Law, Politics and Society across the British Empire, 1750-1960: Sources (HIH3298)

30 credits

This module introduces students to the crucial role of law in governing, justifying and resisting imperial rule across the British empire, from the mid-eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. Drawing on a lively and growing inter-disciplinary field of research, it will encourage students to think of law not just as a body of rules or a set of institutions, but as related to social contexts, geographical settings, power, ethics, rhetoric and cultural practice. Students will focus on a variety of primary sources, including reported and unreported judgments in legal cases from around the empire, imperial statutes and colonial law codes, reports of special commissions, policy documents, parliamentary papers and debates, as well as philosophical treatises, political manifestoes, expert commentary on various topics, novels, poetry, journalistic and visual sources. All sources are in English or available in translation.  Students considering a future course of study or work in fields related to law may find this module of interest. Some prior knowledge regarding the history of the British empire may be helpful, but can be compensated for by preparatory studies. You must take this module in conjunction with Law, Politics and Society across the British Empire, 1750-1960: Context.