University of Turin, Italy: «Beyond decolonizing» paper «required reading» in the «Colonial Spaces and Post-Colonial Studies» course

For the second teaching year in a row, the paper «Beyond decolonizing: global intellectual history and reconstruction of a comparative method» (2021, online from May 2019) by Dag Herbjørnsrud is listed as «required reading» in Professor Lorenzo Kamel’s corso (course) «Colonial Spaces and Post-Colonial Studies: History and Methodologies» at the University of Turin (Torino), Italy. The paper is the only «required reading» text in Lesson 3, which is named «Beyond decolonizing.»

Herbjørnsrud’s article «Beyond decolonizing«, published in Global Intellectual History (Vol. 6, No. 5), is the most read non-open access paper in the journal’s history. It is «in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric», among more than 20 million scientific papers across all disciplines, it has a Scopus score of 6 and an Altmetric score of 89, and in 2021 it was (literally) centered in a paper (by Reddick and Taylor, Texas Univ.) published by The Review of Higher Education (Vol. 44, No. 2).

Prof. Lorenzo Kamel

The University of Turin (Torino) was founded in 1404, and it is generally ranked among the top 5 Italian universities and ranked third for research activities in the country. Lorenzo Kamel is a Professor of History at Turin University and director of the Istituto Affari Internazionali’s Research Studies. Kamel has written more than a dozen books, he is a board member of a number of academic journals, and he has been awarded the «Giuseppe Sciacca International Prize», the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung Grant, and the «Palestine Academic Book Award». Herbjørnsrud is a global historian and ideas and founder of the Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas (SGOKI).

Since 2020/2021, Kamel has included the «Beyond decolonizing» paper in the course «Colonial Spaces and Post-Colonial Studies: History and Methodologies», which has this description: «The course intends to provide a critical and interdisciplinary analysis of the policy and ideology of European colonial expansion between the opening of the Suez Canal (1869) and the outbreak of the First World War, a period characterized by unprecedented competition for overseas territorial acquisitions and the emergence in colonising countries of doctrines of racial superiority. Students will acquire a top-down and a bottom-up perspective on the process of ‘simplification’ registered in colonial contexts and will be required to adopt a comparative approach that takes on board the Middle East and other geographical contexts directly affected by colonial rule and conflicts, including and particularly African countries and India.»

The «reading list is divided into 12 parts (each corresponding to a 3 hours lesson) (…) Students are asked to prepare the required readings carefully, in order to be able to participate to class discussions. They will be asked to send to me 2 or 3 questions/inputs regarding the content of the required reading of each lesson, within the evening before the lesson.»

In this course, Lesson 3 is named «Beyond decolonizing.» It has this content:

«Required reading: D. Herbjørnsrud, Beyond Decolonizing, in “Global Intellectual History”, 6(5), 2021, pp. 614-640.

Presentation delivered by one student: L. Tihiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies, Zed Books, New York 2012, ch. 3.»

More info on the course:

Link to the «Beyond decolonizing» paper: