Global History in the Modern Era

1) How does the Ottoman Empire represent and alternative modernity? How are we to make sense of the Islamic Enlightenment? The tensions between faith and reason? Tradition and modernity? How did the Ottoman (and Egyptian) state seek to navigate these challenges?

2) How does the Indian experience demonstrate the connections between colonialism and capitalism? Colonialism as a modern ideology? How should we understand the First War for Independence?

3) How did China meet the transformations of the modern era? Capitalism? Industrialization? Westernization? How did it establish a set of alternative modernities?

4) How does the Japanese experience of nation-building in the 19th century compare to other similar (and dissimilar) processes underway simultaneously in Asia? How does it represent an “alternative modernity?”

5) What were the European motivations for the Scramble for Africa? What ideological work did colonialism do in the European imagination? What did colonialism look like on the ground in Africa?

6) What accounts for the destruction of the First World War? How does it challenge notions of progress and modernity? What are its social consequences? How did it transform culture? Politics?

7) What larger socio-economic problems was the Russian Revolution to solve? What programs were put in place to meet them? What were their promises? How were they understood globally?

8) How did the national idea emerge from World War I? How did it offer to answer the promises of liberty, equality, and fraternity? What were its contradictions? How did the Turkish state seek to define the nation? What are its contradictions?

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