The University went to ‘decolonise’ and all they brought back was lousy diversity double-speak! Critical race counter-stories from faculty of colour in ‘decolonial’ times.

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UK Higher Education is characterised by structural and institutional forms of whiteness. As scholars and activists are increasingly speaking out to testify, whiteness has wide-ranging implications that affect curricula, pedagogy, knowledge production, university policies, campus climate, and the experiences of students and faculty of colour. Unsurprisingly then, calls to decolonize the university abound. In this article, we draw upon the Critical Race Theory method of counter-storytelling. By introducing composite characters, we speak back to assumptions that universities are race-neutral, meritocratic institutions. We illustrate some of the key themes that shape the experiences of faculty of colour in UK Higher Education: institutional racism, racial microaggressions, racial battle fatigue, and steadfast fugitive resistance. We argue that, despite the paradox of working under (what purports to be) a ‘decolonial’ agenda, widespread calls to decolonize our universities have further embedded rather than dismantled whiteness, thus continuing to characterise the careers, wellbeing, and daily lives of faculty of colour.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Early online date26 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020