The Making and Unmaking of the Postcolonial World

New School for Social Research: Politics

Liberal Arts
Graduate Course
Degree Students (with Restrictions)
The Postcolonial World
Spring 2024
Taught By: Sandipto Dasgupta
Section: A

CRN: 14641

Credits: 3

The process of decolonization in the mid-twentieth century was not simply a transfer of power from imperial to nationalist hands. It called for new ideas, institutions, and practices that could construct a new world from the ruins of empires. This class will be an intellectual biography of that distinctive ‘Third Worldist’ political project through writings and reflections of (primarily) thinkers and actors who inhabited that world – from its emergence following decolonization to its decline during globalization. The class is divided into three parts: making, crisis, unmaking. The first part, ‘making’, will look at the ideas and institutions generated by the ambitious yet precarious project of constructing a new ‘post’colonial order – from democracy to developmentalism, from international law to culture. The second part will focus on the crisis of that project – both internal and external – in the late 1960s – 1970s, and the critical political and intellectual currents it brought forth. The last part, ‘unmaking’, looks at the eventual exhaustion and decline of the project starting from the 1980s, to what would be known as globalization. It would look at both the ideas that defeated it, as well as the new genre of critiques and requiems that followed. Through this intellectual biography, the course is interested in investigating the aspirations and limitations of the project of postcolonial worldmaking, and how it can be a resource for us to think about our present conditions, as the age of globalization itself seems exhausted. TBA

College: New School for Social Research (GF)

Department: Politics (POL)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 18

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:54am EDT 5/25/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Monday
Times: 4:00pm - 5:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 600
Date Range: 1/22/2024 - 5/13/2024