethnogeography of indigenous North Americans, the intersection of American Indian and African American experiences, and the role of American Indians in U.S. popular culture. Her recent book, Creek Paths and Federal Roads: Indians, Settlers, and Slaves and the Making of the American South (2010), investigates the delineation of borders and paths between and across the Indian nations of the interior South from the Revolution to Removal. Her current project explores the phenomenon of interethnic impersonation and gendered performance in antebellum America by tracing the life and career of two successful “Indian” stage performers. She earned her PhD in American Studies in 2007 from Yale University and joined the faculty at A&M the same year.
David R. C. Hudson (Ph.D. Texas A&M University, 1998) studies and teaches British and Irish history - in particular the evolution of historical narratives, and the ways in which these both inform and reflect past and present. Fascinated by Ireland’s position as England’s first overseas colony and (later) an integral part of the United Kingdom, he is the author of The Ireland That We Made: Arthur and Gerald Balfour’s Contribution to the Origins of Modern Ireland. Among his current projects are a comparative study of political change in Ireland and Poland over the last 250 years, and an investigation into the political thought of John Redmond, the last Irish Nationalist leader to sit in the British House of Commons.
Hoi-eun Kim, A transnational historian of modern Germany and Japan, Hoi-eun Kim has engaged himself with the topic of German interaction with East Asia (in particular Japan) in the second half of the nineteenth-century. His first book-length project, “Doctors of Empires,” questions the nature of German imperialism in its global dimension by looking at the medical and cultural encounters between Germany and Japan during the Kaiserreich period. Kim further explored the German and Japanese connection in his recently completed project, “Inscribing Racial Boundaries: German Medical Anthropology and the Making of Races in Japan’s Colonial Empire.” In this project that seeks to examine the unique coalition of knowledge, race, and empire, Kim tried to unravel the process by which German anthropology, a scientific discourse embedded with inhumanity, was appropriated and practiced to legitimize Japanese colonial ambitions in East Asia through the ties between German and Japanese medical professionals. In addition, Kim is currently finishing an article, “Cure for Empire: The ‘Conquer-Russia-Pill,’ Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, and the Making of the Patriotic Japanese, 1904-1945,” a study of the multilayered links between pharmaceutical products and imperialism in the Japanese context, in which Kim illustrates how a medical product was appropriated as an imperial ideological tool in rallying the nationalist spirit of the Japanese people.
Jason Parker studies both the formal and informal “diplomacy” embedded in the interactions of empires, nations, and peoples, especially at the crossroads of decolonization and the Cold War during the long “American Century.” My first book looked at the actions of the US government and of African Americans in the British West Indies’ push for independence. My research moves across a number of subjects, areas, and themes: empire, race/ethnicity, nationalism, and particular regions of the world and especially of the British Empire. I am privileged to serve as a seminar leader in the annual “International Seminar on Decolonization” at the Library of Congress each summer, which facilitates my continuing work in these areas.
James Rosenheim (Ph.D. Princeton University, 1981) teaches courses on early modern British history and on sex and sexuality in history. His research focuses on the social and cultural history of Restoration and early eighteenth-century England. He has published two books on aristocratic society and culture in that era and has also published articles on the operation of local government and authority and an edition of a late seventeenth-century magistrate’s notebook. His current research project, “Singular Subjects: Unmarried Men in England 1650-1750,” focuses on the phenomena and meanings of bachelorhood and widowerhood, emphasizing the light that the history of the unmarried man sheds on the history of courtship and marriage, gender and sexuality, kinship and the family. This study employs sources that include family correspondence and diaries, sermons and conduct books, financial accounts and legislation, and poetry, drama, and novels.
Brian Rouleau researches the role nineteenth-century American sailors played in the creation of overseas commercial empire. He emphasizes the instrumentality of the maritime community in ensuring that the U.S. maintained a significant global presence during an era ordinarily discussed solely in terms territorial expansion on the North American continent. In HIST 105 (U.S. to 1877), HIST 453 (The American Frontier), and HIST 462 (American Foreign Relations to 1913), the United States is presented as a nation both born of empires and possessed of its own imperial ambitions.
Rebecca Hartkopf Schloss teaches courses in Atlantic World History, Modern France, and the Caribbean. Her first project, Sweet Liberty: The Final Days of Slavery in Martinique, (University of Pennsylvania Press: Early American Series, 2009), focuses on the relationship between Martinique and continental France and the construction of racial, class, gender and national identities during the first half of the nineteenth century. Her second project, France at the Edges: Life in France’s Atlantic Port Cities, 1760-1830, explores connections among French Atlantic port cities in the Americas, the Caribbean, Africa and Europe during the so-called Age of Empire.
Daniel Schwartz studies the late Roman and early Byzantine Empire and teaches World History, Roman Empire, and the History of Christianity. He would also like to propose courses on the History of Byzantium and the Crusades. His particular interest in each of these topics centers around the strategies used by religious, linguistic and intellectual communities to form coherent identities and interact with those outside their groups. His research interests include the Christianization of the Roman Empire, the role of religious violence by state and private actors in Late Antiquity, the use of political and religious procession as a means of expressing popular will, and the social and political role of classical Greco-Roman education in Late Antiquity.
Katherine Unterman (Ph.D., Yale University, 2011) specializes in American legal history and the history of U.S. foreign relations. Her book manuscript, “Nowhere to Hide: International Fugitives and American Power” uses international manhunts as a window onto the nature of American informal imperialism at the turn of the twentieth century, exploring how the United States came to treat the Western Hemisphere, and eventually the entire globe, as part of its criminal jurisdiction. Her work argues that law is an important, but often overlooked, means of understanding how American actors wielded international power. She teaches an undergraduate course on American Empire.
Di Wang (Ph.D, Johns Hopkins, 1999) specializes in the Qing Empire. He examines its rise in the seventeenth century to its fall in the early twentieth century and tries to find the internal and external factors that caused its rise and fall. In his book Striding out of a Closed World: Social Transformation of the Upper Yangzi Region, 1644-1911, he explores how the Upper Yangzi Region, a major hinterland of the Qing Empire, was dramatically changed by influence of Western imperialism and colonialism. He has written extensively on the 1911 Revolution that brought down the Qing Empire. He teaches HIST 354 Imperial China and HIST 355 Modern China, which reveal a whole picture of the transformation from imperial to modern China and the role Western imperialism and colonialism played in this procedure.
Erin Wood’s current work is a transnational history analyzing the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), its relationship with international liberation struggles, and the place of Cold War politics in defining domestic civil rights from 1960 through the early 1970s. While the civil rights movement has typically been historicized as a southern and/or national phenomenon, it can be more fully understood as a transnational movement. There were symbiotic relationships between freedom struggles in the United States and in decolonizing countries, with peoples and events around the world inspiring and affecting one another. Throughout the mid-twentieth century, a cross-continental dialogue of race and rights emerged, and the civil rights movement needs to be placed within this transnational context. I argue that SNCC demanded social change within and beyond the borders of the United States, and that a better understanding of SNCC furthers the internationalization of U.S. history, and a new retelling of the Black freedom struggle. More broadly, I am interested in transnational United States history, investigating the ways in which local, national, and international histories are intertwined.
Larry Yarak is a historian of Africa. His first book investigated the precolonial political and social history of the Asante Kingdom, located in today’s Ghana, using European (principally Dutch) archival sources and Asante oral traditions. He is currently completing a manuscript on the recruitment of soldiers by the Dutch in nineteenth-century West Africa, the intersection of this activity with indigenous forms of servitude, and the experiences of the African soldiers in the Dutch East Indies. His current research project concerns the nineteenth-century social history of the peoples of the Gold Coast littoral, with a focus on the town of Elmina.