The Invention and Reinvention of Decolonisation

Was 'decolonisation' a European invention designed to ease the 'White Man's Burden' and pave the way for a neo-colonial system of extraction and dependency? Was it a Latin American invention intended to undo 'the colonial system'? Or was it an Indian, French Algerian or Caribbean invention? All the above? 

Is the received 'wave' narrative (first, second, third, fourth waves) currently used to tell the global history of decolonisation still adequate to the task? Or would notions such as 'invention' and 'reinvention' be more useful?


10:00: Welcome - Philip Murphy (Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London) and Mark Thurner (ILAS, University of London)

10:15: Keynote - Dame Kennedy (George Washington University), 'Making Waves: The longue duree of Decolonisation'

11:15: Coffee Break 

11:30: First Wave (1770 - 1860s?)
  • Chair and Discussant:Todd Shepard (John Hopkins University) 
  • Mark Thurner (ILAS, University of London), 'The Peruvian Invention of Decolonisation'
  • Barbara Weinstein (New York University), 'Brazil and Decolonisation' 

12:30: Catered lunch 

13:30: Second Wave (1860s - 1930s?).
  • Chair and Discussant: Barbara Weinstein (New York University)
  • Cyrus Schayegh (institute for International Development Studies, Geneva), 'Bridging Waves? Between the Fall of Eurasian Empires and the Rise of the Third World'
  • Zaib un Nisa Aziz (Yale University), 'Children of the Enlightenment: The Nationalist Imagination of the Global South, Made in London'

14:30: Third and Fourth Waves (1940s - 1990s?)
  • Chair and Discussant: Philip Murphy (ICWS, University of London) 
  • Ismay Milford (European University Institute, Florence), 'What's in a Wave? Colonial Conspiracy in African Anti-Colonialism?'
  • Miguel Bandeira Jeronimo (University of Coimbra), 'The Reinvention of Portuguese Empire in Africa (1945-1975)'

15:30: Coffee Break 

16:00 Rethinking Invention
  • Chair and Discussant: Mark Thurner (ILAS, University of London)
  • Stuart Ward (University of Copenhagen), 'On the European Provenance of Decolonisation'
  • Todd Shepard (John Hopkins University), 'On the French Invention of Decolonisation' 

17:30: Closing Round Table Discussion 
  • Mark Thurner (ILAS, University of London)
  • Barbara Weinstein (New York University)
  • Philip Murphy (ICWS, University of London) 

To attend complete the registration form.

For further information contact: Olgar Jimenez 


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