Numero di crediti :9

Semestre : 2° semestre

Political thought for colonization and decolonization

Settore scientifico disciplinare : SPS/02

Numero di crediti :9

Tipologia corso:corso

lingua: inglese

Data inizio corso: Monday, 25 February, 2019

Semestre : 2° semestre

Iscrizione al corso : Closed
Obiettivi formativi:

Addressed to International Cooperation master students, this course aims to: 1) analyze the main discourses that characterized the self-narration that Europeans (and, since XIX century, also “Americans”) built on their hegemonic world-action after 1492; 2) deepen postcolonial and decolonial discourses, focusing on the use of concepts such as civilization, colonization, sovereignty, hegemony, nationalism, barbarism, identity, etc.; 3) teach students to recognize “colonial”, “post-colonial” and “de-colonial” narrations as products of specific context(s) marked by peculiar conflicts and 4) introduce critically students to “geopolitics of knowledge”, analyzing concepts such as The East, the West, Europe, Asia, America, Latin-America, ecc.       


Contenuto e articolazione del corso:

Basic Schedule: divided in 18 classes plus 4 with international and national guest and/or presentation by students


  1. Opening Lesson :   Creating the world. Maps, meanings and coloniality
  2. What is colonialism ? History of a concept
  3. -Colonial discourse in the XVI century.
  4. Colonial discourse in the XVII century
  5. Colonial discourse in the XVIII century
  6. Colonial discourse in the XIX century
  7. Colonial discourse in the XX century
  8. What is decolonization ? History of a concept
  9.  Thinking against colonialism 1: Cesaire
  10. Thinking against colonialism 2: Fanon
  11. Algerian Debate (Camus, Aron, Sartre, Bennabi, Fanon)
  12. Cuban Debate (Castro, Guevara, Sartre, Franqui)
  13. Post-colonial classics 1: Said
  14. Post-colonial classics 2: Hall
  15. From Postcolonialism to decolonialism (Spivak, Bernal, Chakrabarty, Mbembe)
  16. Decolonial Thought and Geopolitics of Knowledge :Quijano, Dussel, Mignolo and Dabashi.
  17. Fifth focus: South American thinkers and the idea of Latin America  (Sarmiento, Alberdi, Torres Caiceido, Bilbao, Marti, Mariategui, Vasconcelos, Kusch).
  18. Final lesson: Re-Thinking the World : Decolonial thought and its challenges.
Conoscenze e competenze che saranno acquisite:

The aim is that at the end of this course, the students will:
1) be familiar with some of the most important events, concepts and texts in the history of colonial, post colonial and decolonial thought. 

2) have the reflexive and critical ability to engage different historical discourses and contexts

3) Analyze contemporary issues in the light of the critical approaches debated in the course (as geopolitics of knowledge)
4)  Develop their own reasoned views on the theoretical and political issues involved


Prerequisiti ed eventuali propedeuticità:


Modalità di valutazione dell'apprendimento e prova d'esame:

Two possibilities: 1) Final Oral exam or 2) half oral exam an assignment


Assignment: Essay of 3000 words - equivalent of maximum 10 pages (Times New Roman, size 12) - on a topic chosen from a set of questions shared with you during the course. 


A chi è rivolto il corso:

Graduate students

Come ottenere la tesi:

Ask professor for.

Metodi didattici:

Frontal lessons + laboratory (participatory learning and presentations in laboratories).

Modalità di valutazione della frequenza:

Signatures collected in class.

Testi d'esame:

Part A, Classics


At least one text from this group


Franz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, Grove Weidenfeld, New York, 1991


Tzvetan Todorov, The Conquest of America. The Question of the Other, Harper Perennial, New York, 1992


Edward Said, Orientalism, Penguin Books, London, 2003    


Benedict Anderson,Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism , Verso, London, 2006.


Anthony Padgen, Lords of all the World: ideologies of Empire in Spain, Britain and France c.1500-c.1800, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1995


Part B, Contemporary Debate


At least one text from this group


Walter Mignolo, The idea of Latin America, Wiley-Blackwell, Hoboken, 2005


Pankraj Mishra, From the Ruins of Empire. The Revolt against the West and the Remaking of Asia, Picador, New York, 2012 


Serge Gruzinski, The Mestizo Mind: The Intellectual Dynamics of Colonization and Globalization, Routledge, London, 2013


Hamid Dabashi, Can Non-Europeans Think ?, Zed Books, London, 2015



Part C, Class Debate or further readings


For attending students :


A text assigned individually.


For non-attending students,at least one text between :


Jerry Brotton, A History of the World in Twelve Maps, Penguin, London, 2013


Serge Gruzinski, The Eagle and the Dragon: Globalization and European dreams of conquest in China and America in the Sixteenth century, Polity Press, London, 2014



Materiali del corso: