Decolonisation as Democratisation : Global Insights into the South African Experience by Siseko H. Kumalo
HSRC Press l 30 August 2021
Paperback | 248 pages
Cognisant of the globalizing context in which we find ourselves, as intellectuals we ought to ensure relevance in what we teach. This orientation, that prizes pedagogic relevance, has been raised as an objection to the decolonial call, being - at times - used to resist democratic change in the South African University. The contributions in this volume highlight the implications of the global relevance discourse through revealing the impact of decontextualized curricula. Similarly, institutional democratization and decolonization ought not to be a turn to fundamentalist positions that recreate the essentialisms resisted through calls for decolonization. As a critical response to such resistance to democratization, this book showcases how decolonization protects the constitutionally enshrined ideal of academic freedom and the freedom of scientific research. We argue that this framing of decoloniality should not be used to protect interests that seek to undermine the transformation of higher education. Concurrently, however, it is critical of decolonial positions that are essentialist and narrow in their manifestation and articulation. The text suggests what is intended by a curriculum revisionist agenda that prizes decolonization through bringing together academics working in South Africa and the global academy. This collaborative approach aims to facilitate critical reflexivity in our curriculum reform strategies while developing pragmatic solutions to current calls for decolonization.