The Making of the Modern World
Most accounts of the modern world define it in relation to the processes of industrialization and democratization in Western Europe in the long nineteenth century. Such narratives fail to address the broader colonial and imperial contexts of these transformations. In this module, we look at the significance of colonial processes to the making of the modern world.
Colonial Global Economy
This module examines the ongoing significance of historical colonial relations to both the establishment and continued reproduction of global political economy.
Modern Social Theory
In this module on Modern Social Theory, our focus on Tocqueville, Marx, Weber, Durkheim and Du Bois addresses what they have bequeathed to sociology and the social sciences. We look at how that legacy is structured by a failure to treat colonialism and empire as central to the development of modern society. As such, our purpose is to ‘decolonise’ the concepts and categories they have given to us, rather than simply critique the canon itself. This requires a process of contextual understanding and reconstruction.
Migration, Borders, Diaspora
This module explores the ways in which colonial histories continue to shape contemporary immigration policies, particularly in Britain. The module aims to explain how immigration policies result in racially stratified policies of mobility, immobility, inclusion and exclusion. It examines the hostile environment policy approach taken since 2010 through the case studies of Go Home vans, family migration, and asylum policy. It also examines ideas of diaspora.
The Environment and Climate Change
This module examines how climate change works through, and also exacerbates long-standing inequalities and exploitation. It suggests that to tackle environmental problems, climate change must be understood in relation to colonial histories. Sessions will focus on extractivism, pollution, the Anthropocene and more.