Postwar Decolonisation and Its Impact on Europe

Conference, 2-3 December 2013, Exeter, UK

University of Exeter; Imre Kertész Kolleg, Jena; Centre for Area Studies, Leipzig, Exeter 02.12.2013-03.12.2013, University of Exeter

The unravelling of European empires was foundational to the making of the modern world. An old imperial order was swept away, and a new age of nation states rapidly replaced it. Whilst decolonisation played a fundamental role in the shaping of post-war world, its repercussions for Europe itself, and its legacies in a host of political, social and cultural spheres, are still relatively little examined. This conference will examine how the global dynamics of decolonisation had an impact not only on the 'western core' of the continent, but also in state socialist eastern Europe, and in southern Europe, which have been hitherto little considered in this light. Panels will consider, variously, the new ways in which Europeans engaged with the post-colonial world, the reshaping of European identity in the light of decolonisation, its impact in European nations that saw themselves as anti-colonial, its appeal in European radical politics, the writing of 'entangled histories' of t!
he end of Empire, and legacies of decolonisation across the continent.


Monday 2 December
All panels will be held in the Upper Lounge, Reed Hall, University of Exeter

10 Welcome, Introduction: James Mark and Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter)

10.20 - 11.50 Panel 1: (Post)-Imperial Interventions
'The Contours of the Global Humanitarian Regime in the Era of Decolonization', Young-sun Hong (State University of New York at Stony Brook)
'The Ideological Struggle and Economic Opportunities. Communist Poland and the Cold War in Africa', Przemyslaw Gasztold-Sen (Institute of National Remembrance, Warsaw)
'Youth Against Hunger: debating ideas of international youth service at the end of empire', Anna Bocking-Welch (University of York)

12- 1.30 Panel 2: European Radicals and Decolonization
'The Discovery of the 'Third World'. Decolonization and the Radical Left in France', Christoph Kalter (Freie Universität, Berlin)
'Between Radical Solidarity and State Mobilisation: Solidarity with Vietnam in Socialist Yugoslavia, Hungary and Poland 1965-1975', James Mark (University of Exeter)
'Exploring Maoism: the West German radical left, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, and the Three-World-Theory', Sebastian Gehrig (University of Oxford)

2.15- 3.45 Panel 3: Between a New Europe and the Post-Colonial World
'The limits of solidarity in a decolonizing world. Europeanism, anti-colonialism and socialism at the Congress of the Peoples of Europe, Asia and Africa', Anne-Isabelle Richard (University of Utrecht)
'What International Role for Europe after Decolonization? Reassessing the External Policies of the EEC, 1960-1975', Lorenzo Ferrari (IMT Institute for Advanced Studies, Lucca)
'The 1973 "Oil Shock": Western Europe Facing Economic Decolonization', Giuliano Garavini, (University of Padua)

3.45- 5.15 Panel 4: We are anti-colonial too! National Culture and an anti-colonial Identity
'"Cuba, my love": Revolutionary Cuba and the Soviet Sixties', Anne Gorsuch (University of British Colombia)
'Imagining Decolonization in Greece: Britain, Cyprus, and (Inter-)national Cultures of Anti-Imperialism', Polymeris Voglis (University of Thessaly)
'À La Carte Anti-Colonialism and Implacable Anti-Communism': Independent Ireland, Decolonization and Emergency Malaya and Kenya, 1948-1959', Helen O'Shea (University of Edinburgh)

5.30-6.30 Keynote: Stuart Ward (University of Copenhagen), '"Learning to live in Europe, as mere Europeans": The European provenance of "Decolonization"'

Tuesday, 3 DECEMBER

9.00-10.30 Panel 5: Transregional studies and entangled histories of decolonization
'Decolonization: a comparative research project at Leipzig University in the 1950s', Matthias Middell (Centre for Area Studies, Leipzig)
'Alternative Modernities after Decolonization: Soviet Research on the Agrarian Question in Africa', Steffi Marung (Centre for Area Studies, Leipzig)
'Entangled Histories of Decolonisation: A Divided Belgium and the End of Empire in Central Africa 1950s-60s', Geert Castryck (Centre for Area Studies, Leipzig)

10.45 - 12.15 Panel 6: Legacies of Decolonisation
'Self-Determination and Socialist Human Rights: The Impact of Decolonization on East German Ideology and Diplomacy', Ned Richardson-Little (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
'Belonging to Africa or Europe? Shifts in Portugal's Identity Narrative', Alice Cunha (New University of Lisbon)
''Internal Decolonisation' and the future of the United Kingdom', Andrew Mycock (University of Huddersfield)

12.15- 1.15 : Roundtable Discussion
Anne Gorsuch (University of British Columbia)
Matthias Middell (Centre for Area Studies, Leipzig)
Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter)
Stuart Ward (University of Copenhagen)


[Cross-posted, with thanks, from H-Soz-u-Kult]