Announcing the 2015 Decolonization Public Lectures

We are pleased to announce the 2015 Decolonization Public Lectures.

These lectures are a part of the International Seminar on Decolonization, which is organized by the National History Center, hosted by the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress, and generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation through the summer of 2015.

Both lectures will be held in Room LJ-119 of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

Todd Shepard will deliver his lecture “Decolonization and the Sexual Revolution” at 4 PM on July 15. Shepard will explain how the fight for “sexual liberation” in the 1960s and ‘70s, usually explained as a U.S. and European invention, also developed out of the worldwide anti-colonial movement of the mid-twentieth century. This talk focuses on public debates about sex in France and explores how what made this so-called revolution “French”—rather than “Western” or “late modern”— were the central roles played by invocations of “Arab men” and Algeria.

Shepard is an associate professor of history and the co-director of the Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at the Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of The Invention of Decolonization: The Algerian War and the Remaking of France (2006) and Voices of Decolonization: A Short History with Documents (2014). His France, Sex, and “Arab Men,” 1962-1979 is forthcoming, and he is completing a manuscript entitled “Affirmative Action and the End of Empires: ‘Integration’ in France (1956-1962) and the Race Question in the Cold War World.

Jordanna Bailkin will deliver her lecture “Unsettled: Refugee Camps in Britain from the Suez Crisis to Idi Amin” at 4 PM on July 22. Bailkin explores two sets of British camps that served the refugees of decolonization: Anglo-Egyptians in 1956 and Ugandan Asians in 1972. In comparing the material culture, built environment, and daily life in these camps, we can see how the trajectories of independence abroad generated new identities – as well as new intimacies and frictions – in Britain itself.

Bailkin is the Giovanni and Amne Costigan Professor of European History at the University of Washington. She is the author of The Culture of Property (Chicago, 2004), and The Afterlife of Empire (Berkeley, 2012). She is currently working on a book about refugee camps in Britain from the 1930s to the 1980s.


See the Decolonization Seminar page and the events digest for more details.

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