Module Catalogue 2020/21

HIS2239 : Colonialism and Post-Colonialism in Egypt and Sudan

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Willow Berridge
  • Owning School: History, Classics and Archaeology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module seeks to explore the impact of British colonialism on Egyptian and Sudanese society in the period from 1882 to the mid twentieth century, as well as the efforts of nationalists, socialists, Islamists, regionalists and secessionists within the post-colonial Sudanese nation state to confront the colonial legacy. There will be a strong comparative theme throughout and students will be encouraged to contrast to two nations’ experiences of colonial subjection and post-colonial statehood. It is assessed primarily through coursework (one source commentary and an essay).

The aims of the module are:
-       To enable students to critically approach debates about colonialism, Eurocentrism and Islamism.
-       To convey a broad understanding of a complex range of cultural, political, and socio-economic transformations within Egypt and Sudan from 1882 to the present.
-       Raising awareness of the methodological challenges that arise using primary source accounts provided by Western colonial Europeans to study non-Western societies.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.Introduction and Prelude
2.The Occupation of Egypt
3.The Sudanese Mahdi and the Anglo-Egyptian Reconquest
4.Anti-Slavery Crusades and the Transition to a Colonial Economy
5.Orientalism, Race and Colonialism
6.Religion and Education in Egypt and Colonial Sudan
7.Gendered Colonialism
8.Law, Order and the Colonial State
9.Nationalism and Revolution in Egypt and Sudan, 1919-1924
10.Britain’s ‘Southern Policy’ + ‘Closed Districts’: the Origins of Southern Sudanese Secession
11.World War II and Nationalism in Egypt and Sudan
12.Military Socialism: Nasser, Suez and the Free Officers in Egypt
13.Democracy and authoritarianism: the military – parliamentary cycle in Sudanese politics, 1956-1989
14.The rise of Islamism in Egypt and Sudan
15.Uncivil war in Sudan: the South from 1955 to secession
16.Authoritarian Regimes in Egypt and Sudan, 1981-present
17.Women’s Struggles in Post-Colonial Egypt and Sudan
18.Universities, Prisons and Law-Courts: The Institutions of the Postcolony

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

-       Awareness of the impact of nationalism and other ideological movements (Islamism, communism) on modern Egypt and Sudan
-       Awareness of the impact of colonialism on non-Western societies
-       Awareness of continuities and discontinuities between the colonial and post-colonial eras

Intended Skill Outcomes

-       Ability to critically deconstruct narratives found in primary source material
-       Ability to relate country specific case studies to wider debates in the field of global, imperial and post-colonial history.
-       Comparative analysis of different case studies.
-       Ability to write in a manner that displays critical thinking skills and awareness of historiographical debates.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture181:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion541:0054:001/3 of guided independent study
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Film screening
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study551:0055:001/3 of guided independent study
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will help students develop their understanding of the core knowledge areas as well as highlighting the core areas of critical debate that the seminars will address. Seminars will then encourage students to apply the knowledge they have gained from lectures and their own independent study to these historiographical debates to develop their critical thinking skills. Seminar debates will assist students in developing their capacity to argue and provide evidence.
A number of the other seminars will focus on source analysis in order to raise awareness of the methodological challenges addressed in the core aims.
There will also be a drop in surgery to help students’ review their essay plans and develop their core essay writing skills

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A803,000 word essay (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Written exercise2M201,000 word source commentary (including footnotes but excluding bibliography)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The source commentary will test students’ ability to appreciate core methodological challenge posed by the usage of Western colonial sources to study non-Western history as well as their ability to contextualise primary material and relate it to historiographical debates. The essay questions test the students’ comparative skills, as well as their awareness of the core areas of knowledge explored on this module and ability to critically relate this knowledge to historiographical debates.

All exchange students at Newcastle University including Erasmus, study-abroad, exchange proper and Loyola are warmly encouraged to do the same assessment as the domestic students unless they have compelling reasons not to do so. If this is the case, they are offered the option of writing one 3,000 word essay to be handed in by 12.00 p.m. of the Friday of the first week of the assessment period. This will replace all assessment work required of domestic students. If they wish to take up this option, students need to discuss it with their module leader, having checked with their home university that the new assessment will be accepted by them.

Students who opt for the alternative assessment because they will have to leave Newcastle University before the assessment period (excluding Erasmus students, who are contractually obliged to be at Newcastle until the end of the semester) should hand in their 3000-word essays before they go away. If this is not possible, they should tell the School exchange coordinator that they are going to submit their essays in absentia, then submit their essays through Blackboard and email copies of the essays to Any essay received after the deadline will be considered as a late submission.

All Erasmus students at Newcastle University are expected to do the same assessment as students registered for a degree.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending semester 1 only are required to finish their assessment while in Newcastle. This will take the form of an alternative assessment, as outlined in the formats below:

Modules assessed by Coursework and Exam:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be one essay in addition to the other coursework assessment (the length of the essay should be adjusted in order to comply with the assessment tariff); to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Exam only:
The normal alternative form of assessment for all semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be two 2,000 word written exercises; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Modules assessed by Coursework only:
All semester 1 non-EU study abroad students will be expected to complete the standard assessment for the module; to be submitted no later than 12pm Friday of week 12. The essays should be set so as to assure coverage of the course content to date.

Study-abroad, non-Erasmus exchange and Loyola students spending the whole academic year or semester 2 are required to complete the standard assessment as set out in the MOF under all circumstances.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

As this will be the first time the module has run (semester 1, 2016-17 session), there are no past exam papers; however, specimen papers will be provided to students as a revision tool.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2020/21 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2021/22 entry will be published here in early-April 2021. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.