Rethinking ‘Late Colonialisms’ in Africa Online conference, 14-16 September 2022: Programme and Registration

Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo's picture
September 14, 2022 to September 16, 2022
Subject Fields: 
African History / Studies, Colonial and Post-Colonial History / Studies, Contemporary History, European History / Studies, Humanities

Rethinking ‘Late Colonialisms’ in Africa


Online conference, 14-16 September 2022:

Programme and Registration



‘Late colonialism’ is a widely used concept in African, colonial, and imperial history. It has been used to refer to a distinct, transformative period of colonial governance, from around the time of the Second World War through to ‘transfers of power’ in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.


The late colonial moment was a critical period across Africa. It has often been associated with the transformation of colonial institutions to produce ‘late colonial states’; the rapid growth and ‘Africanisation’ of state institutions; the decline of ‘indirect rule’ paradigms and managed expansion of electoral politics; the proliferating role of experts and expertise in governance; the emergence of new politics of difference and citizenship; and the growing accountability of imperial and colonial governments, including internationally. Late colonialism has been characterised, on one hand, by new projects of economic and social development, but on the other by military repression and social control. Late colonialism sought to re-make mid-twentieth century Africa, responding to new challenges, especially anticolonialism and nationalism. Postcolonial African nations have had to contend with late colonialism’s political, economic, social, and cultural legacies for decades after formal transfers of power.


Although scholars have recognised the importance of this moment in African history, and have frequently used the term late colonialism, there have been few attempts to conceptualise or define exactly what late colonialism was. Scholarship on late colonialism in Africa is scattered across multiple geographical and thematic sub-disciplines. We need to know more about fundamental questions. What – if anything – characterised late colonialism across Africa? What were the roots of late colonial ideas and practices? And what were the connections and variations between late colonialism within, and across, African territories and regions? We need to know more, too, about Africans’ role in making, adapting to, and contesting late colonialism; and about the ways in which specific late colonial dynamics simultaneously opened and circumscribed the options available to postcolonial nations. This workshop seeks to interrogate and elucidate the concept of ‘late colonialisms’ in Africa.


To attend, please email your name, title/status, and affiliation to by Tuesday 13 September 2022.



Rethinking ‘Late Colonialisms’ in Africa


All times are in West Africa Standard Time/ Western European Summer Time/ British Summer Time.




13.00-14.15. Keynote


John Darwin (University of Oxford), ‘Revisiting the Late Colonial State’.


14.30-16.30. Panel 1: Late Colonialisms and Health


Ayodeji W. Adegbite (University of Wisconsin-Madison), ‘Vaccine Apartheid: Yellow fever Control and Nigerian Medical Practitioners in late colonial Nigeria’.


Adebisi David Alade (University of Victoria), ‘African hygiene auxiliaries and the disease control program of the late colonial period in Nigeria’.


Nnamdi Nnake (McMaster University), ‘Contesting insanity in late colonial Nigeria’.


Sarah C. Runcie (Muhlenberg College), ‘Constructing health regions in late colonial French Africa’.


16:45-18.15. Panel 2: Population and Mobility


Husseina Dinani (University of Toronto Scarborough), ‘African mobility, commercial employers and food rations in late colonial Tanzania’.


Jodie K. Marshall (Michigan State University), ‘“A political issue of some magnitude”: late colonial migration policy and Zanzibari Arab nationalism, 1940s-50s’.


Ana Guardião (University of Florence/ University of Coimbra), ‘Planning refugee repatriation: Portuguese “late colonial state” modalities of population management in Angola (1964)’.





12.00-13.30. Panel 3: Scales of Late Colonial Politics I: Locality, City, Federation


Niels Boender (University of Warwick), ‘The local politics of late-colonialism: resistance and repression in Central Kenya, 1956-1963’.


Meriam Mabrouk (Birkbeck, University of London), ‘Conceptualising late colonialisms in the city: armed resistance and internationalism in Casablanca 1940s-1970s’.


Poppy Cullen (Loughborough University), ‘Ambitious state-building and rushed Africanisation: “late colonial” plans for the King’s African Rifles and East African Federation’.


13.45-15.15. Panel 4: Scales of Late Colonial Politics II: Transnational and International Politics


Ruth Craggs (King’s College London), Jonathan Harris (King’s College London), and Fiona McConnell (University of Oxford), ‘Diplomatic training and the transfer of sovereignty under late colonialism’.


Alex Peeples (Johns Hopkins University), ‘Afterlives of Late Colonial Law: Empire and Pan-Africanism in East Africa’.


Maryliz Racine (Universite libre de Bruxelles), ‘French late colonialism at the UN’.


15.30-16.45. Panel 5: Tax, Business, Trade


Victor M. Gwande (University of the Free State), ‘“Propping up the rebellion”: big business, sanctions busting and decolonisation in Rhodesia, 1966-1979’.


Opolot Okia (Wright State University), ‘Communal labor as a labor tax in late colonial Kenya’.


Okey C. Iheduru (Arizona State University), ‘“Late colonialism” and Africa’s shipping industry: from “maritime nationalism” to extraverted maritime security governance’.


17:00-18.30. Panel 6: Constitutions and Elections


Abel Djassi Amado (Simmons University), ‘The very last imperial elections in Africa: the Portuguese parliamentary elections of 1969 and 1973’.


Brooks Marmon (University of Pretoria), ‘Southern Rhodesia’s 1961 Constitution: repercussions of a late colonial initiative gone awry’.


Bonny Ibhawoh (McMaster University), ‘For their own ends: African perspectives on British colonial constitutional bills of rights’.




13.00-14.15. Keynote


Patience Mususa (Nordic Africa Institute), ‘Imagining eco-utopia: Kaunda’s vision for a ‘heaven on earth’ in Zambia’s time of crisis’.





14.30-16.30. Panel 7: Late Colonial Cultures and Representations


Emily Hardick (Ohio State University), ‘Staging the “Belgo-Congolese Community” in Changwe Yetu and Mu Kongo – Mu Belgique (1956-1959)’.


Emily Marker (Rutgers University – Camden), ‘Brassage on film: interracial friendship and the promise of multiracial democracy in Jean Rouch’s La pyramide humaine’.


Jéssica Evelyn Pereira dos Santos (Fluminense Federal University), ‘Physical anthropology and the “colonial body: knowledge production on “indigenous” peoples in late colonial Angola (1950s-1960s)’.


Caroline Angle Maguire (University of Maryland), ‘Recontextualizing the Museum in the Late Colonial Era: The Case of the Musée d’Art Africain de l’IFAN, Dakar (1936 – 1980)’.


16:45-18.15. Panel 8: Late Colonial Development


James Parker (University of Virginia), ‘Delayed-colonialism and the actualization of erasive development in Kenya 1920-70’.


Naïma Maggetti (University of Geneva), ‘Community development in British colonial rhetoric (1940s-1950s)’.


Giovanni Tonolo (European University Institute, Florence), ‘From colonial prudence to postcolonial authoritarianism? Palm oil development in Dahomey (1957-1960)’.



Co-organisers: Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo (University of Coimbra) and Tim Livsey (Northumbria University).


Conference committee: Toyin Falola (University of Texas at Austin), Leigh Gardner (London School of Economics), Bonny Ibhawoh (McMaster University), Alexander Keese (University of Geneva), Amandine Lauro (Free University of Brussels), and Enocent Msindo (Rhodes University).


This conference is co-financed by FEDER - Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional through COMPETE 2020 - Programa Operacional Competitividade e Internacionalização (POCI) and by national funds nacionais through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, in association with the research project ‘The Worlds of (Under)Development: Processes and legacies of the Portuguese colonial empire in a comparative perspective (1945-1975)’ (PTDC/ HAR-HIS/31906/2017 | POCI-01-0145-FEDER-031906; Centro de Estudos Sociais da Universidade de Coimbra).