Mendes, AC and Lau, L (2022) Wither the plurality of decolonising the curriculum? Safe spaces and identitarian politics in the arts and humanities classroom. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 21 (3). pp. 223-239. ISSN 1474-0222

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Contributing to the debate on decolonising the curriculum, this reflective article questions: What does a safe space in a decolonised classroom mean? For whom is it safe? And at what cost? Must we redraw the parameters of 'safe'? Prompted by a real-life 'n-word incident' in the classroom, this article unpacks the collision of decolonising the curriculum to continue making teaching and learning more pluriversal and inclusive, with the enactment of the 'wounded attachments' of identitarian politics and the playing of 'Privilege or Oppression Olympics'. Using snippets from British parody and satire on decolonising the university, we query how far wokeness in a university setting can become political correctness taken to extremes that threaten decolonising efforts. In its concluding reflections, the article makes tentative recommendations for setting up safe spaces, away from self-silencing or censoring, and backing away from contention and provocation in the classroom.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page
Uncontrolled Keywords: Decolonising the curriculum, whiteness, safe spaces, cancel culture, generous thinking, higher education, social justice, critical theory
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 May 2022 10:13
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2022 12:51

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