22W-HIST-12C-LEC-1 Inequality: Global History of Anti-Colonial Thought and Struggle

22W-HIST-12C-LEC-1 Inequality: Global History of Anti-Colonial Thought and Struggle

Welcome to HIST 12C!

The ongoing growth and normalization of poverty, racial violence, and discriminations in the neo-liberal present seem to echo and find a direct linkage to an earlier moment when the colonial rule of the previous century brought about the global structure of inequality or unevenness. In order to properly historicize our current conjuncture, we will revisit and re-examine some of the most important voices of anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle from a comparative perspective. The reading includes Aime Cesaire, Franz Fanon, Stuart Hall, Ho Chi Minh, Sun Yat-Sen, Shūsui Kōtoku, and Mahatma Gandhi.

We will put two thinkers/activists in dialogue to tease out and reflect on their commonalities and differences. The lecture focuses on key concepts in the field of colonial and postcolonial studies in the first two weeks in order to provide students with analytical tools and critical perspectives on the history of colonization and decolonization. From week 3, the class explores a historical background for each thinker/text and students will actively engage in interpreting and discussing the texts in class and discussion sections.

This course satisfies two GE areas, Society and Culture (Historical Analysis) and Society and Culture (Social Analysis), as it examines both historical and social processes of colonization and decolonization from the 18th to the 20th century. Students are evaluated based on weekly response papers and two essays as well as active participation in class discussions.


Instructors, Contacts, and Office hours:

Class: Zoom & In-person, M & W 3:30-4:45.

Instructor: Kats Hirano (Email: hirano@history.ucla.edu)

Office hours: Wednesday, 4:30-6:00 pm or by appointment.

Section Instructors (TAs): Shantanu Havaldar (sha.havaldar@gmail.com); Phil Hoffman (phoffman1@g.ucla.edu); Chul Namgung (chul0376@g.ucla.edu)

Office Hours: Havaldar (Thursday, 12-2 pm); Hoffman (Wednesday, 9-11 am); Namgung (Wednesday, 1:30-3:30 PM)



The course consists of lectures and discussion sections. You are expected to complete the reading assignments prior to sections and lectures not only to obtain background knowledge for lectures, but also to be able to participate actively in section discussion and do weekly assignment. This will help you to develop critical skills necessary for writing 2 short essays. Note that the section instructors will set up Turnitin for you to submit your weekly assignment and s/he will count it as the proof of your attendance (which means that even though you are physically in lecture and section, if you fail to submit your weekly assignment, you will be deemed as absent). Weekly assignment will NOT be graded.

You are required to attend live lectures because lectures will not be recorded.

You will learn how to do weekly assignment in your discussion section during Week 1. You will start submitting your weekly assignment in Week 2.


COVID-related Policies


  1. Please let me know it if you have a problem with access to internet and computers.
  2. Make sure to turn on zoom video for class engagement (especially for discussion section). But if you wish to keep the video off for personal reasons please notify me in advance.
  3. If you decide to not turn on the video, try your best to contribute to class discussion as a way to demonstrate their engagement with class.




  • Attendance in lecture AND discussion section is mandatory. Missing 4 or more classes (meaning 4 weekly assignments) will result in 0 point for attendance & participation (note that there are two assignments per week). Submit your assignments via Turnitin. As stated above, we take the weekly assignment as the proof of your class attendance (see the format section above). An excused absence is one caused by emergency or illness and COVID-19 related matters, and must be documented by a doctor or other official


Course Work & Grade Breakdown


  • Essays (70 points): There will be 2 essays instead of exams. Students need to demonstrate clarity and coherence in their arguments in addition to their ability to engage in ideas found in lecture, section discussion and the reading materials. The first paper is 5 pg. in length (excluding bibliography) and due on February 2nd , 3 pm (30 points), and the second is 5-6 pg. in length (excluding bibliography) and due on March 12th , 3 pm (40 points) I will prepare 6 prompts about key concepts we learn and discuss in class for your first essay. You will choose a prompt. Your second essay will be a comparison between two major anti-colonial thinkers/activists. I will prepare 5 prompts and you will choose one.


  • Weekly assignment & Attendance (30 points: 16 points for weekly assignments and 14 points for discussion section participation): each student must choose a keyword from an assigned reading for the week and write a page (typed and single spaced) that explains the meaning of the word and why it is important for the author’s overall argument. Note that those who miss more than 4 weekly assignments will receive 0 point for overall assignment/attendance. In order to earn 2 points for each weekly assignment (as there are two assignments each week) you must be present at the lecture as well as submit the assignments. Likewise, you are expected to participate actively in discussion in order to earn points for discussion section.


Grading Scale


100 points and Above (Bonus)


94-99 points


90-93 points


86-89 points


80-85 points


75-79 points


71-74 points


66-70 points


60-65 points


Below 60 points




“Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following: “a) The direct copying of any source, such as written and verbal material, computer files, audio disks, video programs or musical scores, whether published or unpublished, in whole or in part, without proper acknowledgment that it is someone else’s. b) Copying of any source in whole or in part with only minor changes in writing or syntax even with acknowledgment. c) Submitting as one’s own work a report, exam paper, computer file, lab report or other assignments which has been prepared by someone else. This includes research papers purchased from any other person or agency. d) The paragraphing of another’s work or ideas without proper acknowledgment.” Plagiarism will result in a failure of the assessment or possibly of the course. If you are unsure of how to cite a source, ask!


Course Schedule:

Introduction to the Course: On Decolonization and Empire

January 3

Lecture: What is Decolonization?  

Reading: “Introduction: Definitions and Explanations” from John Springhall, Decolonization since 1945 (London: Palgrave, 2001) (PDF); Richard Pithouse, “Why Fanon continues to resonate more than half a century after Algeria’s independence?” (PDF)


January 5

Lecture: What is Empire? What is the “West”?

Reading: Stuart Hall, “The West and the Rest: Discourse and Power,” in Gieben B, Hall S eds., The Formations of Modernity (Polity Press). [Chapter 6] (PDF)


Recommended: Patrick Wolfe, “Imperialism and History: A Century of Theory from Marx to Postcolonialism” (PDF)


Colonialism and Settler Colonialism

January 10

Lecture: Women Under Colonial Rule

Reading: F. Fanon, “Algeria Unveiled” (PDF) P. Duara, Decolonization: Perspectives from Then and Now, Chap. 5; Jiweon Shin, Social Construction of Idealized Images of Women in Colonial Korea” P. Duara, Decolonization: Perspectives from Then and Now, Chap. 17 (PDF)


Recommended Reading: “Transgressing Boundaries” by Natalya Vince (PDF)


January 12

Lecture: Indigenous Peoples and Settler-Colonial Dispossession

Reading: Laura Ishiguro, “Northwestern North America (Canadian West) to 1900” (PDF) & Katsuya Hirano, “Settler Colonialism in the Making of Japan’s Hokkaido” (PDF) in Edward Cavanagh and Lorenzo Veracini eds.,The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism


January 17

Public Holiday


Racism and De-colonization of “Self”: Franz Fanon

January 19

Lecture: French Empire & Algerian Liberation

Reading: Sung Choi “French Algeria, 1830-1962” (PDF) in Edward Cavanagh and Lorenzo Veracini eds.,The Routledge Handbook of the History of Settler Colonialism


January 24

A documentary on Fanon (TBA)

Reading: Franz Fanon “Algerian Conflict and African Anti-colonialism” & “A Democratic Revolution” in Alienation and Freedom pp. 563-573.


January 26

Lecture: Franz Fanon & Psychological Colonization

Reading: Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, chapters 1-3


January 31

Lecture: Franz Fanon & New Humanism

Reading: Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, chapters 5 and 8.


Anatomy of Colonialism and Imperialism: Aime Cesaire & Shūsui Kōtoku

February 2

Lecture: French Colonialism & Assimilation

Reading: Aime Casaire, Obituary (Independent, 2008) (PDF); Kristen Childers, “Citizenship and Assimilation in Postwar Martinique: The Abolition of Slavery and the Politics of Commemoration” (Proceedings of the Western Society for French History) (PDF)

*First Paper (5 pg.) is due by 3 pm. Turn in the paper via Turn-It-In.


February 7

Lecture: Cesaire & Negritude Movement  

Reading: Cesaire, Discourse on Colonialism (whole book) (PDF)


February 9

Lecture: Japanese Imperialism

Reading: Modern East Asia from 1600, pp.465-483 (PDF)


February 14

Lecture: Shūsui Kōtoku and Critique of Japanese Imperialism

Reading: Kōtoku, The Monster of the 20th Century (Selected chapters) “Preface,” “Preliminary Observations,” “Introduction”, “On Imperialism,” and “Epilogue” (PDF).


Decolonial Thoughts in Asia: Gandhi and Sun Yat-Sen

February 16

Lecture: British Empire & India’s Struggle for Independence

Reading: John Springhall, Decolonization since 1945, pp. 65-80 (PDF).


February 21

Public Holiday


February 23


Lecture: Mahatma Gandhi & Strife for Self-Governance

Reading: History & Gandhi: Hind Swaraj or Indian Home Rule (PDF): 4, 6,7,8,9,11,12,13,14,16,17,20.


February 28

Lecture: China’s Semi-Colonial Status and Rise of Nationalist Movement

Reading: Conrad Schirokauer, Miranda Brown, David Lurie, and Suzanne Gay, “Chapter 19. China: Endings and Beginnings, 1894-1927,” pp. 486-497 from A Brief History of Chinese and Japanese Civilizations (Thomson Wadsworth, 3rd edition, 2006); “Forming a New Culture: May 4th Movement” from Twentieth Century China


March 2

Lecture: Sun Yat-Sen and Nationalist Revolution

Discussion: Sun Yat-Sen, Speech on Pan-Asianism (PDF); San Min Chu (The Three Principles of the People) P. Duara, Decolonization: Perspectives from Then and Now, Chap. 1. (PDF)


Armed Revolt: Ho Chi Minh

March 7

Lecture: French Colonialism in Vietnam

Reading: Decolonization Since 1945, 38-49 (PDF)


March 9

Lecture: Ho Chi Minh and Vietnamese Revolution

Reading: Ho Chi Minh, Selected Writings and Speeches from 1920-69 (Selected) “Equality!” “Racial Hatred,” “Murderous Civilization!” “Oppression Hits All Races,” Vietnamese Declaration of Independence” “Wage Resistance War!” “Imperialist Aggressors can never enslave the heroic Vietnamese people,” “The Path which led me to Leninism” (PDF).


March 16 Final Paper (5-6 pg.) is due by 3 pm. You turn in the paper via Turn-It-In


Course Summary:

Date Details Due
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