HIS32480 Anticolonial Thought in the Twentieth Century

Academic Year 2020/2021

Though empires have been the dominant form of state organization for much of human history, it was only in the late nineteenth century that the concept and critique of imperial-ism as a structure and as a totalizing system, began to be formulated. From that point onward and for much of the twentieth century, political thinkers and activists have asked: A) What is imperialism as a global system? B) What is morally wrong with it? C) How could and should it be dismantled? And D) what forms of more just political organisation might replace it?

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

- Understand and compare how various thinkers understood imperialism as a problem.
- Contextualise the thought of individual anticolonial thinkers.
- Analyse ideas through comparison and contextualisation.
- Understand the primary methodological questions at the heart of intellectual history.
- Relate historical developments in Ireland with those that occurred across the post and anticolonial world.

Indicative Module Content:

The objective of this module is to examine the myriad responses that thinkers from across the globe offered to these questions. We will examine the thought of Lenin, Gandhi, Fanon, WEB Dubois, Nkrumah, CLR James, Nasser, Khomeini, Mao and others, alongside more the more familiar protagonists of Irish history such as Roger Casement and Padraig Pearse. In reading these figures alongside one another, we will come to appreciate their ideas outside the national/ist frameworks through which they are most often understood and instead see them as thinkers of world-changing importance.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Seminar (or Webinar)


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a small-group, seminar-based module. It is taught through a one-hour weekly lecture and a two-hour seminar. The weekly lecture provides an overview of the week s topic, focusing upon key historical trends, debates and events. The weekly seminar is focused upon individual active / task-based learning by means of class debates, discussion and student presentations. Advanced research, writing and citation skills are developed through a combined individual student presentation, primary source written analysis, and a semester-long 4,000 word research project. Autonomous learning is advanced through student-led debate and
discussion of set primary sources and / or student presentations each week.
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Presentation: Each student will do a presentation and submit 1,500 word outline on a thinker of their choice. Feedback will be given on this to be incorporated into final research project. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: Final research paper (4,000 words) to be submitted on an individual thinker or group of associated anticolonial thinkers examined in the semester. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Students will be evaluated on their weekly participation throughout the semester. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, on an activity or draft prior to summative assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment
• Peer review activities

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Students will receive feedback on their oral presentations, which they should use to write their final essay.

Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.

Seminar Offering 1 Week(s) - 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 Thurs 09:00 - 10:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31 Wed 12:00 - 12:50