Special feature: Decolonizing the Higher Education Curriculum

A London Review of Education special feature.

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Decolonizing the Higher Education Curriculum

London Review of Education special feature.


Around the world, there is a strong and growing imperative to decolonize curricula in higher education. Student and staff movements have questioned the dominance of Eurocentric and male authors in our syllabi (e.g. #LiberateMyDegree, #WomenAlsoKnowStuff, Alternative Reading List Project) and highlighted the potential of renewed curricula for transforming higher education (Heleta, 2016; Le Grange, 2016; Luckett & Shay, 2017). Responses to this agenda have been multiple and diverse. Within the UK, there are examples of individual teachers taking action to interrogate their curricula alongside a growing collection of toolkits and checklists that provide practical guidance for staff to develop inclusive/ decolonized curricula (such as Decolonising SOAS Working Group, 2018; UCL, 2018).

While decolonizing work is taking place across universities on a global scale, the nature and extent of this work varies by discipline. The humanities and social sciences are most commonly associated with efforts to decolonize, with particular fields, such as Political Science (e.g. Mngomezulu & Hadebe, 2018) and Anthropology (Mogstad & Tse, 2018), at the forefront of this movement. In comparison, strategies in the natural sciences are more tentative. As spirited debates take place across disciplines (Last, 2019), this LRE special feature specifically explores the role played by our disciplines in shaping individual and collective responses to the decolonizing agenda. 

Publication date: from May 2021


Guest editors

Karen Schucan Bird, UCL (University College London), UK
Ludovic Coupaye, UCL (University College London), UK


Article list

Cross-disciplinary, collaborative and student-led: developing a change process for diversifying reading lists

Authors: Barbara Adewumi, Laura R. Bailey, Emma Mires-Richards, Kathleen M. Quinlan, Evangeline Agyeman, Aisha Alabi, Miriam Jeyasingh, Collins Konadu-Mensah, Wayne Lavinière, Patrice Mighton, Tore Shortridge, Dave S.P. Thomas and Nain Wassamba-Wabelua
Published: 5 January 2022


The decolonial turn: reference lists in PhD theses as markers of theoretical shift/stasis in media and journalism studies at selected South African universities

Authors: Zvenyika Eckson Mugari
Published: 8 September 2021


Decolonising globalised curriculum landscapes: The identity and agency of academics

Authors: Vicente Reyes Jr, Sharon Clancy, Henry Koge, Kevin Richardson and Phil Taylor
Published: 18 August 2021


Decolonising the curriculum beyond the surge: Conceptualisation, positionality and conduct

Authors: Mai Abu Moghli and Laila Kadiwal
Published: 14 July 2021


Decolonize this art history: Imagining a decolonial art history programme at Kalamazoo College

Authors: Anne Marie Butler and Christine Hahn
Published: 7 July 2021


Diversity or decolonization? Searching for the tools to dismantle the ‘master’s house’

Authors: Muminah Arshad, Rachel Dada, Cathy Elliott , Iweta Kalinowska, Mehreen Khan, Robert Lipiński, Varun Vassanth, Jotepreet Bhandal, Monica de Quinto Schneider, Ines Georgis and Fiona Shilston
Published: 30 June 2021


Decolonization in a higher education STEMM institution – is ‘epistemic fragility’ a barrier?

Authors: Mark Skopec , Molly Fyfe , Hamdi Issa , Kate Ippolito , Mark Anderson , Matthew Harris
Published: 2 June 2021


‘Decolonising the Medical Curriculum‘: Humanising medicine through epistemic pluralism, cultural safety and critical consciousness

Authors: Sarah H.M. Wong, Faye Gishen and Amali U. Lokugamage
Published: 19 May 2021


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