Decolonizing the University

Book chapter


Giles, Paul David. (2023). Decolonizing the University. In Decolonizing the English Literary Curriculum pp. 23 Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009299985
AuthorsGiles, Paul David
Abstract

This essay traces the relationship between colonization and academia over recent times, associating it with various intellectual moves to interrogate the hegemonic assumptions of Western culture. It argues that racial representations in literature are multifaceted and variegated, with literary studies offering opportunities to effectively demystify myths about the putative universality of American or European subject systems. This is tied to the historical specificity of particular colonial situations, with reference to the work of Nicholas Thomas, noting how one significant contribution of Australian cultural theory to literary studies has been to make debates around settler colonial paradigms more prominent. This leads into discussion of larger questions around regional autonomy, cultural appropriation and social class, with reference to the work of Walter Mignolo and Stuart Hall. It also touches upon political controversies involving with the highly problematic relationship between academic and civic authorities, a continuing power struggle that can be traced back to medieval times. The essay concludes that the etymological links between university and universality offer scope to resist local standardizations of all kinds, and in this sense a decentring of racial hierarchies runs in parallel to a decentring of geographical hierarchies.

Keywordsuniversalism; Walter Mignolo; reorientation ; settler colonialism; class ; standardization; Nicholas Thomas; Stuart Hall
Page range23
41
Year01 Jan 2023
Book titleDecolonizing the English Literary Curriculum
PublisherCambridge University Press
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
ISBN9781009299985
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009299985
Web address (URL)https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/decolonizing-the-english-literary-curriculum/4B2B28BDD55CBC4852A17509A227D047#fndtn-contents
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
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Publication dates
Online02 Nov 2023
Print2024
Publication process dates
Deposited30 Apr 2024
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© Cambridge University Press & Assessment 2024

This work is in copyright. It is subject to statutory exceptions and to the provisions of relevant licensing agreements; with the exception of the Creative Commons version the link for which is provided below, no reproduction of any part of this work may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press.

An online version of this work is published at doi.org/10.1017/9781009299985 under a Creative Commons Open Access license CC-BY-NC 4.0 which permits re-use, distribution and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes providing appropriate credit to the original work is given and any changes made are indicated. To view a copy of this license visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0

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