Settlers and Empire


Explores the histories of nineteenth and twentieth century British settler societies, with a particular focus on New Zealand, Australia and Canada. It will introduce the key conceptual frameworks and major themes for thinking about the comparative and transnational pasts of these settler societies.

To complete this course students must enrol in HISTORY 700 A and B.


Welcome to History 700: Settlers and Empire

 This course interrogates the idea of settler societies and their relationship to empire. Settler societies are not just a British imperial phenomenon, but this course will focus on the British empire, and its nineteenth and twentieth century settler colonies, especially New Zealand, Australia, and Canada. Settler colonies are a very particular manifestation of both imperialism and colonialism, but one that arguably is still not very well understood. This course will ask what makes settler societies different? How well do existing conceptions of empire and colonialism explain this phenomenon? What are 'settlers', and what is distinct about the development of these societies? What are the impacts of settler societies for indigenous peoples and are these the same, or different, from other forms of empire? Does settler colonialism have an end, and what might that look like? And not least, what are the implications of the term 'settler society'?

We will aim to answer these questions with three approaches. First the course will look at existing ideas about empire, then we will turn to some key thematic content including aspects of gender, race and culture. Finally you will undertake your own primary research project, on a topic which excites you, and which will be presented to the seminar class.

If you are interested in this course, keep visiting, as new information will be added as the course is developed.


To complete this course students must enrol in HISTORY 700 A and B.


Coursework only

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline.

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2024

Not offered in 2024; planned for 2025


Lecturer(s) Dr Felicity Barnes


HISTORY 700A: 15 points

HISTORY 700B: 15 points