Empire, Colonialism, Globalization Archive

New Book by Faculty Member Eric Beverley on South Asian History

Beverley, Eric Lewis. Hyderabad, British India, and the World: Muslim Networks and Minor Sovereignty, C. 1850-1950. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 361 pp. ISBN: 9781107091191



This examination of the formally autonomous state of Hyderabad in a global comparative framework challenges the idea of the dominant British Raj as the sole sovereign power in the late colonial period. Beverley argues that Hyderabad’s position as a subordinate yet sovereign ‘minor state’ was not just a legal formality, but that in exercising the right to internal self-government and acting as a conduit for the regeneration of transnational Muslim intellectual and political networks, Hyderabad was indicative of the fragmentation of sovereignty between multiple political entities amidst Empires. By exploring connections with the Muslim world beyond South Asia, law and policy administration along frontiers with the colonial state and urban planning in expanding Hyderabad City, Beverley presents Hyderabad as a locus for experimentation in global and regional forms of political modernity. This book recasts the political geography of late imperialism and historicises Muslim political modernity in South Asia and beyond.


Doctoral Student wins Fulbright

Congratulations to Stony Brook History Department PhD student Erica Mukherjee, who has been awarded a Fulbright-Nehru Fellowship for 2015-16. The grant will support 9 months of research in India on her dissertation project, “The Real and Imagined Environments of the Colonial Indian Railways.”

HIS 517: Mobilities & Connections [Graduate Theme Seminar] (Spring 2015)

This seminar examines expanding circuits of global mobility from the early modern period to the present, and considers methodological implications of taking mobilities and connections as object of analysis. We will examine historical processes and dynamics on multiple scales from the perspective of people, commodities, and ideas in motion, along with dynamic networks and material or cultural effects these circuits generate; and the regulatory systems that emerge in consequence of increasingly robust flows. Expanding global connections and their effects produce new constraints and open a wide range of fresh possibilities for both states and diverse groups of people. The course will look closely at the interplay between unprecedented mobility and the restrictions imposed by modern political regimes, and the shifting relationship between people and real and imagined political entities from the global (empires, internationalisms, global governance bodies), to the provincial (kingdoms, nationalisms, nation-states). Organized thematically around mobile people, commodities, and ideas, and global institutions, we will examine disaporic migrant connections, global radical and anti-colonial movements, material and cultural effects of long-distance commodity production and exchange, and the circulation and expanding scope of institutional ideas and practices. The course will be interdisciplinary, incorporating comparative and monographic historical and anthropological studies, theoretical writings, and selections from literary or historical primary source texts; and transregional, examining particular themes via close consideration of Asia, Africa, and the Americas, and their interconnections. Readings will include books or articles by scholars such as Benedict Anderson, Sebouh Aslanian, Sven Beckert, Lauren Benton, Engseng Ho, Ilham Khuri-Makdisi, Mark Mazower, Adam McKeown, Jeremy Prestholdt, Maia Ramnath, and Sanjay Subrahmanyam (links above are to recommended or required books ordered for the course).

HIS 563/CEG 536: South Asian History Field Seminar/Introduction (Fall 2012)

This course will provide an advanced introduction to South Asian history and historiography from the early modern period to the present. We will cover major works on key themes, including precolonial cultural relations, colonialism and imperialism, the politics of religious identity, anti-colonialism and nationalism, decolonization and partition, and postcolonial developments. Readings of classics of the field – drawn from various schools of historiography – will be supplemented with selections from relevant primary sources. This is not a survey course, and does not attempt to be comprehensive. No prior knowledge of the field is prerequisite, and the course will begin with a rapid thematic survey of South Asian history. This course is jointly designed for History PhD and MA students for whose research and teaching a knowledge of South Asian history will be useful, and for MAT students who intend to teach South Asian and global history at the advanced secondary level. Requirements include preparation and participation, a series of short response or feedback papers, project presentation, and either a topical historiographical essay (for HIS 536 students), or a lesson plan (for CEG 536 students).

Graduate Core Seminar Recommended Readings, Part 3

Colonialism, Capitalism, Modernity

Early Modern Colonialism/Latin America:

Clendinnen, Inga. Ambivalent conquests : Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 1517-1570. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Mignolo, Walter. The Darker Side of the Renaissance: Literacy, Territoriality, and Colonization. 2nd ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003.

Capitalism/World Systems:

Abu-Lughod, Janet L. Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

Braudel, Fernand. Capitalism and material life, 1400-1800. New York: Harper and Row, 1973.

Frank, Andre Gunder. ReOrient: Global Economy in the Asian Age. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Pomeranz, Kenneth. The great divergence : China, Europe, and the making of the modern world economy. Princeton  N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2000.

Wallerstein, Immanuel Maurice. The Modern World-System. New York: Academic Press, 1974.

Modern Colonialism:

Cooper, Frederick, and Ann Laura Stoler, eds. Tensions of Empire: Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.

Cooper, Frederick. Colonialism in Question: Theory, Knowledge, History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Said, Edward. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon Books, 1978.

Wolf, Eric R. Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997.


Appadurai, Arjun. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996.

Harvey, David. The Condition of Postmodernity: An Enquiry into the Origins of Cultural Change. Oxford [England]: Blackwell, 1989.

Jameson, Fredric. Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism. Durham: Duke University Press, 1991.

HIS 653 — Transnationalizing History/Historicizing the Global

By now, it has become widely accepted that History (with a capital H) was deeply implicated in naturalizing the territorially delimited nation-state as one of the fundamental categories of historical analysis and narration. This recognition of the radical historicity of their own disciplinary knowledge is leading many historians to take the “transnational turn.” Despite the rapid spread of transnational studies, however, the theoretical thrust and the political valences of the concept still remain imprecise.

Furthermore, so many of the works which march under this banner do so with little or no critical analysis of race, gender, and sexuality. This seminar will explore how ideas on gender, race, and class helped structure global flows of peoples, ideas, and goods and legitimize the unequal power relations that they embodied. In this seminar, we will also discuss how the state serves as a “surface of articulation” between the global and the national. In the end, we will all learn that transnational perspective affects historical narratives and the making of alternative possibilities. The ultimate goal of this seminar is to reflect on strengths, the weaknesses, and future directions of the current transnational turn.

The first half of the seminar will be devoted to reading and discussing recent scholarly literature in the field in order to help students define the parameters and guiding questions for their own research (Readings include selections from: Postcolonial Disorders; Christopher A. Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World; Matthew P. Guterl, American Mediterranean; T. Ballantyne/A. Burton (eds.), Bodies in Contact; Étienne Balibar on transnational citizenship; Geoff Eley, “Historicizing the Global”; S. Conrad/D. Sachsenmai (eds.), Competing Visions of World Oder: Global Moments and Movements). Students are expected to submit a research paper (20-25 pages).