HIST 4723 Scandal, Corruption, and the Making of the British Empire in India (also ASIAN 4465, HIST 6723) (HA-AS) (HNU) (HEU)
Professor Robert Travers
As the English East India Company conquered vast Indian territories in the late 1700s, it was besieged with allegations of corruption against its leading officials. This course will examine the origins of modern imperialism through the lens of corruption, exploring how corruption scandals became sites for generating new ideas and practices of empire. As well as reading prominent figures of the European enlightenment, including Adam Smith, Edmund Burke, and Denis Diderot, we will also study major Indian writers on corruption, including the historian Ghulam Husain, and the liberal reformer, Ram Mohan Roy. Students will conduct primary research into eighteenth century imperial corruption scandals, and consider the larger question of how modern ideas of political reform grew out of early modern theories of corruption.