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Academic Year 2023/2024

Settler colonialism (HIS32850)

Arts & Humanities
3 (Degree)
Module Coordinator:
Dr Jeremiah Garsha
Mode of Delivery:
On Campus
Internship Module:
How will I be graded?
Letter grades

Curricular information is subject to change.

Settler colonialism is the history of expansion, occupation, elimination, and commemoration. This module investigates those currents, using global case studies to underscore the landscapes of settler colonial connections and contentions. The creation of frontiers and the expansion into peripheries focus this module on the occupation of ‘space’ that underpins settlement. Encounters with Indigenous peoples created contrasting colonial binaries of ‘civilised’ and ‘savage’ in order to justify racially motivated violence, removal, and extermination. Issues of sovereignty were enshrined in material and cultural markers, from statutes to statues.

In this module we will engage with the historiography of settler colonialism studies and primary source materials. Moving beyond written texts, we will also examine illustrations, songs, films, memes, and more. The trimester begins with a theoretical overview, before moving into thematic and geographic focused case studies in the second half of the trimester. We will seek to uncover the ways settler colonialism differs from imperialism. We then blur these distinctions using specific source materials in order to view colonialism from a range of perspectives. We will explore settler colonial policies and the technologies of governance. We will engage in issues of belonging, assimilation, and collaboration. Finally, we will explore past and contemporary resistance movements to settler colonialism. We will ask if settler colonialism ever ends, and explore the ways in which settler societies can decolonise or become anti-colonial.

About this Module

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students should be able to:

1) Ability to process source materials and develop original arguments through focused case-studies. Students will also learn to categorise these studies under thematic groupings to build upon in their own original research
2) Critically engage with diverse primary and secondary sources, including unconventional sources under multidisciplinary methodologies
3) Gain experience focusing the skills of historians: such as how to research, synthesise readings and lecture content, meet deadlines, and present historical findings through written work and small group discussions
4) Write and research an analytical essay to the standards of a third level history student
5) Hone transferable skills such as critical engagement with materials, self-reflection, clear communication, speaking to a group, an assessment of tone, attention to authorial intent, and the shaping effect of audiences play
6) Explore detailed connections and collisions between settler societies, colonial rule and resistance movements on a global scale
7) Evaluate settler colonialism under political, economic, social, and cultural historical approaches. In addressing these topics, students are encouraged to reflect on diversity and inclusion and the continuing role of colonial legacies in contemporary terms

Indicative Module Content:

Week 1: Introduction
Week 2: Settler Colonialism and Settler Colonial Studies
Week 3: Economics and Exploitation
Week 4: Educating and Othering
Week 5: Settlers and Surveillance
Week 6: Settler Colonial Discipline and Punish(ment)
Week 7: Gender, Race, and Place
Week 8 Reading Week
Week 9: Ireland and Islands
Week 10: Environmental and Ecological Histories
Week 11: Resistance and (W)reckonings
Week 12: Final essay workshop

Student Effort Hours:
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Seminar (or Webinar)




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This is a small-group, seminar-based module. It is taught via a one-hour weekly lecture and a two-hour seminar. The lecture aims to provide an overview of the week's topic, familiarising students with key debates and events. The seminar is focused upon individual active and task-based learning by means of class debates, discussion and student presentations. Advanced research, writing and citation skills are developed through a combination of individual student presentations on primary sources, the write-up of this presentation and the extended 4000-word research project. Autonomous learning is advanced through student-led debate and discussion of set primary sources and student presentations each week.

Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Presentation: Students will submit an essay outline (max 2 pages) and present their outline (5 minutes) during essay workshops. They will also be assessed on the comments they provide peers during workshops Varies over the Trimester n/a Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Students will be graded on their participation during the seminars (note: this is not based on attendance, but rather active discussion and participation). Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Essay: A semester-long research project comprising an extended essay of 4000 words. Week 12 n/a Graded No


Journal: Students will keep weekly learning journals. A template is provide. Students will submit a total of 5 journals for assessment. Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components

Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 

Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on the combined presentation/written assessment will be provided in writing post-submission, either on the hard copy or via brightspace. Oral feedback will be provided on an ongoing basis in seminars in response to student contributions. Feedback on the end-of-semester research project assessment will be provided in writing post-submission, either on the hard copy or via brightspace. Students will also have opportunity to book a one-to-one consultation to discuss their progress either pre- or post-assessment.

Name Role
Dr Jeremiah Garsha Lecturer / Co-Lecturer