Not available in 2013/14
Race, Violence and Colonial Rule in Africa

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Joanna Lewis E494


This course is available on the MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in Empires, Colonialism and Globalisation, MSc in History of International Relations, MSc in International Affairs (LSE and Peking University), MSc in International Migration and Public Policy, MSc in International and World History (LSE & Columbia), MSc in Race, Ethnicity and Postcolonial Studies and MSc in Theory and History of International Relations. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course examines the rise and fall of formal colonial rule in Africa. It is comparative in principle and is focused upon the violence inherent in this encounter. It is essentially a political history but includes cultural, social and economic aspects. The end of slavery; European exploration; the European empires and African resistance; white settler societies; the origins of apartheid in South Africa; the development of the colonial state; direct and indirect rule;; the rise of nationalism in West Africa; the Mau Mau uprising in Kenya; the Algerian war of independence; the Congo crisis and the assassination of Lumumba; the rise and fall of 'white' Rhodesia; the wars of liberation in the Portuguese colonies; the demise of the apartheid state; the legacy of colonialism in Africa; the genocide in Rwanda; the civil war in Sierra Leone and the collapse of Zimbabwe.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 20 hours of seminars in the LT. 6 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

Each student is required to write two essays (3,000 words each) and one mock exam .

Indicative reading

M. Meredith, The state of Africa (latest edn); R Dowden, Africa: Altered States. Orindary Miracles (2009); N Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom (1994); J Iliffe, Africans: The History of a Continent (1995); R. Reid, A history of Modern Africa (2009); D Kennedy, Islands of White: Settler Society and Culture in Kenya and Rhodesia, 1890-1939 (1987);, F Furedi, The Silent War: Imperialism and the Changing Perception of Race (1998); F Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, (1986 edn); C Achebe, Things Fall Apart (2001 edn).;


Exam (100%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.

Key facts

Department: International History

Total students 2012/13: 26

Average class size 2012/13: 13

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information