Decolonising histories in theory and practice

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)

No.3, 2021


Decolonising histories in theory and practice



Yuli Xia


“Post-colonialist history” is a critique of conventional history and stands for multiple histories, which increases non-western nations’ antonomy in historical studies and historiography. Because its citique is incomplete, however, it is insufficient for them to fufill the task to dismantle and abolish the academic hegemony of colonialism. Some scholars argue for “decolonising history”, a brand-new theoretical path, with the hope to create a indigenous history free from western influence and with complete self-determination. Recently, the journal History and Theory (vol.59, issue 3, Sept. 2020) published a forum including a series of essays on “decolonising histories in theory and practice”, which is the newest sign of the theoretical turn. The essays argue for totally breaking the irrational academic rules created by the imperial academic regimes, and adopting new theoretical frameworks and approaches to allow the indigenous peoples to write their own histories with their purposes and in their own way to re-establish indigenous groups’ litimate positions in the past, and free them from the ruling authorities’ discrimination, exploitation and inequality in the settler colonial states.