Online workshop: “Hegel and colonialism” (26 November, 2021)

We are glad to give notice of the Online Workshop: Hegel and colonialism, which will be held on Friday, 26 November 2021

Registration: please register by sending an email with the header “Registration Hegel and Colonialism” to

For further information, please visit the website of the event.


The period in which Hegel lived witnessed important events in colonial history, such as the colonization of Australia, the Haitian revolution, and the South-American wars for independence, as well as public controversies about colonialism and slavery. Hegel was well aware of Europe’s colonial past and present and of debates about colonialism (including critics like Raynal and Herder). Moreover, many central topics in Hegel’s work bear on colonialism, including freedom, property, recognition, the master-slave-relation, history and progress. Colonization is a topic in both §248 and §351 of Hegel’s 1821 Philosophy of Right, and the transcripts of Hegel’s lectures on the Philosophy of History contain several discussions of colonial conquest, rule and decolonization in the Americas, as well as of colonialism in India.

This workshop addresses some of the questions that Hegel’s discussion of colonialism raises: Does he lend philosophical support to colonial projects, and if so, how? Or is his attitude towards colonialism better described as neutral or critical? How does Hegel understand the economy of colonialism or imperialism, and to what extent does he anticipate later accounts thereof? Does Hegel provide theoretical tools that can still be of use in discussing (post)colonial phenomena, or is Hegelian thought more part of the problem than of the solution?


Workshop’s program (CET)

10.30 Welcome

10.45 Daniel James (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf) & Franz Knappik (Universitetet i Bergen): Hegel on the ‘absolute right’ to colonialize

11.15 Christopher Yeomans (Purdue University): Hegel on the banality of colonialism

11.45 Discussion

13.00 Lunch break

14.00 Angelo Narváez León (Universidad Católica Silva Henriquez, Santiago de Chile): Religion and politics in the Hegelian philosophy of late colonialism

14.30 John-Baptiste Oduor (Essex University): Hegel’s Theory of Imperialism and its Limits

15.00 Discussion

16.15 Coffee break

16.45 Filipe Campello (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Recife): Where does the Absolute speak from? Shifts between politics and history in Hegel

17.15 Nikita Dhawan (Technische Universität Dresden): Can non-Europeans philosophize? German orientalism, Hegel’s capricious chauvinism and postcolonial antinomies

17.45 Discussion



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