School of Social Sciences

UKZN launches book on Decoloniality and Decolonial Education: South Africa and the World

Seen from left is Ms Nandipha Makhaye (Chief Architect, Gauteng Department of Social Development), Prof Rozena Maart and Ms Londiwe Sokhabase (eThekwini architect).
Seen from left is Ms Nandipha Makhaye (Chief Architect, Gauteng Department of Social Development), Prof Rozena Maart and Ms Londiwe Sokhabase (eThekwini architect).

A Special Issue of the Alternation journal titled Decoloniality and Decolonial Education: South Africa and the World, edited by Professor Rozena Maart, was launched at Ike’s Bookstore in Durban.

Critiques of racism, definitions of decolonisation and decoloniality, histories of enslavement, coloniser-colonised relations, the coloniality of language, the colonial teaching practices of empire colonies, Black and racialised bodies as sites of racism and colonisation in the afterlife of apartheid, are among the work in this collection.

‘Discussions on decoloniality and decolonial education have been front and centre in the South African landscape within and outside Higher Education for the past two decades.  Communities of scholars have been embroiled in questions of race, space, the city, language, identity, literature, the economy, histories of slavery and enslavement, gender, sexuality, desire, food, histories of struggle, and their respective and intertwined relationship with our continued struggle with settler coloniality in South Africa in the afterlife of apartheid,’ explained Maart.

Alternation Editor-in-chief, Professor Johannes Smit added, ‘Due to its interdisciplinary nature, Alternation is an important journal for the Arts and Humanities, and is at the forefront of knowledge production and knowledge and research transformation. Virtually all its publications are contextually-relevant and impact academia transformatively – they are productively used by scholars, students and teachers alike. We welcome this edition which was expertly edited by Professor Maart.’

Professor Puleng Segalo’s Critical Reflections on UNISA’s Decolonial Summer School is a call to decolonise university curricula in South Africa. Professor Lewis R. Gordon’s article is titled Some Thoughts on Decolonisation, Decoloniality, Racism and Challenges of Citizenship in Communities of Learning, while Professor Sabine Broeck’s work, Decolonality and Enslavism complements Gordon’s and continues with the focus on enslavement.

Thomas Meagher’s The Spirit of Seriousness, is situated in the existential phenomenology of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir and unpacks why the spirit of seriousness is important for decolonisation. Professor Patrick Bond and Mr Gumani Tshimomola start their article titled From Recolonised to Decolonised South African Economics by asserting that replacing a neo-colonial project of financial control by neoliberal forces with one that represents genuine economic decolonisation has never been more urgent, in South Africa and elsewhere.

Mr Malick Diagne’s The Socialism of Frantz Fanon: A Theory for the Rehabilitation of Subjugated Peoples engages with the historicity of Fanon’s thought that addresses the radicality of the colonised subject and the drive towards freedom. Professor Oumar Dia takes the reader through how Fanon utilised Hegel’s master and slave dialectics to produce a theory of liberation.

Maart’s Black Bodies on South African Beaches: “Lus” en “Smaak” jou lekker ding offers a systematic unpacking of the text unleashed by Penny Sparrow, a White South African woman who, along with several others between 2015 and 2016, at the height of the #FeesMustFall protests, continued to attack Black bodies on social media platforms.

Dr Jade Gibson’s, Decolonising the “Eye” within the “I” – Heterotopias of Self: An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Visual and Material Relationships among and between Space, Body, Memory, Identity and Place’, addresses multifaceted heterotopias.

Dr Danille Arendse’s Coloured Consciousness: Reflecting on How Decoloniality Facilitates Belonging, offers a series of reflections on her Coloured identity from a place of complex existential experiences.

Dr Sayan Dey and Maart’s article Decolonisation and Food: The Burden of Colonial Gastronomy – Stories from West Bengal brings together Dey’s work on the food customs of pre-colonial Bengal and Maart’s on food colonisation from Bengal and Java to District Six, the old slave quarter of Cape Town. Mr Christopher Gevers’ article is on South Africa, International Law and “Decolonisation”.

Mr Sieraaj Francis’ article, White line-managers and Black labour: Ticking the Boxes of Decolonisation in a Teaching and Learning Unit of a “First Class” University in South Africa interrogates his refusal to participate in ‘decolonial pedagogical practices’ as instructed by his White line-manager, and the existential journey that ensued.

UKZN Architecture lecturer Mr Juan Ignacio Solis-Arias’ article, Acts and Actors: Decolonising the study of Architecture at a South African University offers an account of his place within a setting that he is unfamiliar with, yet he observes that East African architects who enter the university as examiners come equipped to dehumanise the last of the continent’s Black students who dared to enter into the domain of architecture – previously reserved for their colonisers.

In Rainbow Schooling Pains: An Auto-Ethnographic account of Model C Schooling in South Africa, Ms Philile Langa offers an existential account of her schooling within the Model-C system. Professor Sukla Chatterjee and Professor Cloris Porto Torquato focus on literature and language. The collection includes opinion pieces by Mr Sipho Singiswa and Ms Gillian Schutte and two roundtable discussions.

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