Decolonization & Postcolonial (HIST 811.2)

Recent/Current Offerings

Syllabus / Public content Section Term Instructor
HIST 811 01 January 2018 Maurice Jr Labelle
HIST 811 01 September 2017 Maurice Jr Labelle


Explores the 'civilizing mission' that accompanied the spread of colonialism. Most countries argued that their endeavours benefited those who were to be colonized. They argued that colonialism would improve the habits of the colonized in economics, culture, religion, health, and sanitation. While almost universal in the colonial context, this argument was prevalent in the period of 'late' colonialism through the latter part of the 19th century and into the early 20th century. The course concentrates on its expression in Africa and India, with occasional examples drawn from the Caribbean and elsewhere. It focuses on general discussions of the civilizing mission then explores these arguments in more detail through an examination of specific elements of the ways colonial regimes attempted to alter the behaviour of the colonized and through examinations of how the colonizers came to believe they understood the colonized.


Students may take this course more than once for credit, provided the topic covered in each offering differs substantially.

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