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Both our in person discussion and our reading of David Mattingly’s first chapter will have revealed that there are a variety of ways of defining imperialism, empire, and colonialism. Indeed Mattingly himself, in offering his own definitions,  also explains the challenges, limitations, and implications of defining these concepts – a theme we took up in discussion. 

In this short assignment, you will continue to explore this thread. Your task will be to read a variety of definitions of imperialism and colonialism, and to choose and analyze two definitions for each word. Your discussion should evaluate the definition along the lines we’ve already discussed: its merits, implications, assumptions, scope, and so on. You are encouraged to be creative in your search: not only dictionaries and academic sources, but potentially NGOs, pro- or anti-imperialist political organizations/websites, or even articles in other languages that you know that may bring a non-Anglophone perspective.


– This assignment should be 1.5 pages, double spaced, 1 inch margins, 12 size font. 

– Do not use Mattingly or the Oxford Classical Dictionary, since we’ve discussed these

– This is a formal writing assignment, which means that you must write in formal English and proofread your work

– You will be evaluated on the depth of your reflection and analysis (how much thought you put in to discovering and unpacking the definitions you provide); your choice in selecting the definitions that you (how interesting / telling they are; how much thought you put in find them from interesting or surprising sources), and ultimately, on the quality of your writing. This assignment should show that you understand what’s at stake in how we define these loaded terms.