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Decolonising History/Histories of Decolonisation


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How do we connect histories of decolonisation to conversations about decolonising the curriculum? In our Decolonising History/Histories of Decolonisation short course we explore this question by taking a critical approach to practices of history making.

We begin by looking at the emergence of critical theory around the breakdown of colonial and imperial regimes, and we consider how various thinkers interpreted the past and envisioned new futures for a world without empires. We then focus on how social and political structures of colonial empires broke down (or were reconstituted) after the Second World War, focusing particularly on connections in and beyond Africa through Mediterranean, Atlantic and Indian Ocean worlds.

In the second half of the course, we look at methods of historical practice, for instance how historians might take the questions raised by, and in histories of, decolonisation and apply them to our own practices. Then we move to considering more recent trends in thinking about race, empire and subjectivity. Finally, we ask what sources might inform a decolonised historical practice as we consider ongoing collaborations and collectives whose goal is to change the futures of history.

On this short course we plan to cover the following themes:

  • An emergent decolonial consciousness
  • Temporalities and antecedents: eighteenth-century Atlantic revolutions and the ‘Wilsonian Moment’
  • Ending empire 1: processes, events, frameworks
  • Ending empire 2: violence of decolonisation (Algerian War and Mau Mau)
  • Rethinking geographies 1: the Black Mediterranean
  • Rethinking geographies 2: hubs of decolonisation - Cairo, Paris, Lisbon, Lusaka, London
  • Race, empire and subjectivity
  • Intimate spaces, intimate times: embodied experiences and imperial afterlives
  • Migrants, immigrants/decolonising economies
  • Researching and remembering decolonisation

This postgraduate-level course is assessed via a 5000-word essay.

30 credits at level 7

  • Entry requirements

    Entry requirements

    Most of our short courses have no formal entry requirements and are open to all students.

    This short course has no prerequisites.

    As part of the enrolment process, you may be required to submit a copy of a suitable form of ID.

    International students who wish to come to the UK to study a short course can apply for a Visitor visa. Please note that it is not possible to obtain a Student visa to study a short course.

  • How to apply

    How to apply

    You register directly onto the classes you would like to take. Classes are filled on a first-come, first-served basis - so apply early. If you wish to take more than one short course, you can select each one separately and then register onto them together via our online application portal. There is usually no formal selection process, although some modules may have prerequisites and/or other requirements, which will be specified where relevant.