Workshop: Decolonising the Curriculum: Creative and practical strategies

Katherine Harloe, University of Reading

Francesco Ventrella, University of Sussex

We invite expressions of interest or proposals for presentations or provocations of around 15 minutes, which seek to share ideas about what it means and what it takes to decolonise the curriculum today. Our aim is to start a conversation across disciplines, periods and area specialisms around everyday practices of decolonisation in higher education, museums and cultural organisations. The workshop will provide space for theoretical reflections upon decolonisation and the exchange of practical, creative and pedagogic strategies already being pursued by the participants.

In recent years, questions about expansion of the traditional objects and methods of art history have acquired urgency in response to movements for social justice. While talk of ‘curriculum decolonisation’ or ‘diversification’ has circulated across the humanities, seeping into everyday departmental cultures and sometimes even officially stated institutional aspirations, scholarly, pedagogic, and creative practices fall short of lofty ideals.

Disciplinary inertia, alongside the perception that the labour of decolonisation can be left to those who have geographically expanded the art-historical canon or are perceived as themselves embodying difference, avoids confronting colonial and racist legacies inherent in disciplinary structures and habits of thought, and reproduces entrenched hierarchies. How do we contest the subtle kinds of centring that allow certain practices and knowledges to appear only as marginal or derivative? How attend adequately to the scholarship and everyday experience of those constructed as ‘space invaders’ (Puwar 2004), whose very identities mark them as ‘trespassers’ in the physical and imagined spaces of scholarship and education?

The format will comprise short presentations, followed by chaired open discussion.

To offer an expression of interest or proposal
Please email your expression of interest or proposals direct to the session convenors, details above.

Provide a title and abstract (250 words maximum) including your name and institutional affiliation (if any).

Please make sure the title is concise and reflects the contents of your proposal because it will appear online, in social media and in the printed programme.

You should receive an acknowledgement of receipt of your submission within two weeks from the session convenors.

Deadline for submissions: Monday 5 November 2018

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