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Sociology and Postcolonialism (SO9A6-20)

Topics covered

The following is an indicative list of topics for this module; precise seminar content may change from year to year.

  • 'Situating Postcolonial Studies'
  • The enlightenment of colonialism - Hegel and Haiti
  • Anti-colonial critique - The Wretched of the Earth
  • The politics of representation - Black Skin, White Masks
  • Power and knowledge production - Orientalism
  • The psychology of postcolonialism - The Intimate Enemy
  • Local histories and global designs - Coloniality/ Modernity
  • Questions of agency - Can the Subaltern Speak?
  • Sociology and Postcolonialism
Timing and CATS

This module is a half-year module and is worth 20 CATS.

The emergence of postcolonial theory rests on the idea of coming after colonialism. Yet, colonialism does not necessarily end with the end of colonial oppression.

Programme content

This module examines the emergence of postcolonial theory and its relationship to sociology as well as interrogating key sociological ideas from the position of postcolonial studies. Postcolonial theory is most usually associated with the trimvirate of Edward W. Said, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, and Homi K. Bhabha although contributors to the field both pre-date these theorists and are disciplinarily more diverse. This course provides a critical introduction to postcolonial theory in the context of the social sciences and discusses key points of intersection between these fields. It addresses the centrality of colonialism and imperialism to modernity and postcolonial critiques thereof. The course also addresses salient themes within the field such as Orientalism, feminism, and subaltern studies and focuses on contested sites such as the possibility of universal categories and critiques of postcolonial theory.

Module Director:
Gurminder K Bhambra

Sample reading list (PDF Document)


Inequalities and Social Justice Research Cluster

Sociology Prospective Postgraduates