Colonialism and fascism 

The central issue in this course is the relationship between colonialism and fascism. We will begin with some of the classical literature on colonialism, before turning to recent and forthcoming literature on fascism. The course will also include readings and discussion of colonialism and language, and colonialism and education. Time permitting, we will link the reading and discussion to current events.

Colonialism and FascismKyiv School of EconomicsProf. Jason Stanley

August 1-8, 2023

Who we invite:

    Anyone who wants to seriously understand the relationship between colonialism and fascism

Lecturer of the course


Jason Stanley

    Jason Stanley is the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University.
    He is the author of five books, most recently How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them. His sixth book, The Politics of Language, co-authored with David Beaver, is forthcoming from Princeton University Press in November, 2023.
    He has writes about propaganda, authoritarianism, mass incarceration, genocide, free speech and other topics for The New York Times, The Guardian, Project Syndicate, and many other newspapers around the world.

This class is about the concepts of colonialism and fascism, and their interrelation. As we shall see, philosophers have been at the forefront in investigating these concepts. The course is about these concepts, though we will also discuss throughout their potential application to the Ukrainian war. 
Not all colonial empires are fascist within their own countries. But all colonial empires subjugate their colonies to something like fascist rule. And the classic mid-century European fascist powers, Germany and Italy, were not just colonialists, they were explicit colonialists, seeking to dominate and exploit their neighbors for wealth and glory. What is the link between fascism, on the one hand, and colonialism on the other? What is characteristic of colonialist brutality? Why are fascist regimes drawn, perhaps inexorably, to it? 
This course will consist of eight classes, in which we will cover some classic readings on colonialism and fascism, relating them in open discussion to the contemporary world.

Lecture schedule

  • 1 August

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)online

    Colonialism and empire and their relation to democracy are ancient themes. We begin the class by discussing these themes in Thucydides’ fourth century work, The Peloponnesian War. 

    Pericles’ Funeral OrationCleon’s speech in the Mytilenean debate.

  • 2 August

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)online

    According to what is sometimes called the ‘imperial boomerang effect’, fascist brutality in a nation’s colonies has a “boomerang effect,” bringing fascist counter-insurgency methods to the home nation. In short, colonialism abroad leads to the normalization of fascism at home. In this class, we will provide evidence for the reality of the boomerang effect with German midcentury fascism.

    Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism
    Selections from Isabel Hull, Absolute Destruction: Military Culture and the Practices of War in Imperial Germany
    Selections from Adam Hochschild, King Leopold’s Ghost
    Tadeusz Borowski, “The People who are Walking”, in Here in Our Auschwitz

  • 3 August

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)online

    Hannah Arendt’s analysis of the relation between colonialism and fascism in Origins of Totalitarianism is central to 20th Century philosophy. In this class, via selections from this text, we will acquaint ourselves with this analysis.

    Hannah Arendt, Chapters 6, 7, 8 of Origins of Totalitarianism

  • 4 August

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)online

    In the 1950s, the Gikuyu tribe, Kenya’s largest ethnic group, led an insurgency against the British occupiers of Kenya. This insurgency was called by the British the Mau Mau rebellion, and the insurgents Mau Mau rebels. The Gikuyu called themselves the Land and Freedom Army. The British seized all the traditional Gikuyu land, including the best land for agriculture. They also brutally suppressed the traditional Gikuyu religion, its history, its cultural practices, and its native language. All of this was an effort, ultimately to extinguish Gikuyu identity. In this class, we consider forms of colonialism that seek to annihilate a country’s cultural practices, history, and language.

    Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, “Decolonizing the Mind”
    W.E.B. Du Bois, “The White Masters of the World”

  • 5 August

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)online

    Continuing themes from the fourth class, we will explore the methods by which culture, history, and identity are destroyed by colonial and totalitarian powers.

    Selections from David Wallace Adams, Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928, selections
    Victoria Amelina, “Nothing Bad Has Ever Happened”
    Selections from Timothy Snyder, Black Earth: Holocaust as History and Warning

  • 6 August

    10:00 AM - 12:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)online

    In-house training course

    The Battle of Algiers (film)

  • 7 August

    6:00 PM - 9:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)offline

    Frantz Fanon is the 20th century’s greatest theorist of colonialism and anti-colonialism. We will begin this class with a discussion of his essay “On Violence”, about the role of nationalism in anti-colonial struggle (as well as the form nationalism must take after the anti-colonial struggle is successful, to prevent fascism arising in the formerly colonized nation). 

    Frantz Fanon, “On Violence”Selections from Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks

  • 8 August

    6:00 PM - 9:00 PMUTC +3 (EEST)offline

    In this class, we will consider fascism as an ideology and a practice, beginning with the texts of fascism’s most famous 20th century leader.

    Selections from Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf.Jason Stanley, One Hundred Years of FascismJason Stanley and Eliyahu Stern, Putin’s Fascist IdeologyJason Stanley, Trump’s Neofascism and American Racism.


Talk to the manager

Phone: 38 050 151 17 45Email: au.gro.esk%40sesruoc