This course will examine the impact revolutionary movements have had on human development from the nineteenth century to the present. Following an initial look at the idea of revolution and its role across time, we will focus on revolutions in countries that we will visit, including the Meiji Restoration in Japan, the Communist revolution in China, the independence movement in India, the defeat of apartheid in South Africa, and the struggle for independence in Namibia. Brief attention will be paid to recent struggles in Burma and the Arab Spring of 2011. The course will be tied together by a series of broad questions: What conditions (both universal and local) give rise to revolutionary movements? Why do such movements succeed or fail? What accounts for the long-term impact of a revolution?
Field ClassCountry: India
Day: 2 - Saturday, 07 March
Our field lab in Cochin, “Revolution and the Colonial Past,” will focus on the question: how did India’s experience with colonial powers shape its twentieth-century revolutionary movements? Led by a scholar from the Cochin area, we will visit two or three key centers that illustrate the impact of colonialist powers on the local scene: the Indo-Portuguese Museum, the Mattancherry Palace, and the Santa Cruz Basilica. The lab will begin with a short discussion on shipboard, setting the day’s parameters, and will last for about eight hours. Academic Objectives: 1. To understand the material impact of colonial control on local developments 2. To gain insight into the long-term political and psychological effects the colonial presence had on Cochin (and by extrapolation India, more broadly) 3. To discuss the ways in which the colonial experience might have shaped the region’s independence movement