Recovering Anticolonialism as an Intellectual and Political Project in Philosophy of Education


This talk revisits the tension between decolonization and other social justice initiatives in education scholarship. It particularly focuses on the arguments both in favour of and against the concept of decolonization involving the return of land. While various colonized communities understandably emphasize their unique political priorities in their struggles against specific forms of colonial domination, I contend that it would be beneficial for education as both an academic field and a practice to reemphasize the importance of anticolonialism as a shared intellectual and political endeavour.

Anticolonial thought and action can provide education scholars, activists, and practitioners with a framework that fosters connections and solidarity in the fight against colonialism, without ignoring the differences between decolonization and other political endeavours. Instead of pitting various political projects against each other, such as viewing social justice initiatives that don’t prioritize land restitution as misguided, anticolonialism seeks as a point of departure to analyze and oppose a wide array of colonial practices and their consequences. These include racism, militarism, resource exploitation, land dispossession, and more.

The talk concludes with a discussion of possible intellectual trajectories through which philosophy of education may contribute.