(Fall 2012) HIS/HUM 295: Cultures of Empire in the Imperial Metropolis
(Prevost) 4 credits
The British Empire did not just constitute a one-way transmission of power and knowledge from center to periphery; the imperial center was also shaped by its peripheries and subject peoples. This course will examine London as a center of imperial and post-colonial culture in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As a nexus of the British Empire and Commonwealth, London has long functioned as a site for the formation and contestation of national identities through changing representations of class, race, gender, and religion. We will therefore define “culture” broadly in considering how the empire and its disintegration have shaped London’s political culture, class culture, material culture, print culture, urban planning, religious life, public recreation, exhibitions, commemorative art and architecture, literature, and cinema. Local site visits, some in conjunction with Professor Delmenico’s Phase 1 course, will include museums, performances, film screenings, public memorials and civic spaces, centers of finance, trade, and religious life, and lectures at local area universities.