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Colonialism and Decolonization

Colonialism and Decolonization Book List

Cover of 'Cultivating the Colonies'

Cultivating the Colonies
Colonial States and their Environmental Legacies
Edited by Christina Folke Ax, Niels Brimnes, Niklas Thode Jensen, and Karen Oslund

The essays collected in Cultivating the Colonies demonstrate how the relationship between colonial power and nature reveals the nature of power. Each essay explores how colonial governments translated ideas about the management of exotic nature and foreign people into practice, and how they literally “got their hands dirty” in the business of empire. The eleven essays include studies of animal husbandry in the Philippines, farming in Indochina, and indigenous medicine in India.

Cover of 'The Return of the Galon King'

The Return of the Galon King
History, Law, and Rebellion in Colonial Burma
By Maitrii Aung-Thwin

In late 1930, on a secluded mountain overlooking the rural paddy fields of British Burma, a peasant leader named Saya San crowned himself King and inaugurated a series of uprisings that would later erupt into one of the largest anti-colonial rebellions in Southeast Asian history.

Cover of 'Trustee for the Human Community'

Trustee for the Human Community
Ralph J. Bunche, the United Nations, and the Decolonization of Africa
Edited by Robert A. Hill and Edmond J. Keller

Ralph J. Bunche (1904–1971), winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950, was a key U.S. diplomat in the planning and creation of the United Nations in 1945. In 1947 he was invited to join the permanent UN Secretariat as director of the new Trusteeship Department.

Short-listed for the 2015 Asia-Africa Book Prize (ICAS) · Winner of the 2010 Ali Sastroamidjojo Award · An AfricaFocus 2011 New and Notable Book · A CHOICE Significant University Press Title for Undergraduates, 2010–11
Cover of 'Making a World after Empire'

Making a World after Empire
The Bandung Moment and Its Political Afterlives
Edited by Christopher J. Lee

In April 1955, twenty-nine countries from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East came together for a diplomatic conference in Bandung, Indonesia, intending to define the direction of the postcolonial world.

Cover of 'Colonial Meltdown'

Colonial Meltdown
Northern Nigeria in the Great Depression
By Moses E. Ochonu

Historians of colonial Africa have largely regarded the decade of the Great Depression as a period of intense exploitation and colonial inactivity. In Colonial Meltdown, Moses E. Ochonu challenges this conventional interpretation by mapping the responses of Northern Nigeria’s chiefs, farmers, laborers, artisans, women, traders, and embryonic elites to the British colonial mismanagement of the Great Depression.

Cover of 'Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar'

Race, Revolution, and the Struggle for Human Rights in Zanzibar
The Memoirs of Ali Sultan Issa and Seif Sharif Hamad
By G. Thomas Burgess

Zanzibar has had the most turbulent postcolonial history of any part of the United Republic of Tanzania, yet few sources explain the reasons why. From a series of personal interviews conducted over several years, Thomas Burgess has produced two highly readable first-person narratives in which two nationalists in Africa describe their conflicts, achievements, failures, and tragedies.

Cover of 'Hanging by a Thread'

Hanging by a Thread
Cotton, Globalization, and Poverty in Africa
Edited by William G. Moseley and Leslie C. Gray

Hanging by a Thread illuminates the connections between Africa and the global economy. The editors offer a compelling set of linked studies that detail one aspect of the globalization process in Africa, the cotton commodity chain.

International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) Book Prize
Shortlist Social Sciences
Cover of 'Being “Dutch” in the Indies'

Being “Dutch” in the Indies
A History of Creolisation and Empire, 1500–1920
By Ulbe Bosma and Remco Raben
· Translation by Wendie Shaffer

Being “Dutch” in the Indies portrays Dutch colonial territories in Asia not as mere societies under foreign occupation but rather as a “Creole empire.” In telling the story of the Creole empire, the authors draw on government archives, newspapers, and literary works as well as genealogical studies that follow the fortunes of individual families over several generations. They also critically analyze theories relating to culturally and racially mixed communities.

Winner of the African Politics Conference Group’s Best Book Award
Cover of 'Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–1958'

Cold War and Decolonization in Guinea, 1946–1958
By Elizabeth Schmidt

In September 1958, Guinea claimed its independence, rejecting a constitution that would have relegated it to junior partnership in the French Community. In all the French empire, Guinea was the only territory to vote “No.” Orchestrating the “No” vote was the Guinean branch of the Rassemblement Démocratique Africain (RDA), an alliance of political parties with affiliates in French West and Equatorial Africa and the United Nations trusts of Togo and Cameroon.

Cover of 'Cultivating Success in Uganda'

Cultivating Success in Uganda
Kigezi Farmers and Colonial Policies
By Grace Carswell

Kigezi, a district in southwestern Uganda, is exceptional in many ways. In contrast to many other parts of the colonial world, this district did not adopt cash crops. Soil conservation practices were successfully adopted, and the region maintained a remarkably developed and individualized land market from the early colonial period. Grace Carswell presents a comprehensive study of livelihoods in Kigezi.

Winner of the George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book in Environmental History · Winner of the Meridian Book Award for Outstanding Work in Geography · Winner of the James Blaut Award in recognition of innovative scholarship in Cultural and Political Ecology
Cover of 'Resurrecting the Granary of Rome'

Resurrecting the Granary of Rome
Environmental History and French Colonial Expansion in North Africa
By Diana K. Davis

Tales of deforestation and desertification in North Africa have been told from the Roman period to the present. Such stories of environmental decline in the Maghreb are still recounted by experts and are widely accepted without question today. International organizations such as the United Nations frequently invoke these inaccurate stories to justify environmental conservation and development projects in the arid and semiarid lands in North Africa and around the Mediterranean basin.

Cover of 'Triumph of the Expert'

Triumph of the Expert
Agrarian Doctrines of Development and the Legacies of British Colonialism
By Joseph Morgan Hodge

Triumph of the Expert is a history of British colonial policy and thinking and its contribution to the emergence of rural development and environmental policies in the late colonial and postcolonial period. Joseph Morgan Hodge examines the way that development as a framework of ideas and institutional practices emerged out of the strategic engagement between science and the state at the climax of the British Empire.

Cover of 'Natures of Colonial Change'

Natures of Colonial Change
Environmental Relations in the Making of the Transkei
By Jacob A. Tropp

In this groundbreaking study, Jacob A. Tropp explores the interconnections between negotiations over the environment and an emerging colonial relationship in a particular South African context—the Transkei—subsequently the largest of the notorious “homelands” under apartheid. In the late nineteenth century, South Africa’s Cape Colony completed its incorporation of the area beyond the Kei River, known as the Transkei, and began transforming the region into a labor reserve.

Cover of 'Violence, Political Culture & Development in Africa'

Violence, Political Culture & Development in Africa
Edited by Preben Kaarsholm

Africa has witnessed a number of transitions to democracy in recent years. Coinciding with this upsurge in democratic transitions have been spectacular experiences of social disintegration. An alternative to discourses of the “failed” and “collapsed” state in Africa is an approach that takes seriously the complex historical processes underlying the political development of individual nation states.

Winner of the 2008 Benda Prize
Cover of 'The Komedie Stamboel'

The Komedie Stamboel
Popular Theater in Colonial Indonesia, 1891–1903
By Matthew Isaac Cohen

Originating in 1891 in the port city of Surabaya, the Komedie Stamboel, or Istanbul-style theater, toured colonial Indonesia, Singapore, and Malaysia by rail and steamship. The company performed musical versions of the Arabian Nights and European fairy tales and operas such as Sleeping Beauty and Aida, as well as Indian and Persian romances, Southeast Asian chronicles, true crime stories, and political allegories.