Spring 2022 - GA 400 D100

Selected Topics in Global Asia (3)

Revolutionaries abroad: anti-colonial journeys

Class Number: 4630

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    AQ 5027, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    45 units.



Content will vary according to interests of faculty and students but will involve Global-Asia-related study within one or more of the social science or humanities disciplines. This course may be repeated for credit only when a different topic is taught.


Revolutionaries abroad: anti-colonial journeys in the 20th Century

This course will look at the transnational travels and networks of (mainly South Asian) revolutionaries. From Sant Singh Nihal who wrote anti-racist treatises in North America to Madam Cama who was part of anticolonial networks in Paris, we will focus on people who travelled across the Atlantic to North America as well as those who went into exile attempting to run away from being arrested as radicals against Empire. Some of these men and women found home elsewhere, but all of them were fundamentally changed by their travels. How were they viewed by colonial officials? Why did some of them decide not to return? And crucially, how did their worlds expand so that the idea of “home” became unstable? These are some of the questions and stories that we will explore in this course.



By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • explain what a “life history approach” within transnational history is.
  • appreciate how the lives and ideologies of anti-colonial intellectuals in the 20th century were global.
  • articulate the legacy of anti-colonialism in our contemporary world.
  • write an academic research paper within the humanities.


  • Participation 25%
  • Presentation: Historical Individual 15%
  • Book Review 20%
  • Meeting with Instructor to discuss final research essay 5%
  • Final Research Essay 35%



There are no required textbooks for this course. All 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


Teaching at SFU in spring 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with safety plans in place.  Some courses will still be offered through remote methods, and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the spring 2022 term.