Could someone please tell me what ‘decolonisation’ means? Anyone? ANYONE?
The dictionary tells me it’s the process of withdrawing from a former colony, leaving it independent. So if I’m being asked to decolonise my classroom, I’m guessing I – or my professorial ancestors – must have at one time colonised it. And that leaves me wondering what it was like before it was colonised. Cuz if I knew that, I’d have some way of knowing how to decolonise it, and of whether or not I’d succeeded.
For example, I teach analytic philosophy, which I figure is about as colonialist as it gets. I’m guessing – I don’t know for sure because I wasn’t here then – that pre-contact there wasn’t anything of the sort in southern Alberta. So in my case decolonisation must mean my resigning from the university. Dammit! And here I was hoping for my 25 year service plaque!
Or is decolonisation a metaphor for something else? And if so, what?
It’s not that I haven’t asked. I have. And yet every time I’ve asked – and I do mean every time I’ve asked – I get nothing but the same cold stare an Auschwitz survivor would give an ex-SS officer still wearing his uniform. From this I’m inferring that to ask the question is to be a priori opposed to whatever the answer might be. And yet I’m not. True, I may or may not be on board. But how could I know without knowing what I would or would not be on board with?
If anyone could help me out here, I’d be forever in her debt. By this ‘forever’ I don’t mean I’d literally never pay up. I would. $18.37 within 24 hours by e-transfer.