Extra Credit Assignment

World Civilizations II

Summer 2015

50 points maximum

Imperialism and colonialism are forces that have indelibly shaped the modern world. Through the 19th and early 20th centuries, European powers and the United States occupied and controlled much Africa and Southeast Asia and ran it for their own benefit. This resulted in the virtual enslavement of the population and in the plundering of their wealth and natural resources. The legacies of colonialism and imperialism continue to result in social and political instability in much of the world.

For this extra credit assignment you will explore some of the history and legacies of imperialism and colonialism. To do this, you will read either Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (free download on the Amazon Kindle app, Barnes and Noble Nook app, or iBooks). You will also watch Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode on the Congo (available on Netflix or to rent or buy on or iTunes). You are then to write a 3-5 page paper explaining the work you chose to read and how it fits with the Bourdain episode and with at least three other appropriate sources to shape our understanding of imperialism and its legacies. Please note also, there will be major class lectures on this topic in the coming weeks. I will even give you one source for free if you choose to use it:

This is a major assignment that is potentially worth more than a full letter grade in the class. You are expected to treat it as such. The paper is to be appropriately proof read, edited, and cited. You are to use the history standard University of Chicago Style guide for citation ( I strongly encourage you to come to me and to make use of the Writing Center in Arts and Sciences 150 (appointment required) for help with this extra credit assignment.


  • Read Heart of Darkness 
  • Watch Anthony Bourdain, Parts Unknown  on the Congo
  • At least three academically appropriate additional sources. Wikipedia is not an appropriate source.
  • 3-5 page paper explaining the history of imperialism in Africa, how these works informs or should inform our understanding of imperialism in Africa, and how the legacy of imperialism continues to shape Africa
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