Fall 2019 - HIST 472W D100

Problems in World History (4)

Decolonization& Discontents

Class Number: 10748

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Sep 3 – Dec 2, 2019: Wed, 1:30–5:20 p.m.

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units including nine units of lower division history.



An advanced examination into the concepts and methodology of world history. Selected themes may include globalization, modernization, migration, religious expansion, colonialism, imperialism, and the teaching of world history. Content may vary from offering to offering; see course outline for further information. HIST 472W may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught. Writing.


Decolonization and its Discontents

This course covers the major problems and debates in the history of decolonization. Instead of going the typical route and covering anticolonial movements, the course proceeds thematically focusing on the ideas and institutions of colonial rule that continue to linger on into the contemporary period.

The revolutionaries, idealists and political leaders who lead anticolonial movements did not have a clear road map on what the future after colonialism would look like. As Gary Wilder (who we will also read in this course) points out, every anticolonial leader did not have the nation in mind as their ultimate goal for achieving freedom. Indeed, the ideas of freedom and how it would be manifest in the postcolonial world were not always compatible with the institutional constraints that were bequeathed by colonialism.

How then do we understand decolonization? This course attempts to unpack this question by thinking about decolonization not as a movement, but a process that is still unfolding as once colonized people across the globe try to think about the many meanings of freedom.

This course will be taught as a seminar and is fairly reading intensive so it is essential that you do your readings before class.


  • Class Participation 15%
  • In-class presentation and 1 page write-up 15%
  • Essay 1 20%
  • Essay 2 (Research Proposal) 20%
  • Final Research Essay 30%



Required Readings will be circulated via Canvas.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html