This module explores the making of the modern world by tracking the interrelated histories of two major themes - science and empire. It examines the links between global histories of science with world empires in modern history. It covers a period of over two and a half centuries beginning with French and Prussian scientific expeditions to South America in mid eighteenth century and ends with debates concerning global warming in the final decade of the twentieth century. It examines practices and texts associated with exploration, cartography, geology, botany, anthropology, natural history, medicine, environment, and technology drawing materials from imperial Europe, the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean regions, East Asia, Stalinist Russia, Nazi Germany and post World War II United States. This module addresses how scientific and medical knowledge were closely connected to themes of colonial history, such as Orientalism, diffusion and exchange of knowledge, travel, extraction, commodification, race and eugenics, gender, nationalism, and neo-imperialism. In order to explore the complexity of these historical processes, we will read primary sources, including official documents, illustrations and fiction alongside secondary materials.

Term(s) offered: Spring term module; 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Credit: 3.0
General Education: II B 1 or III B 2