Sociology Index


Cultural Colonialism

Colonialism is a systematic negation of a nation and a furious determination to deny the people of a nation all attributes of humanity. Colonialism is political domination of one nation over another that is institutionalized in direct political administration by the colonial power.

Colonialism controls all economic relationships and a systematically attempts to transform the culture of the subject nation. Colonialism usually involves extensive immigration from the colonial power into the colony and the immigrants taking on roles as landowners, business people and professionals.

Colonialism is a form of imperialism. Though colonialism is often used interchangeably with imperialism, the latter is often used more broadly as it covers control exercised informally as well as formally.

Despite the decolonization in the 1960s-70s, former colonies still are today for the most part under strong Western influence. Critics of this continued Western influence talk of neocolonialism.

The main difference between neocolonialism and internal colonialism is the source of exploitation. In the former, the control comes from outside the nation-state, while in the latter it comes from within.

The MA in Culture and Colonialism is a multi-disciplinary taught Masters of Arts programme. It is designed for graduates from the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. It was established to further an understanding of the meanings of ‘colonialism,’ 'imperialism,' ‘post-colonialism,’ and ‘neo-colonialism’ across a range of disciplines. We encourage students to view colonialism in the widest possible contexts, in both historical and contemporary forms.

SOCIOLOGY OF COLONIALISM Sociology Dept, Binghamton University, Nigel Westmaas
Course Description: This course analyzes the colonial experience on several continents, focusing on the dimensions and cases of colonialism through its historical, sociological, and ideological contexts. 
Colonialism has transformed customs, traditions, and social organizations, introduced new boundaries between peoples and erased others through the institutionalization of racism and the creation of new ethnicities.
The history, theory, and practice of colonialism and neocolonialism are presented through social-science material, historical documents, literature, and film. We will explore the long-term economic, psychological, and cultural effects of colonialism on the colonized. 

Colonial History: the very beginning colonialism and ways of knowing
Readings: (1) Ronald J. Horvath “A Definition of Colonialism: (JSTOR) 
(II)Doctrines of Colonialism: Assesses various definitions of colonialism and imperialism (Blackboard Documents)
Colonialism and the Rise of Capitalism – European colonization of the Americas 
Reading: Jeffrey Stone, “Imperialism, colonialism & Cartography (Reading on Blackboard)
Colonialism and the Rise of capitalism – European colonization of the Americas.
Colonialism and the Rise of Racism: Misappropriation of knowledge
Reading: Judith Carney – “African Rice in the Columbian Exchange” (ERES)
Colonialism and the Rise of Racism 
Reading: “Inventing Aborogines” (ERES)
Dynamics of Capitalism and Colonialism: A Social History of Soap
Dynamics of Capitalism and Colonialism: 
Reading: (I) Brenda Yeoh. “Colonial Names in Colonial Singapore” Geographical Review (Blackboard)
(II) Decolonization of concepts (ERES)
Colonialism and Movies 
Colonialism and Gender
Colonialism in Asia : Japanese Representations of Colonialism
Colonialism in Asia : Indonesia
Reading: “Indonesia - Colonial Crime” (Blackboard)
Colonial India
Reading: “Colonialism in India” (Chap II ) in Shibani Chaube, Colonialism Freedom Struggle & Nationalism in India (ERES)
Colonialism in Africa (I)
Reading: John L. Comaroff, “Images of Empire, Contests of Conscience: Models of Colonial Domination in South Africa” American Ethnologist, Vol. 16, No. 4. (Nov., 1989) (ERES)
Colonialism in Africa(II)The Scramble and Rearrangement of Africa
Reading: Reserve text (Havinden ) chapter to be announced
Colonialism & Dress Cultures
Readings: (I) Phyllis Martin, “Contesting clothes in Colonial Brazzaville” (JSTOR)
Colonialism and African Resistance (1)
Reading: Gary Fowler, “Italian Colonization of Tripolitania” (JSTOR) 
Colonialism and African Resistance(II)
Colonialism and African Resistance: Mau-Mau Rebellion
Reading: Imperial Reckoning Chap 5 “The Birth of Britain’s Gulag”
Colonialism Today
Reading: Julius Nyrere interview (Blackboard)
Colonialism & the Passport
Reading: Radhika Mongia, “Race, Nationality, mobility: A History of the Passport” pp. 196-214 in After the Imperial Turn (Desk Reserve)
Non-European Perspectives on Colonialism: —Indigenous conceptions of 
Social Reality
Reading: Tony Ballantyne, “Rereading the Archive and Opening up the Nation state: 
Colonial Knowledge in south Asia (and Beyond)” in After the Imperial Turn (Desk Res)
The Statistics of Colonialism
Reading: Class presentations & displays (assignments to be prepared in advance)
Research Day 
Colonialism & Feminism in the Present
Reading: “Young, “Postcolonial Feminism” (ERES)
Easter recess April 12 – 17
Colonialism & Writing the Caribbean
Reading: Saakana, Colonial Legacy in Caribbean Literature (Desk Res) (Chapter to be announced)
Research Day 
Colonialism & Writing the Caribbean
Reading: John Plotz, “One-Way Traffic: George Lamming and the Portable Empire” in After the Imperial Turn (Desk Reserve)
Colonialism Today—: Iraq (1)
Reading: Gregory, Colonial Present, pp. 144-245
Research day
Colonialism Today—: Iraq (II)
Reading: Video, cahrts & discussion (reading to be announced)
Colonialism Today: Palestine
Reading: Derek Gregory, The Colonial Present, pp. 76-143
Research Day 
Is Colonialism alive?
Reading: discussion & guest presentation

MA in Culture and Colonialism

The course is a full-time degree taken over a twelve-month period (September to September). The year is divided into two teaching semesters (September to December and January to May), while the summer period is devoted to completing a minor dissertation.

The taught programme comprises six compulsory courses (two of which are not examined), plus two option courses, and occasional lectures by distinguished visiting speakers. Most courses consist of 10 two-hour seminars. The list of available courses varies from year to year: the following list is provisional.

Compulsory Courses:

EN541 Colonialism in 20th-Century Cultural Theory
This course offers an introduction twentieth-century theories of colonialism and neo-colonialism in relation to cultural production. The course focuses on issues related to identity, political agency and discourse.

HI546 Studies in the History of Colonialism and Imperialism
This course provides students with an understanding of the forces which contributed to nineteenth-century European imperialism. Students are encouraged to evaluate critically the various theories that have been advanced to explain imperialism, and to consider how far imperialism acted to stimulate or retard 'modernisation' in colonised areas, including areas of European settlement.

HI547 Studies in the History of Colonialism and Imperialism
This course examines the challenges that emerged in the course of the twentieth century to imperial structures, including the impact of two world wars and the rise of protest movements among the colonised. It considers the responses of various imperial powers, first in successfully countering threats to continued dominance, and later in managing the retreat from empire.

SP565 Decolonization and Neo-Colonialism: The Politics of 'Development'
The phenomena of development and underdevelopment in those lands that have experienced colonial rule have been theorised in two broadly contrasting ways in social science: the modernisation perspective, which derives from the northern hemisphere by and large, and a series of counter-perspectives (such as structuralism, dependency, neo-Marxism and world systems theory), whose exponents hail from the southern hemisphere in the main.

Option Courses (two to be chosen):

EN547 Literature and Colonialism
This course examines literary representations of colonial and post-colonial experience, from a variety of points-of-view and from various historical and geographical contexts.

EC535 Political Economy, Colonialism and Globalisation
This course considers the engagement of the ‘science’ of political economy with colonialism in a variety of nineteenth-century British writings and debates.

EN549 Cinema and Colonialism
This course considers the relationships between colonialism and the theory and practice of cinema.

HI540 Gender and Colonialism
This course explores the interaction between gender and colonial/postcolonial issues, drawing on a variety of theoretical models and a variety of social, political and literary contexts.

Ecology and Colonialism (Proposed for 2006-07) 
This course proposes to enlarge the scope of conventional political economy analyses of colonialism and neo-colonialism by including the dimension of ecology and the environment. The environment is usually treated as an ‘externality’ in studies of colonialism, yet the discovery and appropriation of the ‘environment’ in the forms of land and natural resources was a key driving force behind colonial expansion and the relationships between colonisers and colonised peoples. It compels us to look at the long historical timeframe within which human cultures and civilisations have ‘developed’, changed and destroyed ecological regimes. How differently might we approach colonisation, ‘decolonisation’ and ‘development’ if insights from ecology can be applied?