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29 February 2024 - 1 March 2024

11:00AM - 3:00PM

Venue TBC (in Durham) 

  • Free to participants, but places are limited (please register to attend)

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Register now to attend our two-day in-person workshop in Durham, addressing Empire and decolonisation in the curriculum, for educators across all academic disciplines, based in academic, museum and archival settings. Co-hosted by CVAC and the IAS, Durham University.

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Archives and Decolonial Pedagogy: Unearthing Narratives, Transforming Education

Co-hosted by the Institute of Advanced Study (IAS) and Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC).  

29 February (11:00-17:00) and 1 March, 09:30-1500)

Location: Room PG28, Palace Green Library (and archives)

Convenors: Alice Finden (Assistant Professor in International Politics), Kavi Abraham (Assistant Professor in International Relations), and Christina Riggs (Chair in the History of Visual Culture)


While calls to ‘decolonise the curriculum’ have been mainstreamed in many universities, they are often framed as a discipline-specific exercise in changing reading lists to better acknowledge (1) how a discipline might be historically connected to colonialism and (2) the range of authors and content that might have been neglected. Implicit here is that universities, as educational institutions, need to consider what knowledge is transferred to students. However, universities are also repositories of colonial historical records and artefacts that demonstrate how closely the emergence of different disciplines has been connected to colonialism. While changing reading lists is important, universities can also bring students into an intimate encounter with how European disciplinary research traditions and methods have been honed through the objectification of colonial subjects and the accumulation of indigenous knowledge.

This workshop explores how archives can be tools of decolonial pedagogies not just in disciplines such as History and Museum Studies, where archival visits are routinely employed, but Politics and IR, Psychology, Mathematics, Business, and the Natural Sciences. The workshop will convene scholars at Durham and from around the UK for:

  • a panel of educators (broadly defined) on their own work on decolonisation and education;
  • a trip to Durham’s archival records and a talk from the archivists;
  • a student-led session on archives and decolonisation;
  • a ‘sand pit’ discussion where  we talk about how we can make more use of archives in our teaching

Register to attend


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Free to participants, but places are limited (please register to attend)

Where and when

Room PG28, Palace Green Library, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RN