Mar 27

Anti-Colonialism: Struggles, Connections, and Imaginations

Guest Lecturer: Hanan Sabea, Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology

Bio for Hanan Sabea


Anti-colonialism in Africa is a process of both struggle and imagination of a different kind of societal order that is not limited to the de-colonization moment nor has necessarily ended with the achievement of political independence. The connections between different places and people (across social categories, countries, colonial empires and continents) were(are) fundamental in shaping the meanings, strategies and course of anti-colonial struggles in Africa. In examining these connections over time, we will focus on: 1) the struggles of the masses: women; workers; trader unions; peasants; students; religious groups and how they shaped the consciousness of and against colonial formations; 2) the intellectual and political formation of a group of nationalists who presented a new imaginary of society and pursued various paths politically, socially and economically in actualizing such a vision; 3) the influence of the movement of ideas and people across the US, France, the Caribbean, England and Africa.


I. Terms, Concepts and Historiographies
     a. resistance, revolt and rebellion
     b. anti- and de-colonial
     c. contextualizing people in time and place
     d. connections across
II. The threads and nodes of struggle
     a. revolts of the "masses"
     b. leaders and intellectuals
     c. moving figures and ideas
III. Paths towards political independence
     a. institutions, parties and conferences (West and East Africa)
     b. strikes and revolts
     c. international diplomacy
     d. visions of societies-to-be
IV. Is Independence the end of the road of anti-colonialism?


Curtin, P. et al. 1978. "African Resistance and the Liquidation of the European Empire" in African History pp. 575-592.

Ranger, Terrence. 1986. "Resistance in Africa: From Nationalist Revolt to Agrarian Protest" in Resistance Studies in African, Caribbean and Afro-American History. Gary Okihiro (ed.). Pp. 32-52.

von Eschen, Penny. 1997. "The Making of the Politics of the African Diaspora" in Race Against Empire. Black Americans and Anti-colonialism, 1937-1957. Pp.7-21.