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Course Details

Spring 2011-2012
HIS 422 / NES 422 (HA)  

Energy and Empire

On Barak

The seminar examines social, political, and cultural arrangements generated by different energy sources. Moving in the first part of the course from the rise of Islam in Arabia, via the Dutch Golden Age, to colonial India, we explore various polities sustained by different driving forces. We then examine the multifaceted history of fossil fuels, from the adoption of coal to the shift to oil, and the political ramifications of such transitions. As we prepare for another shift, away from depleting fossil fuels and back to some of the energy sources that carbon-based energy supplanted, this history is timelier than ever.

Sample reading list:
Abdalrahman Munif, Cities of Salt
Robert Vitalis, America's Kingdom
Wolfgang Schivelbusch, The Railway Journey
Richard Bulliet, The Camel and the Wheel
Rolf Peter Sieferele, The Subterranean Forest

Reading/Writing assignments:
200-250 pages of reading per week; a midterm paper and a final paper.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 30%
Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 30%

Other Requirements:
Not Open to Freshmen.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
41099 S01 1:30 pm - 4:20 pm T   Friend Center   306   Enrolled:9 Limit:12