Colonial Conflict and Decolonization 1918-1975: Context (HIH3251)
|Staff||Professor Martin Thomas - Convenor|
|Pre-requisites||At least 90 credits in History at level 1 and/or level 2|
|Duration of Module||Term 1: 11 weeks; Term 2: 11 weeks;|
This module will analyse the conflicts and pressures – social, economic, cultural and political – that contributed to European withdrawals from empire in the half century after the First World War. It will concentrate on four centres of European colonial power: North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia); sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South-East Asia. Geographically, the inter-war period marked the zenith of European colonial power. Yet if anything, the ‘imperial trajectory’ of colonial powers was downward. Imperial decline became more widely anticipated as the material costs of colonial control surged ahead. Imperialistic visions of empires reborn after the shattering experience of the First World War were at odds with the impoverishment of colonial populations, the growth of organised anti-colonial nationalism, the failure of reform projects, and the limited impact of popular imperialism on domestic populations. Students will be asked to question the parts played by Europeans and indigenous peoples in shaping the course of decolonization. Key issues addressed include the role of organised colonial nationalism in decolonization, the importance of empire in European politics and culture, and the development of colonial conflicts after 1945. Concepts of decolonization, the colonial state, transfers of power, and neo-colonialism will be explored through case-studies of individual colonies.
ILO: Module-specific skills
- 1. Develop a broad and detailed knowledge of the different meanings attached to key concepts in European decolonization in the modern period
- 2. Make close specialist evaluation of the key developments within the period, developed through independant study and seminar work.
ILO: Discipline-specific skills
- 3. Analyse the key developments within the history of decolonization
- 4. Focus on and comprehend complex issues
- 5. Understand and apply historical theories of imperialism
- 6. Follow shifting, and often complex, colonial discourse across the period
ILO: Personal and key skills
- 7. Independently and autonomously study and also work within a group, including presentation of material for group discussion, developed through the mode of learning
- 8. Digest, select and organise material to produce, to a deadline, a coherent and cogent argument, developed through the mode of assessment
- 9. Present complex arguments orally.
The module will investigate the following subjects: European empires after the First World War; inter-war colonial reform and methods of rule; popular imperialism in Britain and France; colonialism and international politics; the Second World War and colonial change; constitutional renovation and post-war decolonization; colonial conflicts and ‘popular liberation struggles’ in Africa and Asia.
Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)
|Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities||Guided independent study||Placement / study abroad|
Details of learning activities and teaching methods
|Category||Hours of study time||Description|
|Scheduled learning and teaching activities||44||Seminars (22x2hr)|
|Guided independent study||256||Reading and preparation for seminars and presentations|
|Form of assessment||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Seminar discussion||Ongoing through course||1-7, 9||Verbal from tutor and fellow students.|
Summative assessment (% of credit)
|Coursework||Written exams||Practical exams|
Details of summative assessment
|Form of assessment||% of credit||Size of the assessment (eg length / duration)||ILOs assessed||Feedback method|
|Essay||25||3000 words||1-8||Verbal and written|
|Unseen Exam||50||2 questions in 2 hours||1-8||Verbal and written|
|Essay||25||3000 words||1-8||verbal and written|
Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)
|Original form of assessment||Form of re-assessment||ILOs re-assessed||Timescale for re-assessment|
|Two essays||Two essays||1-8||Referral/deferral period.|
|Unseen exam||Unseen exam||1-8||Referral/deferral period|
Indicative learning resources - Basic reading
Robert Aldrich, Greater France. A History of French Overseas Expansion (London: Macmillan, 1996)
Tony Chafer, The End of Empire in West Africa. France’s Successful Decolonization? (Oxford: Berg, 2002)
Alice L. Conklin, A Mission to Civilize. The Republican Idea of Empire in France and West Africa, 1895-1930 (Stanford University Press, 1997)
Matthew Connolly, A Diplomatic Revolution: Algeria’s Fight for Independence and the Origins of the Post-Cold War Era (Oxford University Press, 2002).
John Darwin, Britain and Decolonization. The Retreat from Empire in the Post-War World (London: Macmillan, 1988)
Prasenjit Duara, Decolonization. Perspectives from Now and Then (London: Routledge, 2004).
Martin Thomas, Fight or Flight: Britain, France sand their Roads from Empire (Oxford University Press, 2014)
Martin Thomas, Bob Moore & L. J. Butler, Crises of Empire: Decolonisation and Europe’s Imperial States, 1918-1975 (London: Bloomsbury, 2015)
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