The Global Decolonization Initiative promotes the study of decolonisation as an ongoing social, cultural, political, and intellectual process to understand in specific ways how colonialism and empire have shaped our contemporary economic and social worlds. As a research-oriented initiative, we are multidisciplinary, focusing on the academic study of decolonisation as a complex global historical process.
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We hosted two undergraduate-driven, faculty-guided research projects— Connected Partitions and Nuclear Sites— that developed in-depth qualitative case studies to facilitate research and teaching. In the fall of 2021, the students of HUB CC 284 created ArcGIS StoryMaps to visually represent their case studies. Two examples are below:
StoryMaps #1, Political Economy of Radiation
StoryMaps #2, Radioactive France
Territorial divisions in South and Southeast Asia, Africa, and Europe from 1900s to the present. (Summer & Fall 2020)
Nuclear weapons, energy, and mining sites with fraught political, social, and legal histories from 1945 to the present. (Summer 2020, Fall 2020, & Spring 2021)
co-curricular research internships (Fall 2021)
Fostering collaborative student research has been at the heart of our research-related work, especially encouraging undergraduate students towards publications and seminar presentations. After months of research in 2020, we published our first research essay in The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and presented several of our case studies at Princeton University's Science & Global Security seminar in 2021.
Sarkar, J. & C. Meyer, "Radiation Illnesses & COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, February 3, 2021.
Research presentation at Princeton University Science & Global Security Seminar, April 7, 2021.
In spring 2021, we hosted a series of online workshops with Indigenous students of Nuclear Princeton, to discuss disenfranchisement and dispossession created by nuclear sites across the world. We were joined by Professor Allison MacFarlane (former chairperson of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Director of UBC's School of Public Policy & Global Affairs) and Mr. Ian Zabarte (Principal Man for the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation). The workshops were facilitated by Dr. Zia Mian (Co-Director, Program in Science and Global Security, Princeton University).
The Decolonization@60 series of events were hosted by Global Decolonization Initiative at Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies in December 2020 on the 60th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514. The Resolution, formally called, “Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples,” was adopted on December 14, 1960.The events showcased new historical research that sheds light on decolonization as a framework, a moment, and more importantly as an ongoing process.The videos of all the events, except the keynote, can be found below.
In 2020, 2021, and 2022, we hosted book talks, work-in-progress seminars, expert roundtables, and keynotes that foregrounded decolonization as a process. Below are videos of the handful of events that were recorded. Others only had posters.