Dis-orienting Western Knowledge

Coloniality, Curriculum and Crisis

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
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The decolonization movement is a knowledge project insofar as colonialism was an epistemological form of imperialism. As such, curricular change in the primary grades to university life requires a fundamental reworking of theories of knowledge, if not knowledge itself. To interrogate this problem and pose possible interventions, this article explicates Edward Said’s conceptualization of colonialism as taking place on an epistemic level that orients western knowledge towards non-western ways through a will to dominate. Extending beyond the administrative colonial era, coloniality in the modern era, more appropriately called postcoloniality, transforms as a knowledge relation. Decolonization requires dis-orienting this relationship through Said’s methodology. Finally, the article argues that a ‘travelling curriculum’ poses an alternative against the dominant mode of knowledge that aims to fix and essentialize people, ultimately opening up the known world towards processes of co-existence.