Why should we care about reading lists? Because they remain an important site of pedagogy & possibility: whose history matters, who gets to write about the past in the present, and how that collectively informs the futures we imagine (@Madjane_, 2021).
The dominance of scholars from the Global North is pervasive in academia, and this has a direct impact on student curricula. Institutions are starting to examine data on reading lists and it is clear that there are often significant imbalances in the diversity and representation of authors. This homogeneity has consequences for students’ thinking; limiting the methodological tools available to them, reinforcing dominant paradigms and curtailing academic potential.
The University of Sussex Law Department undertook a student-led evaluation of subject reading lists. Some of the recommendations around decolonising included:
Module conveners and teaching staff should consult the Reading Lists Guide for further tips on best practice for making inclusive reading lists.
Many staff are committed to developing decolonised teaching and learning practices. Identifying approaches to translate theory into classroom practice can present a challenge. The Library can support teachers in the following ways:
This site is intended as a free resource for students, teachers, academics, and others interested in social theory and wishing to understand it in global perspective. It emerges from a long-standing concern with the parochiality of standard perspectives on social theory and seeks to provide an introduction to a variety of theorists and theories from around the world. The particular impetus for the setting up of the site was the recent campaign organised by students in the UK asking ‘Why is my curriculum white?‘ This site is one attempt to build resources that will hopefully complement and broaden our shared conversations in this area.
The site is being developed and resourced collaboratively and will be added to on a regular basis. It hopes to draw upon the knowledge and expertise of all those who read it and so, please, do get in touch and offer an entry on a topic, thinker, or concept that you think should be included at the email address below.