Definition: Coloniality can be described as the naturalisation of concepts such as imperialism, capitalism, and nationalism. Together these concepts can be thought of as a matrix of power (and power relations) that can be traced to the colonial period. Decoloniality seeks to break down and decentralize those power relations, with the aim to understand their persistence and to reconstruct the norms and values of a given domain. In an academic setting, decolonisation refers to the rethinking of the lens through which we teach, research, and co-exist, so that the lens generalises beyond Western-centred and colonial perspectives. Decolonising academia involves reconstructing the historical and cultural frameworks being used, redistributing a sense of belonging in universities, and empowering and including voices and knowledge types that have historically been excluded from academia. This is done when people engage with their past, present, and future whilst holding a perspective that is separate from the socially dominant perspective. Also, by including, not rejecting, an individuals’ internalised norms and taboos from the specific colony.

Related terms: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion

Reference: Albayrak (2018)

Drafted and Reviewed by: Nihan Albayrak-Aydemir, Sarah Ashcroft-Jones, Mahmoud Elsherif, Michele C. Lim, Emma Norris, Flávio Azevedo

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