17th February 2019 By Meera Sabaratnam, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and chair of the Decolonising Soas working group “Decolonising education has been presented as the narcissistic demand of an anti-intellectual snowflake generation. Nothing could be further from the truth. I was quite young when I first read Jane Eyre. I chose it because I had read Roald Dahl’s Matilda, and she had read Emily Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Being a girl
By Dr Manjeet Ramgotra The recent Department for Education proposal on the theory component of the Politics A-Levels raises the question as to what counts as knowledge. The proposal more or less excises women and non-white men from the curriculum and limits understandings of what politics is, who produces knowledge and the type of knowledge that is produced. These questions are not limited to secondary education curricula. They are relevant
30 January 2019 By Harriet Swain “When students at the University of Cambridge called two years ago for more non-white writers and postcolonial thought to be included in their English curriculum, there was a backlash. Lola Olufemi, who led the call, became the target of online abuse after one report wrongly suggested it meant replacing white authors with black ones. Sam Gyimah, the then universities minister, later appeared to weigh
29 November 2018 Hosted by Kieran Yates Dr Meera Sabaratnam, Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Chair of the Decolonising SOAS Working Group, joins Kieran Yates on the BBC Asian Network to discuss the movement to decolonise curricula and knowledge, and weigh in on the debate over who we remember, how and why in our public spaces. Listen at the BBC Asian Network: Statues and Colonial History. Starts at 57:08.
18 October, 2018 by Camilla Turner “Teachers must stop devoting so much time to slavery because it puts black children off History, the Royal Historical Society has said. “A new report by the society has found that the ‘seemingly relentless focus’ on the exploitation and abolition of slavery can be ‘intellectually limiting and, at times, alienating; for black pupils. “Aside from slavery, the history of British black and minority ethnic
15 September, 2018 Dag Herbjørnsrud (born 1971) is a Norwegian historian of ideas, author, and founder of Center for Global and Comparative History of Ideas, and a former political columnist for Al-Jazeera’s English website. “A controversial row is dividing Norwegian and European historians and researchers these days: decolonization of academia. What does it actually mean? Some seem to think that it is a matter of giving credit where credit is
Decolonising SOAS received press coverage in two Norwegian news sources in the summer of 2018. This coverage was in both the daily newspaper Klassekampen and the online newspaper forskning.no, which was set up by the Research Council of Norway. Both newspapers interviewed Decolonising SOAS chair, Meera Sabaratnam about what it can mean to decolonise and why it is important. You can find both articles here and here.
28 June 2018 by Mie Astrup Jensen “Over the last five years, there has been a remarkable surge in student activism and campaigning aimed at decolonising higher education across the globe. In South Africa, the 2015 #FeesMustFall protests have grown into a movement that is fighting to transform historically Afrikaans universities. While in Chile, the 2011-2013 student demonstrations pressured the government to adopt a tuition-free policy in 2016, with the
16 May, 2018 By Valerie Amos “When I was appointed director of Soas University of London in 2015, I was astounded to discover that I was the first person of African-Caribbean descent to head a UK university. Ever since, I find myself frequently asked why there is such a lack of black, Asian and minority ethnic representation in senior management in higher education. “I don’t have a simple answer to
February 26, 2018 by Valerie Amos “In the last year, there has been a lot of interest in how to ‘decolonise’ the curriculum in universities in a number of countries around the world including the UK, US and South Africa. Not everyone has been positive about the agenda. What I find difficult to understand is why there is so much resistance to looking at the wealth of history, scholarship and