Decolonizing Academic Success

Numerous experiences, sufferings, and thinkings, originating with indigenous communities and neighborhood groups as much as university academic presses or professional bodies, can teach us if, how, and why to engage in a project of decolonizing academic success. The resources included here aim to provide a means to start understanding decolonization as more than a metaphor and to deepen our sense of what is possible as a process and in terms of outcomes. We invite those with familiarity and stakes in the knowledge and methods of specific disciplinary areas to extend these resources, especially in the Decolonizing the Disciplines section. We acknowledging the time and labor of those who created these resources, often uncompensated, and encourage all to support this work in whatever ways are within each individual's reach.

Locating Ourselves

These resources aim to establish an (un)common ground participants in a decolonial process might acknowledge. They offer not prescriptive “how to" answers but a set of questions we can think with and through:

Case Studies
  • Intangible Cultural Heritage Project, from Black South West Network (U.K.) (watch) focuses on "aspects of culture that can’t be touched or displayed in a case in a museum. They are cultural practices, representations, expressions, knowledge, or skills that are captured in audio, video and digital ways." 
  • Black Land Project “gathers and analyzes stories about the relationship between Black people, land and place”; it includes “The Deck” discussion tool.
  • Decolonizing the Museum: A Teach-In demonstrates a teach-in method; it is part of the installments of the decolonial collective on migration of objects and people
  • Volume 3, Dossier 1: Decolonizing the Digital/Digital Decolonization collects contemporary videos, Internet artworks, archives, and scholarship on the digital to explore a “pathway of decolonial thinking and doing in the realm of the digital.”
  • MIT's CoLab Radio is “is a city and regional planning publication where people who are doing the daily work of improving communities can share their stories, document their projects, and express their ideas”; several episodes focus on “interventions across the academic hierarchy” and decolonizing work.
  • Decolonizing the Archive” shows how the Early Caribbean Digital Archive offers “re-archiving (remixing and reassembling)” strategies for how we might treat historical texts.
Decolonial Processes for Academic Practice
  • Professor Chanelle Wilson’s Revolutionizing my Syllabus: The Process helps faculty and students think about not just what a syllabus should contain but the power dynamics of a classroom.
  • SOAS University of London’s “Decolonising Toolkit” explains both the idea behind an academic decolonizing practice and how to implement curricular models for those ideas.
  • Professor Paige West’s “Teaching Decolonizing Methodologies” offers several practices for a decolonized classroom, including pairing disciplinarily canonical texts with texts by non Euro-American-Australian authors.
  • Decolonizing together” explores alliance-building practices, providing a way to think about mutually beneficial relationships across academic and grassroots organizations.
  • Beloit College’s Mellon Foundation “Decolonizing Pedagogies” project explored questions about inclusive classroom spaces, equity at Primarily White Institutions (PWIs), and institutional transformation. It also includes a Curriculum of readings.
Disciplinary Decolonizing