History | Modernity and Modernization in International History
H650 | 27570 | Cullather


A portion of the above class reserved for majors
Above class open to graduates only

For the new nations of Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin
America, “modernization” meant a step change in human experience, a
sudden leap forward in science, governance, medicine, the economy,
architecture, gender relations, and ways of life.   In the twentieth
century, empires, resistance movements, and, of course, the United
States of America, each promoted their own visions of the modern,
and today’s globalized systems of trade, humanitarianism, knowledge,
and diplomacy reflect those struggles.  This class will explore the
ways in which notions of colonial “improvement” morphed into post-
World War II theories of development. Deployed through in foreign
aid programs, those theories had profound effects on poor nations.
It will also investigate how certain trends in technology, the
environment, health, warfare, foreign policy, reproduction, and even
historical scholarship came to be defined as progress.   We will
read works by C. A. Bayly, James Scott, Kenneth Pomeranz, Gyan
Prakash, Timothy Mitchell, Arturo Escobar, and others.