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Decolonizing the Syllabus Bibliography


Articles & Books

 Anderson, Warwick. 2020. “1. Decolonizing Histories in Theory and Practice: An Introduction.” History & Theory 59 (3): 369–75.

Introduction to a special section dedicated to addressing issues of decolonization and postcolonialism on the field of history and historiography. View the table of contents for this issue here.


Behm, Amanda, Christienna Fryar, Emma Hunter, Elisabeth Leake, Su Lin Lewis, and Sarah Miller-Davenport. "Decolonizing History: Enquiry and Practice." History Workshop Journal 89 (Spring 2020): 169–191.

Abstract: On the back of the Royal Historical Society’s 2018 report on race and ethnicity, as well as ongoing discussions about ‘decolonizing the syllabus’, this is a conversation piece titled, ‘Decolonizing History: Enquiry and Practice’. While ‘decolonization’ has been a key framework for historical research, it has assumed increasingly varied and nebulous meanings in teaching, where calls for ‘decolonizing’ are largely divorced from the actual end of empire. How does ‘decolonizing history’ relate to the study of decolonization? And can history, as a field of practice and study, be ‘decolonized’ without directly taking up histories of empire? Using the RHS report as a starting point, this conversation explores how we ‘decolonize history’. We argue that, rather than occurring through tokenism or the barest diversification of reading lists and course themes, decolonizing history requires rigorous critical study of empire, power and political contestation, alongside close reflection on constructed categories of social difference. Bringing together scholars from several UK universities whose teaching and research ranges across modern historical fields, this piece emphasizes how the study of empire and decolonization can bring a necessary global perspective to what tend to be framed as domestic debates on race, ethnicity, and gender. 


 Grecco, Gabriela De Lima, and Sven Schuster. 2020. “Decolonizing Global History? A Latin American Perspective.” Journal of World History 31 (2): 425–46. 

Abstract: The field of global history has been thriving for over two decades; however, unlike Europe, the United States, and Asia, which have witnessed a true "boom" in this area, there has been no such significant development in Latin America. In fact, there is even an attitude of rejection toward what many academics in the region consider an "Anglo-Saxon trend." This article argues that this lack of attachment to global history lies in conceptual flaws, as well as in the continuous production of academic work that lacks nuance and is predominantly based on secondary literature written in English. To counteract these tendencies and better adapt the field to the academic and historical realities of Latin America, this article engages in a dialogue with representatives of decolonial studies. This article suggests that an approach to this movement—whose followers condemn the implicit Eurocentrism of Western historiography—will contribute to the necessary decolonization of global history. 


Haber, A., Gnecco, C. Virtual Forum: Archaeology and Decolonization. Arch 3, 390–412 (2007).


Maldonado-Torres, Nelson. "Colonialism, Neocolonial, Internal Colonialism, the Postcolonial, Coloniality, and Decoloniality." In Critical Terms in Caribbean and Latin American Thought: Historical and Institutional and Trajectories. Eds. Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel, Ben Sifuentes-Jauregui, and Marisa Belausteguigoitia. Palgrave Press, 2016. 67-78. 


 Oland, Maxine, Siobhan M. Hart, and Liam Frink. Decolonizing Indigenous Histories: Exploring Prehistoric / Colonial Transitions in Archaeology . Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2012.


 Pictou, Sherry. 2020. “Decolonizing Decolonization: An Indigenous Feminist Perspective on the Recognition and Rights Framework.” South Atlantic Quarterly 119 (2): 371–91.

Abstract: The article focuses on indigenous feminist perspective on the recognition and rights framework which was presented as a new form of self-government outside of the Indian Act and was initially hailed as a "decolonizing" approach or as a process for decolonization by the federal government. It also mentions critical implications for Indigenous people and for Indigenous women and gender diverse persons and causes of gender discrimination and violence


 Wintle, Claire. 2016. “Decolonizing the Smithsonian: Museums as Microcosms of Political Encounter.” American Historical Review 121 (5): 1492–1520.

Abstract: The article discusses the museum practice in the U.S. and the impact of decolonization in Asia and Africa on this practice as exemplified by the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) of the Smithsonian Institution between 1940 and 1967. Topics addressed include the role of museums in building empires, the influence of decolonization on museum practice and the NMNH practice after World War II.