Decolonial Transformations Workshop @ Sussex (with SOAS)

There are two launches coming up for the forthcoming ‘Decolonising the University‘, an edited collection put together by Gurminder K. Bhambra, Dalia Gebrial and Kerem Nişancıoğlu. I have a chapter in this book, in which I critique how university managements perform internationalisation. The London launch will be on 29 August 2018 from 7pm at Housmans Radical Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, London N1 9DX. Tickets are £3 and available here.

The second discussion of the book will take place at a 3-day workshop at the University of Sussex, entitled Decolonial Transformations: Imagining, Practicing, Collaborating and co-organised with people from SOAS (31 October – 2 November 2018, description further below). Here is the description for the panel:

Afternoon Workshop
Decolonising the University?
1-3pm, Friday 2nd November, 2018
University of Sussex campus (Falmer, Brighton)

This session aims to explore the discourse and challenges around current moves to decolonize the university. It draws together contributors from a forthcoming volume on the topic and ask them to outline the key points from their chapters before opening up to a discussion with the audience around the themes raised.

Kolar Aparna, Radboud University, Netherlands
Dalia Gebrial, LSE
John Holmwood, University of Nottingham
Rosalba Icaza, Erasmus University, Netherlands
Olivier Kramsch, Radboud University, Netherlands
Angela Last, University of Leicester
Kerem Nisancioglu, SOAS
Rolando Vazquez, University College Roosevelt, Netherlands

Gurminder K Bhambra, Professor of Postcolonial and Decolonial Studies, University of Sussex

These are the book contents that will be discussed:

Introduction: Decolonising the University? – Gurminder K. Bhambra, Kerem Nisancioglu and Dalia Gebrial

Part I: Contexts: Historical and Disciplinary
1. Rhodes Must Fall: Oxford and Movements for Change – Dalia Gebrial
2. Race and the Neoliberal University: Lessons from the Public University – John Holmwood
3. Racism, Public Culture, and the Hidden Curriculum – Robbie Shilliam
4. Decolonising Philosophy – Nelson Maldonado-Torres, Rafael Vizcaino, Jasmine Wallace, Jeong Eun Annabel We

Part II: Institutional Initiatives
5. Asylum University: Re-situating Knowledge-Exchange Along Cross-Border Positionalities – Aparna Kolar and Olivier Kramsch
6. Diversity or Decolonisation? Researching Diversity at the University of Amsterdam – Rolando Vazquez and Rosalba Icaza
7. The Challenge for Black Studies in the Neoliberal University – Kehinde Andrews
8. Open Initiatives for Decolonising the Curriculum – Pat Lockley

Part III: Decolonial Reflections
9. Meschachakanis, a Coyote Narrative: Decolonising Higher Education – Shauneen Pete
10. Decolonising Education: A Pedagogic Intervention – Carol Azumah Dennis
11. Internationalisation and Interdisciplinarity: Sharing across Boundaries? – Angela Last
12. Understanding Eurocentrism as a Structural Problem of Undone Science – William Jamal Richardson

Here is the description of the whole 3-day workshop:

Decolonial Transformations: Imagining, Practicing, Collaborating

31 Oct to 2 Nov 2018

This workshop provides a space for conversations and collaborations around the theme of ‘Decolonial Transformations’. The world we currently inhabit has been structured significantly by imperial and colonial rule. While colonization was resisted over the longer durée, the decolonization movements of the last seventy years consolidated and institutionalised these efforts. This has led to the beginning of a fracturing of the colonial world order. This fracturing remains incomplete.

Coloniality continues to be pervasive as a structuring force in the world, often manifesting as the modernist control of nature and civil society, racialised divisions of labour, Eurocentric social theories, global governance regimes that institutionalise asymmetric relations (in trade, natural resources and capital), racialised migration regimes, disqualification of ‘non-Western’ modes of knowing, demonization of specific identities and xenophobia, and the silencing and erasure of subaltern histories. While struggling against these forms of coloniality, there is an urgent need for imagining and realising transformations that can help build alternate decolonial worlds and sustainable futures.

A key aim of the workshop is to think about and discuss how to move recent conversations around coloniality and decolonial transformations forward, linking academic scholarship with art, activism, and everyday life. This workshop brings together scholars, artists, students and activists to collaboratively imagine and reflect upon decolonial processes. It aims to further cooperative engagement in and among movements aimed at decolonial transformations, for realising educational justice, ecological regeneration and pluriversal futures.

The workshop will include a variety of different events and forums over two and a half days, including panel discussions, interviews, interactive and participatory workshops, and creative spaces and performances. The afternoon workshops will be streamed to bring together work in Scholarship, Art, and Activism.

This workshop is a collaboration between SOAS and the University of Sussex. We welcome you to join us in 3 days of conversations and collaborations on ‘decolonial transformations’.

Workshop Schedule:

Wednesday 31 October – General Theme: Decolonising Transformations, 13:00 – 17:00

Thursday 01 November – Theme: Decolonising Methodologies, 10:00 – 17:00

Friday 02 November – Theme: Decolonising Institutions, 10:00 – 16:00

The Workshop will take place at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK.

There is a 10.00 registration fee. Concessions are also available for students, and unemployed. Accessibility to the Workshop is an important issue. Please make sure to indicate on the registration form any specific accessibility needs.

Tickets are available here.


RGS-IBG 2016 CFP: Parallel Institutions: models and realities, strategies and tactics, islands and archipelagos


Parallel Institutions: models and realities, strategies and tactics, islands and archipelagos

Session Convenors:
Angela Last (University of Glasgow)
Mireille Roddier (University of Michigan)

Existing and historical examples of parallel institutions represent a wide scope of intentions, scales, and formal organizations, from local commoning practices to the strategically planned duplication of state institutions in sight of a governmental overthrow (Roggero, 2010; Arendt, 1973) What they all share is a dissatisfaction with state institutions’ disenfranchisement of entire sections of population who fall outside of their stewardships. The origins of such alternative models of organization are thereby rooted in either the need to complement or to contest hegemonic institutions, particularly those delegating public services. More than self-help however, parallel institutions are also devised as alternatives, enabling new forms of commoning and experimentation with new imaginaries.

Parallel institutions can serve as means to diverging ends. On one end, they can be devised for eventual incorporation into the dominant system, bearing the risks of paving grounds for developments that will be subsequently recuperated. On the other, they are often inspired by emancipatory perspectives that could lead to autonomous forms of self-governance (Gordon Nembhard, 2014, Nelson, 2013). Accordingly, their relationship to the state varies from subservient and heteronomous to independent or even contentious, as do the responses of the state to such institutions—from embrace to outright violence, affecting the status of their legitimacy.

This session seeks to discuss parallel institutions that reclaim a radical spirit of experimentation in the service of alleviating dependence upon the state—not in the ideological pursuit of less governance, but in order to forestall the normalization of austerity measures. We are interested in both theoretical models and case studies that can expand our public imaginary. We specifically are looking to probe such topics as:

– the temporal evolutionary patterns of parallel institutions, from origin stories to institutionalization or extinction;
– the instrumental use of institutions towards emancipatory autonomy (Castoriadis);
– the spatial reification of parallel institutions, and their relationship to territory, global patterns of enclaves and archipelagos (Davis, 2008; Aureli, 2011), states of imagination (Newman and Clarke), as well as the exclusionary effects of communautarism (Harvey, 97);
– the specificity and influence of scale upon theoretical models, from community to society;
– the use of parallel institutions in political strategy versus as bottom-up tactic;
– the roles of cultural and academic institutions, as well as of artists and academics, in fostering counter-hegemonic activism from within a privileged, most institutionalized position (Mouffe, 2010);
– specific typology studies —both organizationally and spatially— such as the emergence of new schools, health institutions, taken factories, urban communes and rural hackerlands, etc.


Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism (Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973)

Pier Vittorio Aureli, The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2011)

Cornelius Castoriadis, The Imaginary Institution of Society (MIT Press, 1998)

Mike Davis, Daniel Monk, Evil Paradises: Dreamworlds of Neoliberalism (The New Press, 2008)

Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Collective Courage: A History of African American Cooperative Economic Thought and Practice (Penn State University Press, 2014)

David Harvey, “The New Urbanism and the Communitarian Trap,” Harvard Design Magazine (winter / spring 97)

Chantal Mouffe, “The Museum Revisited,” Art Forum (Summer 2010)

Alondra Nelson, Body and Soul: The Black Panther Party and the Fight Against Medical Discrimination (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)

Janet Newman and John Clarke, “States of Imagination,” Soundings (Summer 2014)

Gigi Roggero, “Five Theses on the Common,” Rethinking Marx: A Journal of Economics, Culture & Society (August 2010)

Anne Mariel Zimmermann, “State as Chimera Aid, Parallel Institutions, and State Power,” Comparative Politics (April 2013)

Instructions for Authors:
Please submit a paper proposal (250-300 words) along with a short biography to and by February 14th.

Call For Papers Deadline