Connected Histories of Decolonisation Workshop, Senate House, 13-14 November 2014

Connected Histories of Decolonisation

 A two-day workshop organised by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in conjunction with the Centre for European and International Studies Research at the University of Portsmouth and King’s College London

The Senate Room, Senate House (First Floor)


Thursday 13th November 2014

11-11.30: Coffee and welcome

11.30-13.00: Panel 1 – Creating spaces, connections and networks of resistance

  • Clemens Hoffmann (Bilkent University) – Anti-colonial empires and the creation of Afroasian spaces of resistance
  • James Renton (Edge Hill) – The Theatre of the anti-colonial nation: colonial Asia in the age of nationality
  • Uma Kothari (University of Manchester) – Contesting colonial rule: transnational networks of resistance and the politics of exile

13.00-14.00: Lunch

14.00-15.30: Panel 2 – Competing narratives of decolonisation

  • Andrew Kuech (The New School of Social Research, New York) – Duelling Chinese nationalism: a postcolonial confrontation with American power
  • Tim Livsey (King’s College London) – Connected histories of decolonisation and development: the United States, Britain and African universities
  • Robert S. G. Fletcher (University of Exeter) – Decolonisation and the arid world

15.30-16.00: Tea

 16.00-17:30: Panel 3 – Connected histories of nationalism

  • Thomas Sharp (Oxford Brookes) – A transnational nationalism: the UPC and the decolonisation of Cameroon, 1948-1961
  • Camille Evrard (University of Paris I) – Morocco, France and the UN in the Mauritanian decolonization process
  • Marta Musso (University of Cambridge) – Decolonisation and oil politics: economic interdependence and struggle for self-determination

17.30-17.45: Short break

17.45-18.45: Panel 4 – Networks, models and interconnections 

  • Bruno C. Reis (ICS-UL) – The trauma of Belgium decolonization in Portugal: real impact or legitimizing discourse?
  • Nathalie Mrgudovic (Aston University) – The Cook Islands: a new model of decolonisation for New Caledonia?


Friday 14th November 2014

9-9.30: Coffee

9.30-11.00: Panel 5Diplomacy, development and domestic influences on British decolonisation and its aftermath

  • Andrew W M Smith (UCL/ University of Chichester) – ‘Information about empire’: British overseas representation and Francophone Africa
  • Charlotte Riley (University of York) – ‘Overseas aid is no longer a form of charity’: Britain, decolonisation and the UN decade of development
  • Rosalind Coffey (LSE) – British press coverage of the Sharpeville massacre

 11.00-11.30: Coffee

11.30-13.00: Panel 6 – France in Anglophone Africa

  • Joanna Warson (University of Portsmouth) – A French vision of Africa: Franco-African relations beyond colonialism and Francophone Africa
  • Anna Konieczna (Sciences Po, Paris) – The dialogue with Pretoria or a dialogue at cross purposes
  • Roel van der Velde (University of Portsmouth) – Marketing helicopters to Pretoria: reconstructing parallel French and South African military and industrial development, 1955-1977

13.00-14.00: Lunch 

14.00-15.30: Panel 7 – Forced labour

  • Romain Tiquet (Humboldt University at Berlin/ForcedLabourAfrica) – Accident at work or “self-inflicted” wounds in Senegalese penal camps ? Administrative archive and colonial order
  • Víctor Fernández Soriano (University of Thessaly, Greece/ForcedLabourAfrica) – The Belgian enigma: reform and stagnation in the Province of Equateur, Belgian Congo (1945-1960)
  • Alexander Keese (Humboldt University at Berlin/ForcedLabourAfrica) – Business as usual: repressive practices, the “vagabond problem”, and labour policies in the Middle Congo (1945-1968)

15.30-16.00: Tea

 16.00-17.00: Panel 8 – Human rights, anti-imperialist nationalism, decolonisation: mapping the global impact of the August 1941 Atlantic Charter

  • Martin Evans (University of Sussex) – From the general to the specific: the regional impact of the Atlantic Charter in Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia
  • Clive Webb (University of Sussex) – African Americans, the Atlantic Charter and the global Civil Rights movement

17.00-17.30: Concluding round table discussion


To register for this event, please visit the Institute of Commonwealth Studies website.

CFP: Progress, change and development: past, present and future

Progress, change and development: past, present and future

An international conference, to be held at University of Portsmouth, 4- 6 June 2015, with the generous support of the Centre for European and International Studies Research and the Society for the Study of French History.

First call for papers

The aim of this interdisciplinary conference will be to bring some of the generation who were involved in attempts to bring about change in the 1960s and 1970s together with researchers, theorists, practitioners, activists from the younger generations today. It will examine and debate how progress and development were conceptualised, practised and imagined during the periods of national liberation struggles, of decolonisation and its aftermath, of political and social upheaval and change. It will analyse successes and failures on all levels and explore new ways of thinking that are being developed at the present time, particularly those that break with the prevailing consensus.

By bringing the different generations into contact and interaction with each other, it is hoped to create a forum to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and understanding of the earlier period, on the one hand, and the expression and elaboration of new ideas of progress and development and how they might be achieved, on the other.

It will look at specific struggles in North and Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, as well as the international links connecting these movements. Possible themes will include the following:

  • National liberation and nation-building
  • Globalisation and anti-capitalism
  • Transnational movements
  • Economic and social development
  • Theoretical, philosophical and other considerations
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Education and new academic approaches
  • Young people
  • Progress in the cultural field
  • Media, information and communication

Confirmed speakers include Samir Amin (Third World Forum, Dakar), Alice Cherki (psychoanalyst), Beïda Chikhi (Université de Paris – Sorbonne), Catherine Lévy (CNRS) and Jacques Sauvageot (Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Rennes).

Proposed papers should be 20 minutes in length, in English or in French. Please send an abstract of no more than 250 words to the organisers, Prof Margaret Majumdar and Dr Joanna Warson, at by Friday 7th November 2014.


Progrès et développement: hier, aujourd’hui et demain

Colloque international, Université de Portsmouth, Royaume-Uni, 4-6 juin 2015.

Premier appel à communications

L’objectif de ce colloque pluridisciplinaire est de faciliter la rencontre entre les générations – plus précisément, entre ceux qui œuvraient pour le changement économique, social et politique dans les années soixante et soixante-dix et ceux de la génération actuelle (jeunes chercheurs, théoriciens, militants, artistes) qui travaillent aujourd’hui dans le même domaine. On examinera comment, au cours de cette époque des luttes de libération nationale, de la décolonisation et ses suites, des bouleversements politiques et sociaux, les notions de progrès et de développement étaient théorisées, mises en œuvre en pratique et imaginées. On analysera des réussites et des échecs sur tous les plans, en même temps qu’on explorera les nouveaux modes de pensée qui se développent à l’heure actuelle, surtout ceux qui rompent avec le consensus dominant et la pensée normalisée.

En mettant en contact les générations différentes et en facilitant cette interaction, on espère créer un espace pour la transmission des connaissances par rapport à l’époque antérieure, en même temps que l’expression et l’élaboration de nouvelles idées sur le progrès et le développement tout comme les possibilités et les modalités de leur mise en œuvre.

Le colloque examinera des luttes spécifiques en Afrique du Nord et Sub-Saharienne, Asie, Europe, Amérique du Nord et du Sud, ainsi que les liens internationaux entre ces mouvements. Parmi les thèmes possibles on citera les suivants:

  • Libération nationale et construction de la nation
  • Mondialisation et anticapitalisme
  • Mouvements transnationaux
  • Développement économique et social
  • Questions de théorie, pensée et réflexion philosophique
  • Race
  • Sexe
  • Pédagogie et nouvelles formations universitaires
  • Jeunesse
  • Progrès culturel
  • Médias, information et communication

Parmi les conférenciers invités : Samir Amin (Third World Forum, Dakar), Alice Cherki (psychanalyste), Beïda Chikhi (Université de Paris – Sorbonne), Catherine Lévy (CNRS) and Jacques Sauvageot (Ecole des Beaux-Arts de Rennes).

Ce colloque accueillera des contributions d’une durée de 20 minutes maximum, en anglais ou en français. Les organisateurs Prof Margaret Majumdar et Dr Joanna Warson, vous invitent à soumettre des propositions de communication de 250 mots maximum à Date limite: le 7 novembre 2014.