Department of Middle Eastern Studies
Department of Middle Eastern Studies

British History, Literature, and Politics

British History, Literature, and Politics

FRIDAYS 4:30-7:30
MES 385 (40750)

Course Description:

This seminar is designed as a reading course in history, literature, and politics, and as a class in professional writing.  In addition to the required reading listed below, each student draws up an individual reading list in consultation with the professor. The scope of the seminar includes not only the literature, history and politics of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland but also the interaction of British and other societies throughout the world.  One point of emphasis will be the history of the British Empire and Commonwealth in its Asian and African as well as early American dimensions. Another point will be a focus on historical and literary biography—and autobiography—for example, not only Disraeli, Virginia Woolf, T. E. Lawrence, and George Orwell but also Gandhi. The main requirements of the course are met by students reading a book or its equivalent each week and by submitting a weekly critique of the reading.  Each of the weekly essays is circulated to all other members of the class who make annotations on style as well as substance.  The class thus becomes as much a course in professional writing as one in which individual academic interests are pursued.
The class also voluntarily meets together with the British Studies faculty seminar at three o’clock Friday afternoons.


Meet the Professor

William Roger Louis has recently published Ends of British Imperialism: the Scramble for Empire, Suez, and Decolonization (2006). He has written or edited more than thirty books including Imperialism at Bay (1977) and The British Empire in the Middle East (1984). His edited publications include The End of the Palestine Mandate (1986), The Transfers of Power in Africa(1988), Suez 1956 (1989), The Iraqi Revolution (1991), and Churchill (1993). He is the Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford History of the British Empire and former President of the American Historical Association. He is the present Chairman of the Historical Advisory Committee, U.S. Department of State, and Director of the American Historical Association's National History Center. In 2017 he delivered the Weizmann Memorial Lecture in Rehobov, Israel. 

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