HST2514: Decolonisation 

20 credits (semester 2)

Module Leader: Dr Simon Stevens


Module Summary

In 1945, much of Africa and Asia was ruled by European empires. Three decades later what had come to be known as the “Third World” was made up almost entirely of independent nation states. This module examines why and how this global transformation occurred, and what its consequences have been. We will pay particular attention to the ideas of historical actors – from anticolonial nationalists to European imperial rulers – about what a world after empire would look like and how to bring it about. And we will explore why some of these visions succeeded while others failed and are now forgotten.


This module aims to:
1. Provide students with a critical understanding of the history of postwar decolonisation as a global process;
2. Provide students with a critical understanding of decolonisation in specific national contexts, through selected case studies;
3. Enable students to evaluate critically different scholarly interpretations of the causes, nature, and consequences of decolonisation;
4. Develop students’ abilities to articulate their own arguments both orally and in writing.

Teaching and Assessment

The module will be taught through eleven lecture workshops and eleven seminars. Lectures will introduce students to the basic historical and historiographical context and prime students on pertinent issues and sources. Some of these sessions will take a straight-forward lecture format, but several will expect students to contribute by engaging with key questions in groups. Seminars will provide opportunities for students to present their ideas and interpretations to the wider group. They will be based on systematic study of primary and secondary materials prepared in advance and will involve student-led discussions in order to enhance team-working, presentational and interpretative skills.

Further guidance is provided in the module course booklet, available through MOLE.

Information on assessment can be found at: http://www.sheffield.ac.uk/history/current_students/undergraduate/assessment/level2

 Suggested Reading

To Follow

Intended Learning Outcomes
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