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Decolonising Philosophy at King's


The project was originally called ‘Embracing Africana Philosophy’ and started to address epistemic exclusions in the Philosophy Department at King’s, with a focus primarily on the lack of African philosophy taught in the Philosophy Department. However, it quickly became more specifically about decolonising the Philosophy Department.

Naomi started the project by analyzing philosophy modules, aiming to identify those that are Eurocentrically focused. In this respect, a lot of the early work of the project was primarily readings. This initial work has since supported a practical investigation into methods that could be implemented in the philosophy Department to decolonise the curriculum.

Since then, Naomi has also conducted a focus group; the purpose of which was to gauge students the feelings about the curriculum and to investigate what kind of emotional, as well as academic effects, the curriculum has on students, particularly looking at why fewer students colour wanted to go into further study in philosophy. Early findings indicate that more critical academic attention is needed on decolonising in the curriculum, not just in philosophy but also throughout the institution.

I am starting to ‘realise that a lot of the issues are connected'. This is evident in the education pipeline where Black and minority students are less likely to take up further study and enter academic fields or become professors. It appears from the focus group that the ‘curriculum affects how many people of colour want to go into the further study so I would say the issue of curriculum change needs to be taken more seriously.

Following on from this research a workshop was held in March, for teachers on how to revise their curriculums. The workshop received very positive responses and engagement from those that attended. 

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To conclude this project the virtual event; ‘Decolonising Philosophy Panel discussion: What would a decolonised curriculum look like?’ took place on May 10th 2021 between 6 pm-8 pm. The panel consisted of Achille Mbembe, Gargi Bhattacharyya, Lucy Allais, and Nelson Maldonado-Torres and explored the practical and conceptual tools for decolonising the curriculum.

This project is still ongoing and project findings are yet to be finalised.

    Project status: Ongoing

    Principal Investigator

    • Naomi Snow

      Leading the 'Decolonising Philosophy at King's' Project