Discussion Group – 23rd January, 2019

“Given the prominence of decolonisation as a framework in studentand teacher-led movements today, it is incumbent upon us to think more carefully about what this means – as both a theory, and a praxis. “

Bhambra, Gebrial and Nişancıolu

Decolonising the University by Gurminder K. Bhambra, Dalia Gebrial, and Kerem Nişancıolu was the book under discussion.  The academic articles stimulated conversation about what problems we see with the curriculum at university level and what needs to be addressed in order to make it more appealing to students of diverse backgrounds Black, Asian or another Ethnic Minority or more a “minoritised” religion.

The discussion lasted around 2 hours with a group of intellectual students of different “Minority” backgrounds coming together to bounce their thoughts and ideas off of one another their own ideas and thoughts on how to “Decolonise UKC”. Problems such as BAME representation from staff, institutional racism, diverse, de-colonial academic literature and the corporate element of the university.

It was understood that just identifying the problems is insufficient; we need to find solutions in order to make our plan of action effective. These ideas will be taken up into focus groups with the purpose of finding solutions from the students of colour and draft a manifesto which the project can take to the university to start decolonising our curriculum. The manifesto will be read at our Conference on 20th March, 2019 on the University of Kent’s Canterbury Campus. Also featured in the conference are Dr Karen Salt, Dr Deborah Gabriel, Dr Jason Arday and Dr Francesca Sobande, who all have valuable contributions and thoughts regarding the decolonisation of curricula.

By Jasmyn Sargeant, Student, University of Kent

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