Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Faculty Brainstorm Event: Decolonising the curriculum in practice and pedagogy

08 June 2021, 12:00 pm–1:30 pm

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Event Information

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Bethany Wells

There is an ongoing effort to decolonise both the content and the way we teach across UCL. On day two of our Decolonising the Curriculum Week, we are running a quickfire mini conference packed with new and progressive ideas from staff and students across UCL's Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences about their efforts to decolonise pedagogy and praxis in the academy. The conference will focus and reflect on these projects and initiatives, the ways in which they have advanced the drive towards decolonization and how best we can learn from them and continue into the future. 

Overview of speakers

Alice Riddell and Ioanna Manoussaki-Adamopoulou (PAPER)  

1st Year PhD Student, Anthropology; 3rd Year PhD Student, Anthropology.  

Alice and Ionna talk about the process of creating a seminar series which exposed and challenged the politics and power of ethnographic research, in attempts to decolonise the anthropology department in terms of pedagogy, whilst centering care as praxis.   

Dr Luke de Noronha (Sarah Parker Raymond Race and Racialisation RRG)  

Dr Adam Runacres (AnthroSchools)  

UCL Honorary Research Fellow and Former AnthroSchools Programme Officer.  

Dr Adam Runacres will talk about the challenges of creating decolonised resources in a space that is not decolonising (i.e. A level). He will also speak about the challenges of decolonising the curriculum as well as making it open access and how the processes are not as intertwined as they might appear.  

Monica De Quinto Schneider, Katie Sperring, Jessica Sultan and Obioma Egemonye

Undergraduate Students from UCL Department of Political Science

Topic: Working in a staff-student team for the Shadow Curriculum Project, to introduce a more diverse set of readings and modules into the UCL's Department of Political Science.

Amelia Odida

Final year PhD student, UCL Department of Political Science.

Amelia's thesis applies decolonial strategies to the analysis of the UN policy of constitutional assistance. In November 2019, Amelia became a member of her Departmental Equality Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Committee. Some of the projects she is responsible for include facilitating a series called ‘Lunch and Learn’, a space where UCL students and academic staff are able to speak openly about issues affecting their lived experiences whilst also learning the skills to challenge structures upholding inequalities.

Dr Victoria Showunmi  

UCL Institute of Education  

Dr Jacob Paskins 

Lecturer (Teaching) and Head of Education, Department of History of Art

UCL History of Art is running a curriculum review as part of a ten-year strategic plan to radically expand the scope of the department’s teaching, and broaden its traditional focus on European and American art to include a more global perspective. Jacob Paskins will discuss the aims of the project, and describe how students, alumni and external consultants are being encouraged to take a central role in the review and reform process. 

Dr Jon Chandler and Professor Margot Finn 

UCL Department of History  

Topic: "Re-making History in 2021".

In September 2020, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, launched a Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm.  He expressed the problem that inspired this initiative as follows:

"London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with more than 300 languages spoken every day. Yet its statues, plaques and street names largely reflect a bygone era".

In our undergraduate core course Making History students were tasked with uncovering untold histories in London that could contribute to the Mayor’s Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm. 

Dr Gareth Breen  

UCL Department of Anthropology 

Professor Tariq Jazeel  

UCL Department of Geography 

Topic: “Thinking Geographically” – a first-year module focusing on decolonising Geography and interrogating the discipline’s history. 

Professor Anson Mackay 

UCL Department of Geography 

Topic: “Statistics for Environmental Geographers” – a module which covers the main eugenicist protagonists.