Welcome to Rethinking Decolonization

Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop
University of Michigan


About Us

Rethinking Decolonization

The purpose of convening this Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop on the topic of Rethinking Decolonization is to re-examine current prevalent paradigms related to “decolonization”, particularly through examining the works of members of colonized or formerly colonized societies, especially Black, Indigenous, and other Global South writers and thinkers.

The proposal for this workshop was built out of an informal reading group that was convened during the Fall 2020 semester on the theme of Rethinking Decolonization, which attracted a great deal of interest, including the membership of several dozen graduate students from multiple disciplines across the university, including anthropology, history, the combined anthropology and history program, comparative literature, and Asian languages and cultures. During the Fall 2020 semester, we met virtually once a month and discussed the following works: Thiong’o Decolonising the Mind (1986), Nandy The Intimate Enemy (1983), Fanon The Wretched of the Earth (1961), and LaDuke Recovering the Sacred (2016). 

For the Winter 2021 semester, we are convening as a formal Rackham Interdisciplinary Workshop and we will discuss the following works: Deloria Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto (1988), Trask From a Native Daughter: Colonialism and Sovereignty in Hawaii (1993), and Perley Defying Maliseet Language Death: Emergent Vitalities of Language, Culture, and Vitality in Eastern Canada (2011), with a fourth work to be announced.