History of Colonial and Post-colonial Spaces
History of Colonial and Post-colonial Spaces
Anno accademico 2019/2020
- Codice dell'attività didattica
- Prof. Lorenzo Kamel (Titolare del corso)
- Corso di studi
- laurea magistrale in Scienze storiche
- 1° anno 2° anno
- SSD dell'attività didattica
- M-STO/04 - storia contemporanea
- Modalità di erogazione
- Lingua di insegnamento
- Modalità di frequenza
- Tipologia d'esame
- L'insegnamento sarà attivo dall'a.a. 2019-2020
The course, held in English, intends to provide a critical and interdisciplinary analysis of the policy and ideology of European colonial expansion between the opening of the Suez Canal (1869) and the outbreak of the First World War, a period characterized by unprecedented competition for overseas territorial acquisitions and the emergence in colonising countries of doctrines of racial superiority. Students will acquire a top-down and a bottom-up perspective on the process of ‘simplification’ registered in colonial contexts and will be required to adopt a comparative approach that takes on board the Middle East and other geographical contexts directly affected by colonial rule and conflicts, including and particularly African countries and India.
Risultati dell'apprendimento attesi
The first part of the course provides an analytical frame to imperialism, colonialism and post-colonial studies, – a field of studies largely dominated by literary scholars and much less by historians – uncovering contacts, developments, and cultural and political convergences that unite disparate regions subject to imperial or colonial rule. Much attention will be given to the Indian and African contexts, as well as to several key-concepts commonly adopted to approach a number of post-colonial spaces, including “tribes”, “sects”, “races”, “minorities”.
The second part of the course will focus on the Middle East. We will assess what the region is currently experiencing by challenging a hegemonic discourse (“medievalization” of the region) and observing, also through bottom-up perspectives, the historical process through which local complex and multifaceted realities have been simplified, homogeneized, and denied in their historical continuities. This aim will be accomplished by focusing on the “long nineteenth century” of the Middle East, – framed by the late Donald Quataert between Bonaparte’s invasion of Egypt (1798) and the beginning of the League of Nations’ mandates (1922) – that has also been dubbed by a number of scholars as the “reform century”: from the early reforms (1808-1839) under Sultan Mahmud II until the 1908 Young Turk Revolution.
Modalità di insegnamento
Frontal lectures, students' presentations, use of media, class discussion.
Students’ presentations should be organized in the following way: 1) present the thesis that the reading proposes; 2) summarize the main arguments used by the author to support the thesis; 3) present your comments on the article; 4) raise a number of questions to be discussed in class.
Modalità di verifica dell'apprendimento
Grades in this course will be based on the following assignments:
Class participation 40%
Oral presentations 20%
Final examination 40%
Grading criteria for participation:
- Demonstration of reading assigned materials prior to class
- Contribution to discussion
- Ability to critically analyze the readings
Grading criteria for oral presentation:
- Well-organized and clear structure (the presentation has a clear Intro, body, and conclusion)
- Demonstration of understanding the main ideas/thesis that the article intends to propose
- Raise critical comments to readings
- Raise questions to be discussed in the class
Grading criteria for final exam:
- 8 multiple choice & 8 open questions: all taken from the "required readings" only
Attending students will prepare the readings following the schedule which will be distributed at the beginning of the course. All teaching materials for attending students will be made available to students in a dedicated page on dropbox during the first lesson.
The following reading list is divided into 12 parts (each corresponding to a 3 hours lesson), followed by 2 final “laboratories”. Students are asked to prepare the required readings carefully, in order to be able to participate to class discussions. They will be asked to send to me 2 or 3 questions/inputs regarding the content of the required reading of each lesson, within the evening before the lesson.
Additionally, each week one student (in turn) will be asked to prepare a short oral presentation (no longer than 15 minutes) on one source included in the reading list (see below). The list of presentations will be agreed during the first lesson.
Lesson 1: Overview of the course (presentation of the syllabus; audiovisual tools; hashtags; journals; archives) and preliminary inputs
Suggested reading: S. Ahmed, Strange Encounters in Post-Coloniality, Routledge, London 2000, chapter 1 and M. Langan, Neo-Colonialism and the Poverty ‘Development’ in Africa, Palgrave, London 2018, chapter 6 (“Security, Development, and Neo-Colonialism”).
Lesson 2: Framing Imperialism, Colonialism and “Post-Colonialism”: on the Relevance of Histoire Croisée
Required reading: R. JC Young, Postcolonial Remains, in “New Literary History”, 43(1), Winter 2012, pp. 19-41 and J. Tully, Lineages of Contemporary Imperialism, in D. Kelly (ed.), Lineages of Empire: The Historical Roots of British Imperial Thought, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2009, chapter 1.
Presentation delivered by one student: A. Loomba, Situating Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, 1998, Routledge, London 1998, pp. 19-39, and A.B. Dobie, Theory into Practice, Wadsworth, Boston 2012, chapter 10, or G. Heng, The Invention of Race in the European Middle Ages, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2018, chapter 3.
Lesson 3: Identifying and discussing stereotypes on the Middle East and beyond
Required reading: Required reading: A.L. Stoler, Duress: Imperial Durabilities in our Times, Duke University Press, Durham 2016, pp. 3-14, and Wael B. Hallaq, Restating Orientalism: A Critique of Modern Knowledge, Columbia UP, New York 2018, ch. 1.
Presentation delivered by one student: E. Said, Orientalism, Pantheon, New York 1978, Introduction & L. Kamel, The impact of “Biblical Orientalism”, «New Middle Eastern Studies», 4, 2014, pp. 1-15. Available on-line: http://www.brismes.ac.uk/nmes/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/NMES2014Kamel.pdf
Lesson 4: Islam in colonial and post-colonial spaces
Required reading: T. Sonn, Islam, Wiley-Blackwell, New York 2015, chapter 1.
Presentation delivered by one student: S. Ahmed, What is Islam?, Princeton UP, Princeton 2015, chapter 1 and J. Cole, Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires, Nation Books, New York 2018, Preface & chapter 1.
Lesson 5: India, Africa and the Middle East in a comparative perspective
Required reading: J. Burbank, F. Cooper, Empires in World History, Princeton University Press, Princeton 2010, pp. 306-321. And: L. Robson, Colonialism and Christianity, Univ. of Texas Press, Austin 2011, chapter 2.
Presentation delivered by one student: N.W. Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind, Heinemann, Portsmouth 1986, chapter 1.
Lesson 6: Africa: On and Beyond Colonialism(s) and Neo-Colonialism(s)
Required reading: O. Táíwò, How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa, Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2010, chapter 1 (“Colonialism: A Philosophical Profile”).
Presentation delivered by one student: M. Langan, Neo-Colonialism and the Poverty ‘Development’ in Africa, Palgrave, London 2018, chapter 1. (“Neo-Colonialism and Nkrumah: Recovering a Critical Concept”). Or: F. Cooper, Africa since 1940: the past of the present, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2009, chapter 4 (“Ending Empire and imagining the future”)
Lesson 7: Forging a Usable Past: the Rising of the “Indian Empire”
Required reading: M. Fárek, D. Jalki, S. Pathan, P. Shah (eds.), Western Foundations of the Caste System, Palgrave, London 2017, pp. 1-29, and O. Aziz, Blighted by Empire: What the British Did to India, in “Los Angeles Review of Books”, Sept. 1, 2018, available on-line: https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/blighted-by-empire-what-the-british-did-to-india/
Presentation delivered by one student: A. Shodhan, Decolonising the Partition of British India, 1947, The Historian, Summer 2017, pp. 20-25, or E. Hobsbawm, The Invention of Tradition, Cambridge UP, Cambridge 1983, introduction.
Watching and discussing the documentary: “British Occupation of India”
Lesson 8: The Ottoman Empire: toward the “Eastern Question”
Required reading: W. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press, Boulder 2012, chapter 4, and L. Kamel, Imperial Perceptions of Palestine: British Influence and Power in Late Ottoman Times, 1854-1923, I.B. Tauris, London and New York 2015, pp. 52-57.
Presentation delivered by one student: B. Tucker, The Eastern Question, in Bible and the Sword, New York University Press, New York 1956, chapter 9 and N.F. Hermes. Be(yond)fore Orientalism: Medieval Muslims and the other, in N.F. Hermes, The [European] Other in Medieval Arabic Literature and Culture, Palgrave, New York 2012, pp. 1-10. In alternative to Hermes’s work: D.G. König, Arab-Islamic Views of the Latin West, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015, chapter 1.
Lesson 9: World War I and the Post-Ottoman Order
Required reading: W. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press, Boulder 2012, chapter 9.
Presentation delivered by one student: B.Milton-Edwards, Colonial Rule, in Contemporary Politics in the Middle East, Polity Press, Cambridge 2015, pp. 26-37.
Lesson 10: The Clash of Nationalisms
Required reading: A. Dowty, Arab and Jews in Ottoman Palestine, Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2019, chapter 3 (“Two worlds collide”) and L. Kamel, Imperial Perceptions of Palestine: British Influence and Power in Late Ottoman Times, 1854-1923, I.B. Tauris, London and New York 2015, chapter 4.
Presentation delivered by one student: Y. Zerubavel, Desert and Settlement, in J. Baruch (ed.), Jewish Topographies: Visions of Space, Traditions of Place, Ashgate, Aldershot 2008, chapter 4.
Lesson 11: The Mandates’ System and the Wilsonian approach to self-determination
Required reading: L. Kamel, Imperial Perceptions of Palestine: British Influence and Power in Late Ottoman Times, 1854-1923, I.B. Tauris, London and New York 2015, chapter 7.
Presentation delivered by one student: H. Al-Rustom, "Rethinking the 'Post-Ottoman': Anatolian Armenians as an Ethnographic Perspective", in S. Altorki (ed.), A Companion to the Anthropology of the Middle East, Wiley Blackwell, Chichester 2015, pp. 452-472. Or: B. Morris, D. Ze'evi, The Thirty-Year Genocide, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (MA) 2019, introduction.
Lesson 12: The Struggle for Independence
Required reading: W. Cleveland, A History of the Modern Middle East, Westview Press, Boulder 2012, chapters 11 and 12.
Presentation delivered by one student: A. Al-Arian, Muslim Brotherhood Between Past and Present. Available on-line: https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2017/02/muslim-brotherhood-trump-terror-list-170201090317237.html
“Laboratory” n. 1: The Role of Slave Trades
Required reading: R.C. Davis, Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800, Palgrave, New York 2014, chapter 1 (“How Many Slaves?”).
Presentation delivered by one student: H. Thomas, The Slave Trade, Simon & Schuster, New York 1999, Epilogue (“The Slave Trade: A Reflection”)
“Laboratory” n. 2: Borders, States, Nations
Required reading: L. Kamel, Beyond ‘Artificiality’: Borders, Nations, States, in L. Kamel, The Middle East from Empire to Sealed Identities, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019, chapter 7.
Presentation delivered by one student: F. Dundar, "Statisquo", Brandeis University's Crown Center for Middle East Studies, Boston 2012, paper 7, pp. 1-18, available at: http://www.brandeis.edu/crown/publications/cp/CP7.pdf. Alternatively, it is possible to opt for: S. Shields, Mosul Questions: Economy Identity and Annexation, in R.S. Simon (ed.), The Creation of Iraq 1914-1921, Columbia University Press, New York 2004, chapter 3.
Testi consigliati e bibliografia
The required readings for attending students are listed in the program above.
Non-attending students are requested to study 3 among the following 4 books to prepare their final oral exam (that will be held in English):
A.L. Stoler, Duress: Imperial Durabilities in our Times, Duke University Press, Durham 2016
O. Táíwò, How Colonialism Preempted Modernity in Africa, Indiana University Press, Bloomington 2010
L. Kamel, The Middle East from Empire to Sealed Identities, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh 2019
S.S. Amrith, Crossing the Bay of Bengal, Harvard UP, Cambridge (MA) 2013