Tag Archives: Decolonisation

Beyond Trevor Noah and Mandela’s rainbow: Towards a politics of empathy

I’ve been thinking about Trevor Noah’s op-ed in the New York Times, and its angry critiques, since the Day of Reconciliation in South Africa on December 16. Reconciliation is a thorny topic in our moody democracy, a reminder that the road to postcolonial hell is paved with good intentions. If you missed it, Noah argued…

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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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The REAL task of decolonisation

Too few people seem to take the work of those two inimitably emancipatory thinkers, Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, seriously. And I am not talking about those nit-picking academics who engage with them at an analytic level to argue about whether they got Marx right, or Foucault, or Deleuze, and so on. What I mean…

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What ‘decolonisation’ means: E.M. Forster’s A Passage to India

With all the talk about “decolonising” university curricula (see http://thoughtleader.co.za/bertolivier/2016/03/23/decolonisation-the-new-ideology/), which has again cropped up among the demands of the protesting students, I thought it might be productive to remind students and academic staff alike of one of the most eloquent – in fact, together with Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, exemplary – critical literary…

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Decolonising knowledge doesn’t contradict ideal of academic excellence

By Shose Kessi Real and lasting social change does not take place without theory. Theory crafts, guides, sustains and legitimises social systems. In order to dismantle the social systems we live in, which are characterised by racism and other forms of oppression, we need to advance our theories. These theories should and must emerge from…

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On decolonising Africa and studying abroad: A response to Zinhle Manzini

By Kgaugelo Sebidi As a Rhodes Scholar who will be heading to the University of Oxford in a few months to read for a master of philosophy in development studies, I must admit that the arguments made in Zinhle Manzini’s blog post “If you are serious about decolonising Africa, don’t study abroad” are short sighted…

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If you are serious about decolonising Africa, don’t study abroad

By Zinhle Manzini In 2017 I will hopefully be registering for my PhD in philosophy. In thinking about this decision, I was charmed by the idea of doing my postgraduate degree abroad, hoping it would broaden my horizons as a scholar, an academic and as a person. Most academics that I have interacted with during…

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‘Decolonisation’, the new ideology

Everywhere one looks today in South Africa you find a new imperative: “Decolonise!” In certain academic quarters it has evidently already attained the level of a new ideology, where academics are expected to “decolonise” the courses they teach (and presumably the articles they submit for publication as well). What astonishes me is that academics do…

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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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Theory vs praxis in decolonisation

Two recent articles by Shaun Stanley have caught my attention. The first argued that not all pale-skinned people are “white” and the second took issue with the vagueness of words like “transformation” and “decolonisation”. Stanley’s primary interest in these two articles seems to be the proper definition of concepts, ie a focus on the need…

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