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Colonial & Postcolonial History


Colonial & Postcolonial History


Anno accademico 2018/2019

Codice dell'attività didattica
Federica Morelli (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Marco Mariano (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Corso di studi
Master's Degree Course in Area and global studies for international cooperation
1° anno
Periodo didattico
Secondo semestre
SSD dell'attività didattica
SPS/05 - storia e istituzioni delle americhe
Modalità di erogazione
Lingua di insegnamento
Modalità di frequenza
Tipologia d'esame
Basic knowledge of Early Modern and Modern History.

Sommario insegnamento


Obiettivi formativi

The course, focusing on different forms of colonialism and their legacies, will allow  students to mature a greater awaraness towards the cultural diversity and to understand the relationship between past and present cultures. 

It will also allow to acquire expertise on: forms of domination; interaction between different cultural groups; definitions of belonging; structuring of territories. 

The course will offer to attending students an interactive form of teaching, based on discussion of sources and bibliographical material in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. 


Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi

The learning of colonial and post-colonial socio-cultural systems will allow the formation of sensibilities, knowledge, and expertise to understand the present multicultural contexts. In particular, the learning of interpretative and methodological tools on colonial and postcolonial history will provide students with the abilities to read documents in a critical way and to analyse, classify, and put into relation complex information in a coherent form. 


Modalità di insegnamento

Classwork consists in traditional teaching and discussion of papers between teachers and students. 


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Attending students:

Students who attend classes will be asked to make a presentation on a paper, discussed with teacher and peers during the lessons. Then, they will be asked to write an essay (about 50.000 characters) based on the paper and  the discussion. This relation is aimed to check both the students' ability to organize complex knowledge and their knowledge of the discipline. This relation will be also discussed during the oral exam. 

Non attending students:

To assess the ability to apply the acquaintances learnt during the readings, a final written exam is schedeuled for non attending students. This exam will be assessed according to the following criteria: a) the acquisition of the basic expertise; b) the ability to critically reasoning on the subjects of the course.



The course explores the expansion, consolidation, management, disintegration, and impact of early modern and modern European empires, focusing on the ambiguities of identity produced by the encounter between European, American, African, Asian, and Pacific cultures. Through different case-studies and using primary and secondary sources, paintings, photographs, and film, we will explore the meanings of colonialism and its aftermath. Europe's ambivalent conquests - oscillating between attempts to project outward its own ways of understanding the world and efforts to demarcate colonizer from colonized, civilized from primitive, core from periphery- made the space of empire into a terrain where concepts were not only imposed but also engaged and contested. 

More specifically, the course will analyse the following subjects:

- The Origins of European Colonialism

- Encounter and Engagement

- Savagery and Cannibalism

- Race and racism

- Violence and exploitation

- Independence and Decolonization 

- Postcolonial Europe

Testi consigliati e bibliografia


Attending students

F. Cooper, Colonialism in Question. Theory, Knowledge, History, University of California Press, 2005. 

- Essays and articles commented during the course.


Non attending students:

A choice of two of the following books planned with the teacher:

- S. Belmessous, Native Claims : Indigenous Law against Empire, 1500-1920, New York : Oxford University Press, 2012

- L. Benton, A Search for Sovereignty : Law and Geography in European Empires, 1400-1900, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2010

- F. Bethencourt, Racisms : from the Crusades to the Twentieth century, Princeton-Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2013

- J. Burbank and F. Cooper, Empires in world history : power and the politics of difference, Princeton-Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2010

F. Cooper, Colonialism in Question. Theory, Knowledge, History, University of California Press, 2005

- F. Cooper, Citizenship between Empire and Nation : Remaking France and French Africa, 1945-1960, Princeton-Oxford : Princeton University Press, 2014

- J. Donoghue and E.P. Jennings (eds.), Building the Atlantic Empires : Unfree Labor and Imperial States in the Political Economy of Capitalism, ca. 1500-1914, Leiden-Boston : Brill, 2016

- C. Hall, Civilising Subjects : Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination, 1830-1867, Cambridge : Polity, 2002

- J. Hart, Comparing Empires : European Colonialism from Portuguese Expansion to the Spanish-American War, London, Palgrave, 2003

- T. Rizzo and S. Gerontakis, Intimate Empires : Body, Race, and Gender in the Modern World, Oxford : Oxford University press, 2016

- A. L. Stoler, F. Cooper (eds.), Tensions of Empire : Colonial Cultures in a Bourgeois World, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997


Orario lezioni

Lunedì16:00 - 18:00Aula E5 Campus Luigi Einaudi - CLE
Martedì16:00 - 18:00Aula E5 Campus Luigi Einaudi - CLE
Mercoledì16:00 - 18:00Aula E5 Campus Luigi Einaudi - CLE

Lezioni: dal 25/02/2019 al 03/04/2019



The material useful for the students will be available on the website of the course. 

Ultimo aggiornamento: 25/02/2019 10:32
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