Mukul Mangalik is the fifth lecturer of the RIKK – Institute for Gender, Equality and Difference at the University of Iceland lecture series on decolonialism in spring 2023. His lecture is titled “Letting the Light In. Un-Gendering Histories of Anti-Colonial Struggles for Liberation” and will be held at 12–13 on Thursday 30 March, at the National Museum of Iceland.

There was a time when decolonization was understood as a transfer of power at an appropriate moment decided upon and willingly granted by paternalist colonisers to the colonized. Nationalist and early Marxist historiographies inverted the paradigm and argued, though with contesting understandings and emphases regarding both the nature of liberation movements and the meaning of independence, de-colonisation and neo-colonialism, that independence from colonial rule was wrested by national liberation struggles and movements in the face of resistance by colonial powers, which, in different measure continued to believe in the ‘illusion of permanence’ of their empires well after the end of World War II. ‘Histories from below’ or popular histories of national liberation movements shifted the focus of historical research on national liberation struggles to the active role played by ‘subalterns’ in the shaping of struggles for independence, but until fairly recently, even the best such histories remained gendered. What does this mean? When did the un-gendering of historical understandings of struggles for liberation really take off? Why did this happen and what kind of new histories with respect to de-colonisation have been produced in the wake of the new questions asked and new research undertaken? The lecture will seek to address some of these issues with examples drawn from the histories of modern Latin America, Africa, South and South-East Asia.

Mukul Mangalik retired as Associate Professor of History from Ramjas College, University of Delhi, India, on March 31, 2022. Apart from teaching a wide variety of courses, he was also Convenor of the Gender Forum at Ramjas College for close to two decades while also often being invited as a resource person at the Institute for Contemporary History, University of Innsbruck, and becoming an amateur photographer, documentary film-maker and barista during his many years of traveling.

Further information on the lecture series can be found on RIKK’s website – – and the institute’s Facebook-page. The lecture series is organised with the cooperation of the National Museum of Iceland. A recording of the lecture will be made available on RIKK‘s website.