1 Jul 2022 - 2 Jul 2022All dayMcCrum Lecture Theatre, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge


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  • Richard Bourke, Kings College, Cambridge
  • Shruti Kapila, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
  • Hussein Omar, University College Dublin


  • Andrew Arsan, University of Cambridge
  • Adom Getachew, University of Chicago
  • Lawrence Hamilton Witwatersrand, University of Johannesburg
  • Aaron Jakes, The New School, New York
  • Leslie James, Queen Mary University of London
  • Sudipta Kaviraj, Columbia University
  • Jean Khalfa, University of Cambridge
  • Karuna Mantena, Yale University
  • Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Ashoka University
  • Neguin Yavari, Columbia University
  • Musab Younis, Queen Mary University of London
  • Faridah Zaman, University of Oxford


One of the most dramatic geo-political developments in the twentieth century was the demise of the European empires, which had been gradually formed and re-formed since the early modern period. This process of disintegration was accompanied by the rise of anti-imperial polemic, both in European metropolitan centres and in various imperial dependencies across the globe.

This conference will focus on arguments against empire deployed by those who resisted its authority in numerous colonial settings spanning Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Far East. Contributors will reconstruct the ideologies deployed by key intellectual figures embroiled in the process, including Pearse, Ambedkar, Gandhi, Nasser, Cabral, Fanon, Nkrumah and Khomeini. The academic literature has tended to identify opposition to empire as an instance of ‘nationalism’, thus reducing a complex range of responses to a single ideological counter. The aim of this conference is to attend more carefully to the diversity of political languages that were originally employed.

Online registration is now available with Eventbrite or by clicking on the registration link on this page. There is no charge for attendance. A programme will be posted shortly.

Entrance to the McCrum Lecture Theatre  is located through the Eagle Pub archway via Bene’t Street. The venue is fully accessible with step-free access. There are disabled toilet facilities in the McCrum Theatre Foyer. Please see the link to the venue on this page.

Please email fellowships@crassh.cam.ac.uk with any enquiries about this event.

• Conference hashtag #anti-colonialthought

Supported by:

Faculty of History Trevelyan Fund and the Smuts Memorial Fund

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If you have any specific accessibility needs for this event please get in touch. We will do our best to accommodate any requests.

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