1492: Race, Religion and the Colonising ‘Man’
Course infoSchedule
Course moduleFTR-FIPPSB210
Credits (ECTS)5
Language of instructionEnglish
Offered byRadboud University; Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies; Opleiding Filosofie;
dr. A.R. Topolski
Other course modules lecturer
dr. A.R. Topolski
Other course modules lecturer
Contactperson for the course
dr. A.R. Topolski
Other course modules lecturer
Academic year2020
SEM2  (25/01/2021 to 29/08/2021)
Starting block
Course mode
Registration using OSIRISYes
Course open to students from other facultiesYes
Waiting listNo
Placement procedure-
The year 1492 is a symbolic turning point in world history. For some it is the start of European greatness, expansion, discovery, science etc. For others it was the start of the end, genocide, slavery, and dehumanization. We begin this course by mapping these different perspectives, focusing on the intersections of race, religion, gender, and colonization. In the following weeks, we zoom on each of these concepts and interrogate them philosophically by means of a dialectical reading/discussion strategy. Texts will be selected from the canon and paired with texts that aim to critique or decolonize this canon. Through discussion we come to reflect upon both and draw some preliminary conclusions on the impact of this symbolic moment in relation to philosophy, knowledge production and more specifically identity production in relation to contemporary political modes of exclusion. 
This semester long course sets the stage and connects the other two module courses.

This course explores how identities, whether of individuals or groups, are produced, maintained, resisted and potentially challenged. Questions of individual and collective identity are a crucial issue at every level of society, ranging from local communities to the global. This is evident from the many contemporary debates – philosophical, political, scientific, as well as public – on matters such as gender, racism, decolonization, religious identity, and their various intersections. Students will be introduced to various theoretical perspectives that deal with identity formation and dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in relation to power differences. We will explore these perspectives for understanding identity components such as gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, language, and bodily difference. This module provides three such interrelated perspectives on the politics of identities and forms of exclusion. The first course is a historical and critical introduction into the theme of exclusion, with a focus on race and religion, and two further courses zoom in on the topics of gender and post-colonial theory. All the readings in this module will be interdisciplinary and also aim to create a discussion between the philosophical canon and non-European or decolonized approaches. 

Presumed foreknowledge

Test information

This course is part of a three course module in the Philosophy, Politics and Society bachelor programme. Students can only be admitted if they also take the two associated courses during the same semester (retakes excluded). Students who are NOT enrolled in a bachelor, master, or exchange programme of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious studies cannot register directly for PPS modules. Instead, they can apply for admission by sending an e-mail to Such applications must contain a separate document in which you (1) inform us about your current studies, (2) explain which module you want to take and why it is relevant to your studies, and (3) describe what you bring to the classroom. The document must be written in English.
Instructional modes

Test weight1
Test typePaper
OpportunitiesBlock SEM2, Block SEM2