Decolonisation in Universities: The politics of knowledge

Publication Type:



NYU Press (2019)




Political Science / History & Theory


Shortly after the giant bronze statue of Cecil John Rhodes came down at the University of Cape Town, student protestors called for the decolonisation of universities. It was a word hardly heard in South Africa’s struggle lexicon and many asked: What exactly is decolonisation? This edited volume brings together the best minds in curriculum theory to address this important question. In the process, several critical questions are raised: Is decolonisation simply a slogan for addressing other pressing concerns on campuses and in society? What is the colonial legacy with respect to curriculum and can it be undone? How is the project of curriculum decolonisation similar to or different from the quest for postcolonial knowledge, indigenous knowledge or a critical theory of knowledge? What does decolonisation mean in a digital age where relationships between knowledge and power are shifting?The book combines strong conceptual analyses with novel case studies of attempts to ‘do decolonisation’ in settings as diverse as South Africa, Uganda, Tanzania and Mauritius. Such a comparative perspective enables reasonable judgements to be made about the prospects for institutional take-up within the curriculum of century-old universities.


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