Decolonising Philosophy

Lecture series

As part of the department’s ongoing race equality work, we are hosting a series of decolonisation talks. Student project-team members will invite scholars working on decolonisation to present their work on how decolonisation is best achieved within philosophy and the university more broadly. Project-team members will organise and chair events.

We hope that each event brings insightful ideas about decolonisation and suggestions on practical reforms we can take to strive towards decolonisation. If you are interested in becoming a project-team member, please get in touch with Tareeq Jalloh here: tojalloh1@sheffield.ac.uk.

See here for details of our  first lecture in the  series, in June 2022.

Decolonising modules

We are taking steps towards making our current modules conceptually and demographically decolonised. Here’s a list of some of the ongoing work in our current modules:

  • Writing Philosophy: (out of a total of four topics), one topic on Al-Ghazali, an 11th century muslim Persian philosopher, and one topic on black anger as a reaction to slavery and racism featuring a debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley.
  • Philosophy of sex: sexual racism, race and pornography.
  • Self and Society: immigration, global justice and colonialism.
  • Feminism: black feminism, decolonising feminism, feminism and capitalism, feminism and climate crisis (including contributions of indigenous knowledge to addressing climate crisis).
  • Global Justice: colonialism and reparations.
  • Political Philosophy: features Mencius – a Chinese philosopher of the 4th century BC
  • Social philosophy: racial capitalism, transational feminism.
  • Environmental Justice: environmental racism and indigenous peoples; whether wildlife conservation needs to be decolonized.
  • Philosophy of Psychology: content on how most psychology is conducted on only WEIRD (Western, educated, industrialised, rich and democratic) populations, and the problems we encounter when we try to generalise from findings on WEIRD populations to how the human mind develops and works in general.
  • Phenomenology: the work of Frantz Fanon, whose philosophy focuses centrally on questions of race and decolonisation.
  • Philosophy of education: liberatory pedagogical methods, including from Malcom X, bell hooks, W. E. B. Du Bois.

We hope that the decolonisation lecture series will provide insights on how we can further decolonise our existing modules – perhaps via future module reviews – and we also hope that the case for a standalone module on philosophy of race or decolonised philosophy is made stronger in light of the series.