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Cultures of Decolonisation, c.1945-1970

May 30, 2012
No specified host institution

Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Senate House, University of London
United Kingdom

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This two-day symposium will bring together scholars with an interest in the cultural practices, performances and material cultures of decolonisation, c.1945-1970.

While the problems of ‘empire’ and ‘the postcolonial’ have come under increasing scrutiny in the humanities and social sciences in recent years, and debate about the political and economic processes of decolonisation is well established, the cultural sites, spaces and social practices of this process in the middle years of the twentieth century have often been overlooked.

Yet new scholarship is beginning to point to the attention that the literary, visual and built environment paid to political, economic and social change in this period. In addition, the roles of individuals and institutions in cultural practices and performances of decolonisation are now drawing critical attention from a variety of fields. This symposium will bring together scholars from history, art and design history, cultural geography, literature, museum studies, architecture and other cultural fields to further explore these topics with regard to decolonisation between 1945 and 1970.

Papers consider the peoples, sites, materials and practices of emerging and newly independent nations, as well as the processes of decolonisation as enacted in Europe. This event will lend new insights into debates about the contested nature of decolonisation, and into the impact of cultural practices on socio-political processes.

Keynote Speaker: Dr Bill Schwarz

Convenors: Dr Claire Wintle (University of Brighton) and Dr Ruth Craggs (St Mary’s University College)

Venue: Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Supported by the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of Brighton, and St Mary’s University College

Registration fee: £35 (includes lunch and refreshments for both days)

For registration and a full programme:

If you have enquiries, please email Chloe Pieters:


Claire Wintle (University of Brighton) and Ruth Craggs (St Mary’s University College)


Chloe Pieters

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