The past few months in Britain have seen a growing ridiculing of calls to decolonize the curriculum. However, these criticisms have failed to understand what decolonizing the curriculum is really about, writes Ali Meghji. From the prime minister claiming that Britain needed to move on from the ‘cringing embarrassment’ it has towards its previous empire,... Continue Reading →
The Connected Sociologies Curriculum Project is led by Prof Gurminder Bhambra and is designed to support students and teachers interested in ‘decolonising’ school, college, and university curricula. It provides resources for the rethinking of sociological concepts, categories, and topics that will enable us to make better sense of the worlds we inhabit. This supplements and... Continue Reading →
The Undisciplined Readers (Lent 2022)
Our decolonise sociology reading group "The Undisciplined Readers" will be starting on Friday 28th Jan at 12:30- 1:30pm UK. This term we are excited to be collaborating with artists and academics from "Monumentoclasm: workshop in anti-colonial imagination" for this term. We will be meeting bi-weekly to discuss pre-circulated texts. Meetings and Readings Friday 28th Jan (12:30pm) - De... Continue Reading →
Statement of Solidarity with Asian Staff and Students – 04/10/2021
Decolonise Sociology supports and amplifies the following statement from the Race Equality Network in relation to the recent racist attacks in Cambridge. The Race Equality Network stands in solidarity with Asian staff and students at the University of Cambridge, as well as Asian members of the wider Cambridge community, who have increasingly been the targets... Continue Reading →
Meetings Termcard (Michaelmas 2021)
Committee Meetings The committee is chaired this year by Dr Ali Meghji. Meetings in Michaelmas term will take place at the times below via Zoom. These meetings are open to all and we particularly encourage new sociology students to attend. Join our mailing list to receive the zoom links for each session. Thur 14 Oct... Continue Reading →
The Undisciplined Readers (Easter 2021)
Starting in Easter Term, this new reading group will discuss decolonial scholarship from a range of different disciplines. You can find the proposed reading list for the Undisciplined Readers below. If you would be interested in joining this group, or for or more information, please email Iris Pissaride. Literature and Archives Saidiya Hartman (2008) Venus... Continue Reading →
Blackness and Race in Mexico: A Discussion
The SOAS Latin American Society is thrilled to announce our fourth Politics event of the year and our second event of the Black Lives Matter: Latin America series: Blackness and Race in Mexico. The event will take the form of a discussion, primarily led by questions pre-prepared by our hosts: the Society's President and our... Continue Reading →
Decolonising through critical librarianship internship opportunity
We are very pleased to announce the opening of a part-time internship opportunity with Cambridge University Libraries to work on the upgrading of our Decolonising through critical librarianship platform. The site, launched in autumn 2019 and run by Cambridge library staff, currently holds 19 pages of resources and case studies concerning decolonisation in libraries, with numerous UK and international... Continue Reading →
The Economics of Parasite (26 Nov 2020)
Winner of four Academy Awards, a Golden Globe, and the Palme d'Or, Parasite touches on the dynamics of exploitation, class conflict, and the internalization of a capitalist subjectivity in the microcosm of a wealthy South Korean home, and a family's attempt to escape its systemic deprivation. On Thursday 26 Nov 2020 at 5pm, the Cambridge... Continue Reading →
Critical Race Theory would help end systematic racism – it makes no sense for the Government to reject it
Critical Race Theory is not anti-white, and it does not portray all people of colour as victims, writes Dr Ali Meghji for the i.
The coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter movement have exposed racial inequalities in new ways. Join the conversation this term about practices in the Department and in Cambridge, as well as following racial justice movements across the globe. [read more]
Decolonisation at Cambridge
In this MPhil dissertation, Joe Cotton traces the emergence of the decolonisation movement in Cambridge and describes the various efforts and initiatives across the University. He writes: "Broadly speaking, decolonisation at Cambridge calls for a rigorous, reflexive and historically-aware curriculum, at an equitable, just and genuinely inclusive university, which refuses to enact or support neo-colonial... Continue Reading →
Reflections on Race Equality
"I find it unbearable to see how we keep using these completely false ideas about humans and people. These false beliefs about our differences deny us opportunities to develop and collaborate and to do things together and to grow as humans. We are so distracted by racism, that's what infuriates me." Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa... Continue Reading →
“A statement is just not enough, people are dying”
Co-chair of the Decolonise Sociology Committee Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa reflects on the shortcomings of institutional solidarity statements issued in response to Black Lives Matter. You can listen to the podcast of this transcript on The Naked Scientist (11:38-14:22). What I think is interesting as an outcome of Black Lives Matter is the reaction that... Continue Reading →
“It’s not about how many black or brown authors are on the reading list.”
Decolonisation in higher education means coming to terms with colonial legacies, writes Dr Manali Desai in The Guardian.
Statement from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff network
We, the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network of the University of Cambridge, UK, write to send our condolences to the family of George Floyd on his tragic death. We are both shocked and angered at how he was killed, and that these brutal killings continue to occur. We also write to publicly... Continue Reading →
Systemic Racism in the U.S. 1898-2018 – A Twitter Thread
In this thread, Lecturer in Social Inequalities Dr Ali Meghji (@alim1213) provides "twitter abstracts" on sociology readings that can help us to understand systemic racism in the US. His notes cover over a century's worth of critical thought from Ida B Wells and WEB Du Bois in 1898 to Louise Seamster and Victor Ray in... Continue Reading →
Black lives matter
Theatre collective 20 Stories High have created a useful resource with information on how to support the fight against racism (now and into the future), signposting for people that want to learn how to be better allies, and accounts to follow to stay updated locally, nationally and internationally.
The Professor and the Poet
Watch Dr Priyamvada Gopal and George the Poet in conversation about Cambridge, slavery, colonialism and decolonisation, as well as the motivational role of anger, navigating identity politics, and feelings of statelessness as an immigrant. Watch on Al Jazeera
End Everyday Racism
End Climate Colonialism (Green Week 2020)
This year's Green Week is full of exciting events exploring the historic relationship between capitalism, colonialism, and the climate crisis. These events seek to centre the voices of the communities most impacted by extractivism and climate breakdown, and amplify their demands for justice. We will discuss what meaningful climate justice looks like, and how we... Continue Reading →
How to fight racism using science
Misguided assumptions about race are going mainstream, but hard facts can help you combat entrenched attitudes, writes Adam Rutherford in The Guardian.
Termcard (Lent 2020)
Join us for a term packed full of events, as well as continuing decolonisation work in the department and strategising for the future. We're always looking for new members!
Read our termcard
White Privilege with Prof Kalwant Bhopal
https://youtu.be/XOXKTCSikNU Kalwant Bhopal is a Professor of Education and Social Justice and Deputy Director of the Centre for Research in Race & Education (CRRE) at the University of Birmingham. Her research explores how processes of racism, exclusion and marginalisation operate in predominantly white spaces with a focus on social justice and inclusion. In this video,... Continue Reading →
Decolonising Politics Presents: Global Intellectual History as Decolonisation?
On the 28th of January (5:30pm, Main Lecture Theatre, Old Divinity School) Decolonise Politics will be hosting a panel with Dr Shruti Kapila, Dr Tom Hopkins, and Dr Tejas Parasher to discuss and question the relationship between global intellectual history and decolonisation. The connection between decolonisation and global intellectual history is not a straightforward one.... Continue Reading →
Kalwant Bhopal: Social justice, exclusion and white privilege in universities
Watch the 8th Annual Equality Lecture at the British Library, delivered by Prof Kalwant Bhopal, which provides statistical evidence for the attainment, employment and wage gaps between white and black staff and students in the UK education system.
Slavery and the University: Open Forum
This open forum is an extension of Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa's Undergraduate Sociology paper "SOC 11: Race, Racism and Ethnicity". The event is supported by Decolonise Sociology and will be led by Prof Manuel Barcia from the University of Leeds. Continue Reading →
Help build a case against racism
The “End Everyday Racism” project is building a collective of stories from around campus to strengthen our understanding of racism at the University. Find out more and consider sharing your own experiences at racismatcambridge.org
Academics against the Illegal Turkish Invasion of North Syria
The following open letter has been sent to Dominic Raab, First Secretary of State and Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, on 15 Oct 2019, and is co-signed by 83 academics from across the country. Dear the RT Hon Dominic Raab, We write in relation to President Trump’s decision to withdraw US troops... Continue Reading →
Dog Years (2017)
Join us on Thurs 17 Oct, 20:00 at the Old Library (Darwin College) for a screening of the powerful documentary film about the 2015 “refugee crisis”, Dog Years, featuring Noam Chomsky. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers, Rocky Rodriguez, Jr., and Helen Foster, moderated by Cambridge sociologist Dr. Jeff Miley. Continue Reading →
Under the Influence of X
Join poet, playwright, prison activist and Emmy award winner Bryonn Bain and Cambridge Sociologist Dr Jeff Miley for a poetry workshop in Whitemoor Prison on 28 Nov 2019. Followed by a performance and discussion at the University of Cambridge on 30 Nov.
Continue Reading →
Termcard (Michaelmas 2019)
Join us for the third session of the Decolonise Sociology Committee on Friday 22 November @ 1pm in Room E (17 Mill Lane) New members always welcome! Continue Reading →
The role of Sociology in the Climate Crisis
While there are many established approaches to the urgent problems of climate crisis within the areas of science, technology and policy, sociologically oriented analyses of environmental change are still emerging. This initiative within the Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge proposes to address and systematically incorporate attention to environmental change within the curriculum [read more]
In Conversation with Raewyn Connell (Fri 14 June)
"The higher education industry might seem like it’s booming, with over 200 million students in universities and colleges worldwide and funds flowing in like never before. But the truth is that these institutions have never been unhappier places to work. Corporate-style management, cost-cutting governments, mobilisations by angry students and strikes by a disgruntled workforce have taken their toll — in almost every country around the world. It’s no wonder that there is talk of ‘universities in crisis'."
You can watch this event on YouTube .
Termcard (Easter 2019)
Join us this term to help plan events and strategise for Easter Term! We're always looking for new members to support decolonisation work in the Department and across the University.
Radical Reading Group
A group of PhD students at the Department of Geography have started a reading group to discuss decolonising discourses and methodologies, and to reflect on how research at Cambridge can support decolonisation work. All welcome - not just PhD students and Geographers!
Reading Group (Fri 5th April)
Decolonise Sociology and the Race, Empire & Education Collective invite you to our first joint reading group session, focusing on the life of Angela Davis. The session will be on Friday 5th April from 2-4pm in Meeting Room 1, Department of Sociology, 16 Mill Lane. You can find the readings for this session below. Required:... Continue Reading →
Racism and the University: reflections on the (in)visibility of racism in higher education
The co-chair of the Decolonise Sociology working group - Dr Mónica Moreno Figueroa - is giving a presentation at the University of Coimbra in Portugal, focussed in part on the work of this working group. The event description reads as follows: "The purpose of this Seminar is to provide a dialogue on the decolonisation of... Continue Reading →
Cambridge & Historical Legacies of Slavery
This post is based on comments delivered at a panel discussion on Cambridge & Historical Legacies of Slavery on 28th February 2019 as part of the Centre for African Studies public lecture series on Race and African Studies. The event discussed recent research and reparative approaches at other UK universities and debated the significance of... Continue Reading →
Angela Davis in Conversation with Jackie Kay
On Tue 23rd April 2019, Decolonise Sociology hosted an historic meeting between novelist and poet Jackie Kay and civil rights activist Angela Davis at the Cambridge Corn Exchange. Read more and watch the event here.
Decolonising Sociology Panel
At the "50 Years of Sociology at Cambridge" conference, this panel focused upon the question of what decolonising sociology means; attending to the historical ‘colonisation’ of sociology, as well as how thinkers, systems of thought, topics of study, and geographical areas have historically and presently been excluded from sociology’s canon and periphery. You can watch a video recording of the panel session here.
Open Letter: No to Racist Pseudoscience at Cambridge
The Decolonise Sociology working group supports the Open Letter signed by 586 academics and 874 students, which calls for an investigation into the appointment of Noah Carl to a research fellowship at St Edmunds College, University of Cambridge.
The Open Letter can be read in full here.
Termcard (Lent 2019)
Join us this term to get up-to-date on decolonising work conducted so far, and help us strategise for the future! We're always looking for new members to support the work of our subcommittees.
Postcolonial Sociology and the Continuing Problem of Bifurcation
Dr Manali Desai discusses the 'post-colonial' turn in Sociology in the context of Indian nationalism, and emphasises the need to connect analyses to colonial histories and representative politics. You can read her blog article here.
Antiracism on the picket lines
Photo credit (C) Duncan Brown 2017 On UN Anti-Racism day during the 2018 strike action, co-chair of the Decolonise Sociology working group, Dr Manali Desai, shared her thoughts on institutional racism at the University of Cambridge. “I don’t need to tell you that Cambridge has a race problem. Let me start by saying that just... Continue Reading →
Rethinking State and Nation
On 30th Jan 2018, Professor Gurminder Bhambra delivered a lecture titled "A Postcolonial Rethinking of the State and Nation: From Comparative to Connected Sociologies", which was hosted by the Department of Sociology.
Rally for Decolonisation
On 31st October 2017, approximately 200 students and several staff members converged outside the Senate House in a rally to show support for the decolonisation of Cambridge University, as well as solidarity with CUSU Women's Officer Lola Olufemi after being targeted in the Mail and the Telegraph. Read the student demands in full here.
Decolonisation in Cambridge
The Student Newspaper Varsity has over eighty articles on the different decolonisation initiatives at Cambridge University. You can browse them here.
Welcome to the website for the Decolonise Sociology working group. The group was established on the 31st October 2017 to pursue the decolonisation of the Cambridge Sociology Department. The working group consists of student and faculty members, divided into four subcommittees...[read more]
We must decolonise
Dr Priyamvada Gopal also addressed the decolonisation rally on 31st October 2017. You can read her Guardian article supporting decolonisation here.