This panel aims to add to the rich literature on decolonisation in the region by inviting papers on new or altered social and cultural practices, political imagineries and social conflict.
In Southern Africa the second half of the twentieth century was a time of significant change and turmoil. The processes of political change varied, with the dramatic collapse of colonial rule in Mozambique and Angola, while white minority regimes in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia obstinately resisted majority rule in the face of growing opposition from nationalist liberation movements. While the power struggles shaping these developments were nationally and regionally grounded, they also represented complicated local inflections of Cold War politics and the consequences of the global economic recession in the early 1970s. Scholarly understandings of the late decolonisation period in the region are rich and well established. Much of this work focuses on key political figures and movements; the wars and contestation of liberation; the economic changes (or lack thereof) brought about by decolonisation; the social changes wrought by these events and their impact on people's lives. This panel seeks to draw together new research offering alternative histories of decolonisation and liberation in Southern Africa - not to displace the established narratives, but to cast new light on the contestations of this period. It invites papers dealing with - but not confined to - shifts in cultural formations; new or altered social practices; emerging conflicts within or between ethnic, religions, or other social groups; and changing political imaginaries in the region which demonstrate new interpretations of, or unorthodox avenues for exploring the transformations and contestations characterising the region during this period.