Shaun Stanley

Some Remarks On A ‘Good’ University

Manzini reflected upon her recent experiences at her new institution. I won’t comment on most of those reflections, and would rather focus on her closing remarks. She asks, “Ultimately, on whose standards do we measure and determine whether a university is ‘good’ or not?” There are two implicit questions here. First, is there but one…

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#ScienceMustFall in retrospect: Three lessons to help us move on

I remarked once that, “If the curricula shall be Africanised then, one may presume, we’ll have to find an Africanised version of Newtonian mechanics for the engineers, decolonised theorem proofs for mathematicians and the non-racist equivalent of Maxwell’s equations for physicists, among other things”. I said that this would be to take the call for…

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Does racism exist in a world without races?

If one does not believe that race exists, then one will not believe that racism exists. Since racism is real, we should not reject the existence of race. This simple argument appears to stand behind the rather vicious repudiation of “colour-blindness”, “not seeing race”, and other variations of the cardinal sins of our racialised social…

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Decolonising course content. Whatever does that mean?

Discussions around “curricula decolonisation” are notoriously unfruitful and unstructured. There are two principal reasons for this. The first is that these discussions occur in a jargon which is vague and imprecise. The second, leading on from the first, is that the subject matter under discussion inherits this vagueness and imprecision. One is tempted, then, to…

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Devil’s advocacy for decolonised curricula

Shouting fire in a crowded theatre may not always be accurate, but it will typically get one attention. Such is the analogue regarding those who bemoan the “whiteness” of university curricula. The terms used to diagnose the problem are frequently emotively charged and difficult to understand. If “the curricula” shall be Africanised then, one may…

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Transformation, decolonisation and other vague words

“Transformation” has become a vague word. Yet the demand for university transformation is growing ever more vocal. What to make of this demand, then, is a matter of importance. This is about the only thing on which Mashupye Herbert Maserumule and I agree. I believe the other things he has said to be misguided. I…

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Not all pale-skinned people are ‘white’

In certain circles I could suggest, “the real problems of the world are those caused by white masculine capitalist hegemony!” I might get a few heads to nod. I could then assert, “Down with white power! Whiteness must fall!” In the right circles this may well get me some applause. There would be others, however,…

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#IAmStellenbosch: ‘I am colour-blind and I can see colour’

This is a partial response to a recent post in which the #IAmStellenbosch movement is evaluated quite negatively. Scope doesn’t permit me to deal with the issue exhaustively. I will be content to raise a few sceptical remarks about Michelle Avenant’s evaluation and, more generally, about social discourse. I don’t think our social discourse is…

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