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Anno accademico 2021/2022

Codice dell'attività didattica
Prof. Federica Morelli (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Tommaso Bobbio (Titolare dell'insegnamento)
Corso di studi
Master's Degree Course in Area and global studies for international cooperation
1° anno
Periodo didattico
Primo 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.
It is strongly recommended that students who did not take any exam in history read the following text : Wolfgang Reinhard, A Short History of Colonialism (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 2011).

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

Lesson will be in presence. Yet, due to the uncertainties of Covid-19 pandemic, the course may  adopt a blended methodology, thorugh online live classes, group work, weekly engagement and discussion. 


Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento

Attending students:

For attending students, the assessment procedure is based on active participation during class (20%), presentation of an essay agreed with the teacher (30% of the final grade), and a written exam in which the student will have to answer to open-ended questions (50% of the final grade). The written 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.

Non attending students:

To assess the ability to apply the acquaintances learnt during the readings, a final written exam is scheduled 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.

Non attending students must write their program in the notes section when they register for the exam. 



The course explores the expansion, consolidation, management, disintegration, and impact of early modern and modern European empires, with a specific aim to understand the impact and cultural legacies of colonial domination around the world. Through different case-studies and using primary and secondary sources, paintings, photographs, and videos, we will explore the meanings of colonialism and its aftermath. In particular, this year's class will focus on implications, effects and consequences of the encounter between European and native societies, slavery and forced labour, the networks of mobility that these created, and the culture of subalternity that came along with it.

More specifically, the course will analyse the following subjects:

- The Origins of European Colonialism

- Encounter and Engagement

- Mobility and Diaspora

- Slavery and Forced Labour

- Race and racism

- Identity and Violence

- Independence and Decolonization 

Testi consigliati e bibliografia

Colonialism in Question. Theory, Knowledge, History
Anno pubblicazione:  
University of California Press
F. Cooper
Note testo:  
Testo per non frequentanti.

Attending students

- Essays and articles commented during the course.


Non attending students:

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

and one of the following books planned with the teacher:

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

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

- R. Blackburn, The American crucible : slavery, emancipation and human rights 
London-New York : Verso, 2011. 

- J. Breman, Taming the coolie beast: plantation society and the colonial order in southeast Asia, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1989.

- J. Breman, Labour Bondage in West India, from past to present, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2007.

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

- D. Chakrabarty, Provincilizing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference, Princeton-Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2000.

- 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.

- A. Stanziani, Bondage : labor and rights in Eurasia from the sixteenth to the early twentieth centuries, New York ; Oxford : Berghahn, 2016. 

- G. Pandey, The Construction of Communalism in Colonial North India, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.

- N. Bhattacharya, The Great Agrarian Conquest: the Colonial Reshaping of the Rural World,  New Delhi: Permanent Black, 2019.


Non attending students must write their program in the notes section when they register for the exam. 



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

Please, enrol online in moodle also if you do not intend to attend the classes - this will facilitate communication between the instructor and the students.


Student's participation in class is strongly recommended. For those who are unable to come, mainly for health reasons, classes will be streamed live on Webex at the following link:


The password is available on the class' Moodle page 


Ultimo aggiornamento: 29/01/2022 17:50
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