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EIHS Symposium: Practices of Decolonization

Friday, September 25, 2020
12:00-1:00 PM
What is decolonization? What does it mean and what does it entail? These questions and more have emerged center-stage in recent years with a spate of new academic scholarship on decolonization as well as from the politically vibrant clamor on the streets. The latter ranges from #RhodesMustFall to Standing Rock and the recent global iterations of #BlackLivesMatter. At stake is a vastly expanded understanding of the histories of colonialism. The effects are, of course, not just out there in the colonies, but also in the erstwhile imperial centers. The consequences were never just political and economic but also social and cultural. And colonialism is not just a matter of the past; it persists well into the present. The resulting push back against colonialism has produced a reanimation of the myriad uses of the term decolonization: as an axial event of the twentieth century; a more long-term and ongoing political process; a metaphor and a method; and as a distinctive project for the repatriation of Indigenous lands.

Our panel of scholars will explore the meaning of decolonization from within their respective fields. Our Q&A format will help to navigate the tensions and contradictions between different uses of the term as well as to reflect on its continued usefulness for scholarly analysis.

Sascha Crasnow (Lecturer, Residential College, University of Michigan)
Andrew Herscher (Associate Professor; Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, History of Art, Slavic Languages and Literatures; University of Michigan)
Derek Peterson (Professor, History and Afroamerican and African Culture, University of Michigan)
Michael Witgen (Professor, History and American Culture, University of Michigan)
Mrinalini Sinha, chair (Alice Freeman Palmer Professor of History, University of Michigan)

Free and open to the public. This is a remote event and will take place online via Zoom. Please register here in advance:

This event is part of the Friday Series of the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies. It is made possible by a generous contribution from Kenneth and Frances Aftel Eisenberg.

Image: "Decolonization Is Not A Metaphor," Kyle Goen, 2016. Courtesy The Palestine Poster Project Archives.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Link:
Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Tags: Africa, European, History, Middle East Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies, Residential College, Department of History

The Thursday Series is the core of the institute's scholarly program, hosting distinguished guests who examine methodological, analytical, and theoretical issues in the field of history. 

The Friday Series consists mostly of panel-style workshops highlighting U-M graduate students. On occasion, events may include lectures, seminars, or other programs presented by visiting scholars.

The insitute also hosts other historical programming, including lectures, film screenings, author appearances, and similar events aimed at a broader public audience.