Prof. George Dei: The Intellectual and Political Project of Decolonization and Anti-Colonial Praxis in the [Western] Academy

Click link below to view the power point presentation by Professor George J. Sefa Dei from his critical keynote presentation at the EGSS Conference at McGill University on March 22nd

Abstract: The Intellectual and Political Project of Decolonization and Anti-Colonial Praxis in the [Western] Academy

In the overarching concern of “decolonizing our minds” my keynote address will touch on the particular subject of “decolonizing the curriculum” as an entry point to academic decolonization. I situate my discussion in some key questions. For example, how do we frame an inclusive anti-racist/anti-colonial global future and what is the nature of the work required to collectively arrive at that future?; what education are learners of today going to receive and what are we going to do with such education?; how do we ‘re-fashion’ our work as learners to create more relevant understandings of what it means to be human?; how do we challenge colonizing and imperializing relations of the academy?; how we can use our myriad identities as students, educators, researchers, community workers and activists to engage in anti-colonial struggles for educational change?, and lastly, what are the possibilities and limits of counter-visions of education? I do not presume to have answers to all these questions. But decolonization begins by asking new and critical questions. In my discussion I will highlight the particular place of Indigenous epistemologies that seek to threaten, replace and re-imagine alternatives to colonial thinking and practice.  I will argue that anti-colonial is intimately connected to decolonization, and by extension, decolonization cannot happen solely through Western scholarship. Furthermore, that the complex problems and challenges facing the world today defy universalist solutions, but can be remedied by multi-centric ways of knowing/doing/being. I end the discussion with some particular strategies to decolonize the curriculum. (


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