Workshop- From Colonial Modernity to Decolonisation: The British Empire and Beyond 15-16 September

From Colonial Modernity to Decolonisation: The British Empire and Beyond”, 15-16 September 2023, The University of Auckland

Keynote Speaker: Sekhar Bandyopadhyay, and Special Invited Expert Addresses by Jim McAloon, Ned Bertz and Miranda Johnson

Long ago, the rhetoric of the colonial civilising mission had established colonial modernity as a reference point.
Ensured in the privileging of Western ideas over the indigenous was the continuity of colonialism even after formal imperial systems had vanished. Thus, came decolonisation as a long process where a cumbersome hybrid of colonial legacies and post-colonial aspirations led to socio-political dialectics and systemic inequalities.

The post-colonial world we inhabit today is haunted by myriad forms of neo-colonialism, colonial
antagonisms, and problems of reconciliation with a colonial past. Sponsored by the Faculty Support Fund, the History Innovation Fund and the School of Humanities, the Faculty of Arts at the University of Auckland is pleased to host a two-day workshop that brings together established academicians, early-career researchers, and graduate students in an interdisciplinary dialogue. We seek to understand the complexities, anxieties, and problems of transitioning from the colonial to the post-colonial. The workshop challenges the dominant treatment of the ‘colonial’ and the ‘post-colonial’ as two distinct historical epochs. Instead, it weaves the post-colonial present with its colonial past. From Colonial Modernity to Decolonisation takes the erstwhile British Empire as the axis of analysis to address the histories of colonial experiences and their socio-political implications in the post-colonial.
We invite papers exploring one or more themes listed below. The list, however, is not exhaustive and papers broadly addressing the concept note are very welcome.

• Colonial lives and everyday experiences
• Problems of national identity and national self-determination within the empire
• Britain, empire, and the world wars
• Reactions and responses of the colonised population to colonial rule
• Role of race, class, gender, and caste in the colonised world
• Dissemination and impact of colonial knowledge, science, and technology
• End of empire and the road to decolonisation
• Post-colonial nation-building.

The workshop will be held in hybrid mode. While we are excited to host presenters from New Zealand in-person at Auckland, a zoom option will be available for overseas participants. In-person attendees will need to arrange for their own travel and accommodation. We will provide morning tea, lunch, and afternoon tea on both days. There are no registration charges.

Please send abstracts of 200-250 words along with name (including co-authors if applicable), full contact details, institutional affiliation and a brief bio-note (about 100 words) to by 1 July 2023. Within two weeks after the submission deadline, authors will be notified whether their abstracts have been accepted. Please direct all queries to