Decolonising the curriculum

Begum, Neema and Saini, Rima ORCID logoORCID: (2019) Decolonising the curriculum. Political Studies Review, 17 (2) . pp. 196-201. ISSN 1478-9299 [Article] (doi:10.1177/1478929918808459)

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Social science courses are increasingly coming under fire for the over-representation of white male authors and theorists. Campaigns such as ‘Why Is My Curriculum White?’ call into question the ‘Dead White Men’ approach to teaching political theory, where few female and theorists of colour are included on reading lists. The ways in which knowledge is produced, propagated and perpetuated through White, Western perspectives also spawned the related campaign ‘Why Is My Professor White?’ These campaigns are taking place against a backdrop of immense changes in the higher education sector, which earlier this year saw thousands of university academic staff go on strike over pensions, and a spate of anti-casualisation campaigns crop up at universities across the country. Changes such as these disproportionately affect women and ethnic minorities because of the extent to which we are subject to structural inequalities. Ethnic and gender penalties are present at every academic pay grade. Women are more likely to be on casual, part-time contracts. And ethnic minorities still constitute a minor proportion of senior academic and management staff in most universities. As women of colour (WOC) in the academy – emerging scholars of race who have yet to begin permanent academic roles – the decolonisation campaigns hold personal as well as professional resonance for us. They fuel our desire to impart real change in the way politics is taught in the United Kingdom and to help make a space for scholars like us. However, this desire must sit alongside the realities of our future in the academy. We both started out PhDs in the mid-2010s with the hope of becoming critical and radical but essentially fully fledged and secure academic employees. The structural changes the academy is undergoing not only undermines the work we do to represent the work of subaltern scholars in the field of politics but makes us question our ability as well as our desire to survive and thrive as academics.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 27607
Notes on copyright: Begum, Neema and Saini, Rima, Decolonising the curriculum. Political Studies Review, 17 (2). pp. 196-201. Copyright © 2019 The Author(s). DOI:
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Depositing User: Rima Saini
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 15:41
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2022 18:12

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