History 321B (101)/421B (101) Honours Tutorial: The Era of Decolonization




Course Level





The Era of Decolonization: Between 1945 and 1980, as most of Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia declared itself independent of foreign rule, the citizens of new nation-states confronted a hard reality: a clean break would be impossible. In this seminar, students will examine the different ways that people in different contexts attempted to overcome forms of colonialism both before and after new flags were lifted over new countries. We will examine cultural nationalism, the contentious politics of independence movements, the attempts of new regimes to revise or undo longstanding and unequal economic relationships, efforts to decolonize literature and scholarship, and the everyday experiences of ordinary people as they took part in what was often an experimental restructuring of sociand~

ety. In doing so, we will debate competing theories of informal imperialism and dependence, and examine the ways that independence was imagined, including alternatives that never came to be and narratives that were silenced. The course also functions as a workshop for the writing of a 15-20 page paper of original research.