Challenges of Decolonization in Education

Date: Friday, November 08, 2019
Time: 04:00 PM
Location: 311 Carmichael Hall

Categories: College of Education, Lectures and Speakers

Julie C. Laible Memorial Lecture Series on Anti-Racist Scholarship, Education and Social Activism

The idea of decolonization has become a central motif of the progressive forces in education around the world. It has been robustly articulated in systems as diverse as South Africa and Canada and in many parts of the United States. Yet the challenges facing these aspiration are considerable. These challenges are not only practical but also conceptual and political. It has ben noted for example that colonial political interests and epistemic systems are hard to shift in a world that is shaped fundamentally around western ethnocentric notions of modernity and historical progress. I want to argue that one of the key analytical problems associated with the contemporary discourses of decolonisation is their tendency to work from a range of binaries, both epistemic and political. I suggest that these binaries are historically constituted and their continuing use, even in the language in which resistance to colonial dominance is often conceptualised and organised, undercuts the political aspirations of decolonisation, rendering them ineffective.


Fazal Rizvi is a Professor of Global Studies in Education at the University of Melbourne Australia, as well as an Emeritus Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in the United States. He has written extensively on issues of identity and culture in transnational contexts, globalization and education policy and Australia-Asia relations. A collection of his essays is published in: Encountering Education in the Global: Selected Writings of Fazal Rizvi (Routledge 2014). His most recent books include a co-authored volume, Class Choreographies: Elite Schools and Globalization (Palgrave 2017) and a co-edited volume, Transnational Perspectives on Democracy, Citizenship, Human Rights and Peace Education (Bloomsbury 2019). Fazal is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences and a former Editor of the journal, Discourse: Studies in Cultural Politics of Education, as well as a past President of the Australian Association of Research in Education.

Contact Info: Vicky Lammon,, 2053485561, Website

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