10925 European Colonialism: Theory, Praxis and Resistance 1

Credits: 6 advanced credits in Political Science & International Relations

Prerequisites: 36 credits, including one of the following: The Emergence of New States in Africa, Introduction to International Relations, or Genocide. Students must also fulfill all English requirements and bibliographic instruction in the library.

Author: Ruth Ginio

Colonialism and imperialism are related to two waves of European expansion. The first wave includes the early voyages of exploration to the Americas, which began at the end of the 15th century, and the search for trade routes to the Far East. The second wave, which is the focus of this course, involves the European race to secure colonies in Asia and Africa towards the end of the 19th century, in which many countries took part – Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Italy.

The course examines colonialism as a historical, political, social and cultural phenomenon, and focuses on the period from the end of the 19th century to the mid-20th century, and on the European takeover (mainly by Britain and France) of widespread areas in Asia and almost all of Africa. While focusing on the above, the course approaches colonialism as a broad historical phenomenon and addresses the activities of additional colonial powers.

Topics: Part I: Definition of terms – colonialism, imperialism, colonies; Development of scientific racism in 19th century Europe; Factors underlying European colonial expansion in Asia and Africa; Colonial propaganda in Europe – colonialism in exhibitions, cinema and advertising. Part II: The relationship between knowledge and power; Exploitation of economic and human resources in the colonies; The “cultural mission” of European colonialism; Dependence of colonialism on intermediaries; Cultural influence of the colonies on the colonial powers. Part III: Anti-colonialism in the colonies and in Europe; Colonialism in the aftermath of the colonial period; The legacy of colonialism in Europe and the former colonies.

1Students may write a seminar paper in this course, although it is not required.