HUMS 069, Dismantling Narratives of Empire

Meeting Time: 
MW 1pm-2:15pm
Fall 2021

Course Description:

Modern empires depicted themselves as hegemonic purveyors of progress whose endeavors contributed to a “civilizing mission.” These narratives frequently used specific ideas around race, religion, gender, technology, and politics to justify their violent acquisition of places and peoples. Through this course, we apply a critical lens to the material expression of these narratives in a variety of forms–from music to film, architecture to comic books–including engaging with specific objects from the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library and the Yale University Art Gallery. We delve into the power of narrative, who it left out, and how it continues to impact our understanding of nations today. In turn, students construct a response to imperialistic narratives as part of honing skills posing and supporting an argument.  

Enrollment limited to first-year students. Preregistration required; see under First-Year Seminar Program.


Led By:

Professor Victoria Hallinan is the Associate Director of Faculty Teaching Initiatives at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.

Victoria Hallinan works with faculty and other Yale constituents to reflect upon and enhance teaching across the university. While she is trained as a Cold War and cultural historian, Victoria works to address both the specific needs of scholarly disciplines and to incorporate best pedagogical practices based on the research of teaching and learning. To this end, she designs and runs programming to encourage pedagogical experimentation and conducts individual and departmental level consultations and observations.

Victoria received a BA in Cultural History and Musicology from Boston University, an MA in Comparative History from Brandeis University, and a PhD in World History from Northeastern University. She most recently served as Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs and Director of Liberal Studies at The Boston Architectural College where she worked to revise gateway writing and research courses and create a better support system for first-year graduate and undergraduate students. Victoria taught writing, research and history courses at The Boston Architectural College, Boston University, Southern New Hampshire University, and Northeastern University, and brings these experiences and her educational development research to bear in her work with the Faculty Teaching Initiatives team.