Dr. Maura O’Connor

This course will examine how Britain made the modern world and how the modern world made Britain, particularly in the decades that followed the Second World War.

The British world had an extraordinary transnational reach because of the geographical parameters of the British Empire as well as its financial reach. In the wake of 1945, Britain was forced to decolonize a complex and often bloody struggle to renegotiate its diplomatic, political, and economic place in a world dominated in the second half of the twentieth century by the United States, the Soviet Union,  China,  and former colonies such as India and Pakistan.

We will come to understand how the dynamics of late imperialism,  decolonization,  and the Cold War affected Britain globally and locally. And we will explore how its society and culture responded to these historical events and circumstances including the renegotiation of citizenship in the wake of the unprecedented migration of former colonial subjects in and out of the so-called island nation.