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Within the first decade of decolonisation, prominent anti-colonial thinkers, such as C. L. R. James, Frantz Fanon and Walter Rodney, swiftly registered that freedom from colonial rule brought complex new challenges. As the euphoria of independence alternated with residual forms of colonialism and emergent forms of neo-colonialism, so intellectuals in the new nations debated how to break definitively with the past and forge humane postcolonial futures. Comparing such debates in a range of post-colonial contexts, this one-day colloquium considers how reckonings with the colonial past articulated with visions of postcolonial futures – in economic theory, political thought, constitutional blueprints, the cultural and literary imagination, and historiography (public, popular and scholarly). In the context of contemporary debates about ‘the decolonial’, expressed most vividly in the calls to decolonise education / culture / curricula / knowledge, a return to the moment of decolonisation and its immediate aftermath provides an opportunity to inform, challenge, and advance those debates. This colloquium brings together scholars from different disciplines interested in (re-)investigating the moment of decolonisation and the first decade of freedom from colonial rule. 

The full programme and list of speakers can be viewed here.

Hosted by: The Postcolonial and Global Literatures Research Group at The Open University ( and The Institute of English Studies, University of London (

Attendance for this event is free. If you can no longer attend please be sure to cancel your ticket.