Original Questions

This discussion began with us posing questions to our readership. Here, we re-state them to engage others in dialogue.

  • How might we teach students to think in a way that is inherently decolonial as they go through their undergraduate curriculum? What kind of practical assignments do we set, what kind of theory do we read, what kinds of discussions do we ensure that we have?
  • How do we engage with the local (in this case Mauritian community), when most of our students are not from here and do not speak Creole, and only some speak French?
  • How do we think of Africa, and of the world, from such a space, and how do we do so in a way that is the most deeply respectful, intellectually rigorous, and practically useful? Is there a way that we could model for others both institution building and engagement, such that we do not in some subtle way engage in our own version of ‘colonial’ thinking and action?
  • What might the role of African Languages be in our program? We currently have a founding class who between them speak 29 languages,[1] and though they are being assessed in English, it is clear that we could do a great deal to address the call for engagement with African Languages that has been called for from scholars such as Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o for decades[2] but rarely manifests in actual institutions. How do we address the limitations of our own languages when working with students, helping them to master rigorous intellectual and narrative skills when we ourselves, as mentors, in many cases cannot speak the languages under discussion?
  • Is education for liberation, in the sense of Paolo Freire, Henry A. Giroux, and others, impossible in a for-profit institution? How might we think through both shareholder returns and critical pedagogy in the same breath?
  • Part of intellectual decoloniality as we understand it demands that we attempt to take seriously sources of knowledge that are not only textual. What techniques or strategies of engagement, summation, analysis and re-presentation might we engage as part of our pedagogy? How might we use this to effect change in the institution as a whole, as we lever such knowledges to widen the accepted scope of Africa-based epistemology and ontology in the world? How might we represent it, using both new and old technologies?
  • What are the best practices for engaging the truths of racialization and its effects, without racializing our students in turn? The same with nationalism, regionalism [#Africaisnotacountry], religious affiliation and social class? We want our students to be angry enough to change the world order, but in a way that is productive, thoughtful, and empowering rather than incapacitating.
  • What other questions should we be asking?