‘The Invention and Reinvention of Decolonization’

‘The Invention and Reinvention of Decolonization’
21 June 2018, 10.00am - 22 June 2018, 5.00pm
Call for Papers
Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Was ‘decolonization’ a European invention designed to ease the ‘White Man’s Burden’ and pave the way for a neo-colonial system of extraction and dependency?  Was it a Latin American invention intended to undo ‘the colonial system?’  Or was it an Indian, French Algerian or Caribbean invention?  All the above?  Is the received ‘wave’ narrative (first, second, third, fourth waves) currently used to tell the global history of decolonization still adequate to the task?  Or would notions such as ‘invention’ and ‘reinvention’ be more useful?

Confirmed Keynotes:

Professor Stuart Ward, (University of Copenhagen), author of British Culture and the End of Empire.

Professor Dane Kennedy (George Washington University), author of Decolonization: A Very Short Introduction.

We seek papers that address any of the following:

  • When, where and how was the concept and act of ‘decolonization’ invented or reinvented?
  • The circulation and deployment of concepts or cognate concepts of decolonization and independence across linguistic and imperial spheres
  • The invention or reinvention of the concepts or cognate concepts of ‘colonialism’ and ‘anti-colonialism’
  • Assessments and critiques of the ‘waves’ narrative of decolonization
  • Case studies that engage any of the above

Please submit a 200-word abstract, paper title, and one-page biographical note copied jointly to Dr Sue Onslow  and Professor Mark Thurner by Monday 12 March 2018.

Jointly organised with the Institute of Latin American Studies.


Olga Jimenez