Decolonising Cambridge

Knowledge . Politics . Transformation

The call for decolonisation is resonating in universities across the globe today. The most dramatic instance has been the Rhodes Must Fall movement in South Africa, which inspired protests such as Rhodes Must Fall at Oxford and “Why is My Curriculum White” at UCL. These movements have found affinities with expanding struggles around race, gender, and class on North American campuses and with the upsurge of interest in decolonisation within professional academia.  This website is a space for debate, resources, and events relating to efforts to decolonise the University of Cambridge.

Many of the institutions, knowledge,and practices found in the university were developed in a colonial context, and, as such, were developed in part to support or justify colonial relations of power, whether along racial, gender, geographic, or class lines. The decolonising university movement recognizes that these relations of power may continue to be built into the institutions of the university – from what texts are read, to who is admitted, employed, and promoted, to the relation between the university and the community, to what knowledge is valued and what is dismissed or ignored.

Our questions of decolonising the university are four-fold. First, why is the demand for decolonisation being heard so widely in universities today?  Second, what place does decolonising the curriculum have in these broader demands for decolonising the university?  Third, what are the experiences with decolonising the university in different parts of the world?  Fourth, what would it mean to decolonise Cambridge?