SOAS SU Lecture Series: Decolonising the University Wed, 2016-02-24 21:01

Introductory statements were made by Neelam Chhara, Co-founder of Decolonising Our Minds and final year politics student.

Discussions around legacies of colonialism have been highlighted nationwide through campaigns such as Why Is My Curriculum White and the Rhodes Must Fall Oxford movement which have underlined the colonial violence embedded in universities.

What does it mean for an institution to be ?white?? How does coloniality affect the higher education institutions we are part of? How do we confront the white institution and what can be done to decolonise the academy?

Historically, we can see that universities have the potential to be sites of radical thought, however what they have struggled to embrace and accommodate is non-Western thought, ways of knowing and worldviews.

In light of SOAS?s centenary, it is particularly important that we examine SOAS?s founding and history with a critical gaze.

How does a university like SOAS which has a particular regional focus on Africa and Asia, remain coloured by Whiteness?

Panelists are:

Dr. Meera Sabaratnam – Meera Sabaratnam is Lecturer in International Relations at SOAS. Prior to this, she was a Temporary Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge and LSE Fellow in the Department of International Relations at LSE. She co-edited Volume 37 of Millennium: Journal of International Studies from 2007-8 and served as Reviews Editor for the Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding from 2010-13. She currently co-convenes the Colonial, Postcolonial and Decolonial Working Group of the British International Studies Association

Dr. Rahul Rao – Rahul Rao has research interests in international relations theory, the international relations of South Asia, comparative political thought, and gender and sexuality. He is currently working on a book on queer postcolonial temporality. His first book Third World Protest: Between Home and the World (Oxford University Press, 2010) explored the relationship between cosmopolitanism and nationalism in postcolonial protest.

Adam Elliot-Cooper – Adam has a BA in Politics from the University of Nottingham, an MSc in Globalisation & Development at the London School of Oriental & African Studies and is currently undertaking a PhD at University of Oxford’s School of Geography and the Environment.

Dr. Kerem Nisancioglu – Kerem Nisancioglu is a Lecturer in International Studies at SOAS. Kerem?s research focuses on Eurocentrism in international relations, and how this Eurocentrism can be subverted in both theory and history. In particular, his research has explored the ways in which non-European societies have been constitutive of European social relations in the early modern period.