Michelle Meixieira Groenewald
Summer Academy 2022 for Pluralist Economics,
This workshop was originally taught at the Summer Academy for Pluralist Economics 2022
Instructor: Michelle Meixieira Groenewald (North West University, South Africa)
1. Context of the workshop
At the end of this course, I anticipate that we will all be asking more questions, rather than having definitive answers on this topic. This course will fundamentally ask whether we can, or even should use the word ‘decolonising’ in our pursuit of a better economics? Both participants and lecturers, will also be encouraged to reflect on their own situatedness in how they have come to “know”.
Any discussion on decolonising economics should not be seen as a prescriptive approach to many of the topics we will cover. Rather, this is an opportunity for broader points of discussion on decolonising; to reflect context specific realities (Chelwa, 2016) (Bassier, 2016), to de-centre Western ideas in economics (Alves & Kvangraven) to “[democratise] knowledge from its current rendition in the singular into its plural known as knowledges” (Ndlovu-Gatsheni, 2018a:4) – to name but a few.
As we will analyse in this course, other disciplines have engaged far more deeply with the debates and contestation around what it means to decolonise. As the economics discipline has barely begun to grapple with this, this is a vital and important process Zein-Elabdin and Charusheela (2004), argue that postcolonial thought could provide a “cross cutting ‘frame’ in which we may rethink a variety of important heterodox traditions within Economics”. This idea will be explored further in this course, as an opportunity for deeper engagement.
2. Some potential pieces to engage with
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the work that might be useful to critically engage with on this topic. It is certainly open to critique (something I hope we can do in our live sessions). Each one of these suggestions (books, chapters, articles, blogs, videos, tweets, videos, art work), makes reference to a wealth of other suggestions which you may end up finding more useful to work through depending on your interest or context. (I have also just included a few initiatives/organizations at the end of the reference list, that you are welcome to add to!).
I have tried as far as possible, to offer options that can be relatively easily engaged with but you may find each of these suggestions more/less approachable/useful/accurate/Eurocentric/Americanised (which we can also discuss in class!). You might also want to take a look at these suggestions and delve a little deeper into the various intersecting identities of the authors. Hopefully, we will also discuss some of this in our live sessions, to think more explicitly through knowledge production and dissemination. I have also included some pieces of fiction as I have found them to be more useful for me, than many pieces of non-fiction.
They have also not been organized thematically, as I am hoping that once again you are not limited/influenced by my identification of themes. Rather, that you give this list a quick look, dive a little into what grabs your attention to narrow it down, and we have a fruitful discussion of what interests you in the live session – to choose specific content for each of the sessions.
Of course, you are encouraged to engage critically with any of these pieces and to decide where you do and don’t agree with this work, as well as being able to justify why you would argue this way.
These suggestions are also invariably influenced by my own positionality. Ideally, it would be wonderful if each of you had suggestions that we could add to this list, to more clearly reflect the contributions from everyone in this course. Please note that this does not have to be just academic journal articles. If we take seriously Ndlovu-Gatsheni’s call to democratise knowledge into knoweldges, then how can we begin to do so by recognizing knowledges in other forms?
3. Suggestion list
- Adebisi, F.I. 2019. Why I Say ‘Decolonisation is Impossible’. Foluke’s African Skies. https://folukeafrica.com/why-i-say-decolonisation-is-impossible/ Date of access: 22 May 2022.
- Agunsoye, A., Groenewald, M.M. & Kvangraven, I.H. 2022a. Decolonising economics teaching, Part 1: Some thoughts on the curriculum. D-Econ: Diversifying and Decolonising Economics. https://d-econ.org/decolonising-economics-teaching-part-1-some-thoughts-on-the-curriculum/ Date of access: 30 Apr. 2022.
- Agunsoye, A., Groenewald, M.M. & Kvangraven, I.H. 2022b. Decolonising economics teaching, Part 2: Some thoughts on pedagogy. D-Econ: Diversifying and Decolonising Economics. https://d-econ.org/decolonising-economics-teaching-part-2-some-thoughts-on-pedagogy/ Date of access: 30 Apr. 2022.
- Agunsoye, A., Groenewald, M.M., Guizzo, D. & Ramburuth-Hurt, K. 2022. Reforming academia. In: L. Ambler, J. Earle, & N. Scott, eds. Reclaiming Economics for Future Generations. Manchester: Manchester Unviersity Press. pp. 205–243.
- Alves, C. & Kvangraven, I.H. 2021. #economicsfest: Does economics need to be ‘decolonised’? Economics Observatory. https://www.economicsobservatory.com/economicsfest-does-economics-need-to-be-decolonised Date of access: 05 Nov. 2021.
- Appadurai, A. 2021. Beyond Domination. The future and past of decolonization. (The Future of Postcolonial Thought). https://www.thenation.com/article/world/achille-mbembe-walter-mignolo-catherine-walsh-decolonization/ Date of access: 12 Jun. 2022.
- Appleton, N.S. 2019. Do Not ‘Decolonize’ . . . If You Are Not Decolonizing: Progressive Language and Planning Beyond a Hollow Academic Rebranding. Critical Ethnic Studies. http://www.criticalethnicstudiesjournal.org/blog/2019/1/21/do-not-decolonize-if-you-are-not-decolonizing-alternate-language-to-navigate-desires-for-progressive-academia-6y5sg Date of access: 15 Mar. 2022.
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- Bassier, I. 2016. UCT’s economics curriculum is in crisis. GroundUp News. https://www.groundup.org.za/article/ucts-economics-curriculum-crisis/ Date of access: 12 Jul. 2022.
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- Burkina Faso President Thomas Sankara’s “Against debt” speech 1987 Part 1. 1987. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfzoToJEnu8 Date of access: 11 Jul. 2022.
- Burkina Faso President Thomas Sankara’s “Against debt” speech 1987 Part 2. 1987. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VZEkURD9oI Date of access: 11 Jul. 2022.
- Charusheela, S. & Zein-Elabdin, E. 2004. Postcolonialism Meets Economics. 1st ed. Routledge.
- Chelwa, G. 2016. Decolonizing the teaching of economics. https://africasacountry.com/2016/04/decolonizing-the-teaching-of-economics Date of access: 12 Jul. 2022.
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- Crenshaw, K. 1991. Mapping the Margins: Intersectionality, Identity Politics, and Violence against Women of Color. STANFORD LAW REVIEW. 43(6):1241–1299.
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- Davis, A.Y. 1983. Women, Race, & Class. New York: Vintage Books.
- De Sousa Santos, B. 2016. Epistemologies of the South: Justice against Epistemicide. London & New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
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- Fanon, F. 2008. Black skin, white masks. Translated by Charles Lam Markmann. (Get political). London: Pluto Press.
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- Garba, T. & Sorentino, S. 2020. Slavery is a Metaphor: A Critical Commentary on Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang’s “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor”. Antipode. 52(3):764–782.
- Grosfoguel, R. 2007. THE EPISTEMIC DECOLONIAL TURN: Beyond political-economy paradigms. Cultural Studies. 21(2–3):211–223.
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- Hickel, J. [@jasonhickel]. 2021. https://twitter.com/jasonhickel/status/1450027241308622849 Date of access: 06 May 2022.
- Hiraide, L.A. 2021. Postcolonial, Decolonial, Anti-Colonial: Does it Matter? New Voices in Postcolonial Studies. https://newvoicespocostudies.wordpress.com/hiraide/ Date of access: 21 Jun. 2022.
- Icaza, R. & Vázquez, R. 2013. Social Struggles as Epistemic Struggles. Development and Change. 44(3):683–704.
- Icaza, R. & Vázquez, R. 2016. The Coloniality of Gender as a Radical Critique of Developmentalism. In: W. Harcourt, ed. The Palgrave Handbook of Gender and Development. London: Palgrave Macmillan UK. pp. 62–73.
- Koechlin, T. 2019. Whitewashing Capitalism: Mainstream Economics’ Resounding Silence on Race and Racism. Review of Radical Political Economics. 51(4):562–571.
- Kvangraven, I.H. 2022. Beyond Eurocentricism: If you want decolonisation go to the economics of Samir Amin. Aeon. https://aeon.co/essays/if-you-want-decolonisation-go-to-the-economics-of-samir-amin Date of access: 06 Jul. 2022.
- Kvangraven, I.H. & Kesar, S. 2021. Standing in the Way of Rigor? Economics’ Meeting with the Decolonizing Agenda. (New School for Social Research: Department of Economics Working Papers 2110). https://ideas.repec.org/p/new/wpaper/2110.html.
- Lugones, M. 2010. Toward a Decolonial Feminism. Hypatia. 25(4):742–759.
- Madina Tlostanova. Postsocialist tempo-localities and nascent decolonial sensibilities. 2019. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqkMJeNTeqA Date of access: 20 Jul. 2022.
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- Maldonado-Torres, N. 2007. ON THE COLONIALITY OF BEING: Contributions to the development of a concept. Cultural Studies. 21(2–3):240–270.
- Mbembe, A.J. 2016. Decolonizing the university: New directions. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education. 15(1):29–45.
- Mignolo, W.D. 2007. INTRODUCTION: Coloniality of power and de-colonial thinking. Cultural Studies. 21(2–3):155–167.
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- Moosavi, L. 2022. Turning the Decolonial Gaze towards Ourselves: Decolonising the Curriculum and ‘Decolonial Reflexivity’ in Sociology and Social Theory. Sociology. https://doi.org/10.1177/00380385221096037.
- Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S.J. 2018a. Epistemic freedom in Africa: deprovincialization and decolonization. London & New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
- Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S.J. 2018b. THE DYNAMICS OF EPISTEMOLOGICAL DECOLONISATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY: TOWARDS EPISTEMIC FREEDOM). Strategic Review for Southern Africa. 40(1):16–45.
- Ndlovu-Gatsheni, S.J. 2021. The cognitive empire, politics of knowledge and African intellectual productions: reflections on struggles for epistemic freedom and resurgence of decolonisation in the twenty-first century. Third World Quarterly. 42(5):882–901.
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- Perry, K.K. 2021. The new ‘bond-age’, climate crisis and the case for climate reparations: Unpicking old/new colonialities of finance for development within the SDGs. Geoforum. 126:361–371.
- Postcolonial Decolonial Anticolonial event Oct 2021 (BSA PDT ). 2021. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gWchvBLkmHU Date of access: 05 Jul. 2022.
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- Ramón Grosfoguel “decolonial methods, epistemologies of the South and Fanonian philosophy 1/2”. 2013. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x68bK-4rN4 Date of access: 22 Jun. 2022.
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Some initiatives to take a look at
Download syllabus here