“Why is it my problem if they don’t take part?” The (non)role of white academics in decolonising the law school

Nick Cartwright, T.O. Cartwright

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The title of this paper is based on a question we were asked by a white colleague at a staff development session we were delivering. It is our problem because we are implicated in creating and perpetuating a colonised law curriculum. The focus of this paper is on what the role of white academics is in decolonising the law school; we contend that we cannot decolonise the curriculum if we do not first decolonise ourselves. This paper is grounded in critical race theory and concurs with Paulo Freire’s position that the oppressor cannot achieve liberation, this is a role solely for the oppressed. The role of decolonised white academics is, we argue, to work within their own communities to ensure the unconditional surrender of power to oppressed Black communities. This role, including the passivity of white power-holders, is however a complex one but if the transfer of power is not achieved, then an insurgent pedagogy where power is taken would be a just course of action.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)532-546
Number of pages15
JournalLaw Teacher
Volume54
Issue number4
Early online date19 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Decolonisation
  • pedagogy
  • race

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