Property, Markets, and State, a Global Perspective
HIST 2981H S01 [CRN: 16039]Beginning in 1860, simultaneous land and rent strikes rocked every part of Britain's empire, and in the decades that followed, international anti-landlord movements conjoined actors in India, Ireland, Scotland, and California. This class will explicitly incorporate digital history methodologies throughout, experimenting with text-mining and mapping software applied to large-scale corpora on the history of land administration. Themes may include the history of water wars, global governance, liberation theology, common pool resources, international finance, and see copyright. Cross-enrollment from engineering, computer science, welcome. M
Additional Description from the Instructor:
The history of capitalism has come to represent a renewed force in historical scholarship, alongside a return to political economy and institutional history. Many of these debates have their origin in western historiography, stretching backwards to seventeenth- and eighteenth-century debates on natural law and democracy. Yet recent historiography has demonstrated that even these abstract debates responded to an increasingly global horizon of conflicting legal and political regimes, in which western and eastern agents alike were forced to define themselves against a moving panorama. Today, questions of private ownership are again being debated within law schools and economics programs, and questions of the commons again return as we ponder climate inaction, coming water shortage, and global land-grabs. Can history be our guide? To engage debates over property, young writers need an acquaintance with the terms of the debate. This course will acquaint graduate students with the main themes in the historiography, including the enclosure of the commons, the rise of private property, the expansion of market economies, the rise of the nation-state, the creation of civil service bureaucracies, and the contestation of those institutions by ideological and identity-driven movements. The problems of property across centuries and markets requires skills at making sense of enormous numbers of documents, a methodological problem that is driving historians towards new toolsets. This course will invite graduate students to experiment with international forms of synthesis – the weaving of many stories into one coherent narrative – and to explore the possibilities of working with digital tools to find patterns across enormous stores of data on property law.
- Course Syllabus
- View Syllabus
- Assignments and Grading
- (1) Be our guide through one week. Summarize key themes in the debates for the week, drawing attention to an important critical intervention, perhaps from your regional/temporal subdiscipline or a discipline outside of history, perhaps making use of a work of “further reading” for the class relevant to that week or drawing in material from outside the class. Draw out several events, characters, places, or concepts that would shift our conversation and summarizing what an undergraduate class would need to know about them. Pre-circulate a 1 page précis of your findings, and present your material for 15 minutes in class. We will sign up for presentations in session two of class. (2) One Paper-Machines-driven digital intervention on one week of class, putting the themes of that week’s reading into perspective with the digital archive on Zotero. Concrete instructions will be given in week one or two of class. (3) One 15-30 –page research paper, demonstrating skills of secondary synthesis, narrative argument, and with supporting archival work, taking on the history of some legal instrument, political movement, material crisis, or other.
- Readings and Texts
- Karl Polanyi, The Great Transformation (Boston: Beacon Press, 2001). David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years (Brooklyn N.Y.: Melville House, 2011), Chs 3, 4, 5, 8. E. P Thompson, The Making of the English Working Class (London: V. Gollancz, 1963). Peder Anker, Imperial Ecology (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2001). Fredrik Albritton Jonsson, Enlightenment’s Frontier (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013). D. E. Cosgrove, The Palladian Landscape (Penn State Press, 1993). Manu Goswami, Producing India (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004). Eric Stokes, The Peasant and the Raj: Studies in Agrarian Society and Peasant Rebellion in Colonial India, Cambridge South Asian studies 23 (Cambridge ; New York: Cambridge University Press, 1978). Pekka Hämäläinen, The Comanche Empire (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008). John Markoff, The Abolition of Feudalism (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1996). Mark A. Lause, Young America: Land, Labor, and the Republican Community (University of Illinois Press, 2005). Alfred Chandler, The Visible Hand (Cambridge Mass.: Belknap Press, 1977). Peter Geoffrey Hall, Cities of Tomorrow (Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 1988). Sumathi Ramaswamy, The Lost Land of Lemuria (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004). James Scott, The Art of Not Being Governed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009). Timothy Mitchell, Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil (London and New York: Verso, 2011) Nick Cullather, The Hungry World: America\'s Cold War Battle against Poverty in Asia (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press, 2010) Karen Zouwen Ho, Liquidated (Durham: Duke University Press, 2009), Intro and Chs 3-4. Niall Ferguson, The Ascent of Money: A Financial history of the world (New York: Penguin Press, 2008). Nicholas Shaxson, Treasure Islands (London: Bodley Head, 2011). Hugh Brody, Maps and Dreams (New York: Pantheon Books, 1982). Required readings are listed for each week. Further readings will be a subject of discussion. Reading them may offer material for the synthetic research paper and the in-class presentation, and are suggested as alternative or supplemental titles. Whenever possible, digital copies of articles and short excerpts are available on the class dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/sh/cgquyek5ysu83lv/GtIZ3uMZLO as well as the class Zotero folder.
- Fall 2013
- Credit Hours
- Maximum Enrollment
- Primary Instructor
- 3:00 pm - 5:20 pm Mon - from Sep 4, 2013 to Dec 21, 2013
- Exam Group Code
- 15 (Dec 17, 2013 9:00am)