reading groups


for comments by the participants -

Session 2

#23Feb #2March

Indigenous & non-Indigenous Futures


Session 3
#9March #16March

Session 4
#23March #30March

Session 5

#6April #13April

Session 6
#20April #27April

Session 7

#4May #11May

Abolition & Decoloniality
Convenors: Jasmine Barzani & Eda Seyhan

Session 7
#18May #25May

Abolition & Decoloniality (cont.)
Convenors: Jasmine Barzani & Eda Seyhan


Session 8
#1June #8June

short discussion on the Elbit action - 3cr interview

Session 9

#22June #29June

The world is cumbia: the politics of creolisation

Moses Iten (Cumbia Cosmonauts / PhD Candidate, RMIT)

Creolisation is a phenomenon largely studied by scholars of linguistics and literature, but Martinican poet-philosopher Edouard Glissant has discussed music as a prominent example of ‘creolisation’. The session seeks to explore the nuances of defining cumbia as hybrid, mestiza (“mixed race”), or creolising, and to consider more broadly the place of music as a practice of decolonisation.

This week’s readings start with listening to (and watching) how the sound of Colombian cumbia has shifted from 1940s to the present day. Starting as a folk music recorded for export by the burgeoning Colombian music industry, to it becoming associated with urban ghettos across Latin America, and ultimately its circulation as a hip global club sound. This story is summarised in a short video documentary focused on case of cumbia in Peru.

In addition to the audio files and short documentary video, we have two texts. A lecture on creolisation by Glissant himself, in which Glissant proposes that creolisation is applicable to the whole world beyond its usual Caribbean identification, and a critical and ethnomusicological history of cumbia as genre.


A listening and reading recommended itinerary might go like this: listen to some Cumbia, then watch the short doco, and finally do the readings:

Versions of the song Cumbia Sampuesana (only need to listen to a bit of each video)
1940s Colombian folk music version by Conjunto Tipico Vallenato (featured in a Mexican film of the 1950s):
1990s Mexican sound system version by Sonido La Changa (song starts at 1:27):
2000s Argentine ghetto cumbia version by Damas Gratis:
2010s Australian digital cumbia version by Cumbia Cosmonauts:
‘Making Digital Cumbia in Peru’ on YouTube. Video (7min18sec). Published 2014.
D’Amico, Leonardo. ‘Cumbia Music in Colombia: Origins, Transformations, and Evolution of a Coastal Music Genre’ in Fernández L’Hoeste, Héctor and Pablo Vila (Edited by). 2013. Cumbia! Scenes of a Migrant Latin American Music Genre. Durham and London: Duke University Press. pp. 29-48.
Glissant, Edouard. 2020. ‘Creolizations in the Caribbean and the Americas’ in Introduction to a Poetics of Diversity. Translated by Celia Britton. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. pp. 3-17

Session 10
#6July #13July


Session 11

Introduction & Chapter 3: Settlers and Natives in Apartheid South Africa

Optional audio - Welcome? Podcast, episode “Nubian Nostalgia: Part 1”

Session 12

Chapter 4: Sudan: Colonialism, Independence, and Secession
& Conclusion: Decolonizing the Political Community - TBD

Session 13

Session 14

Session 15

Guest convenor - Zuleika Arashiro on ‘Colonialism & Okinawa’


Session 16



Session 17

Introduction & Chapter 1: Use

Session 18

Chapter 2: Propertied Abstractions & Chapter 3: Improvement

Session 19

Guest convenor - Lily Malham Spake on ‘Indigenous languages and discourses of ‘endangerment’’

Session 20

Themes / Articles


Settler Colonialism

Indigenous & non-Indigenous Futures

Indigenous Sovereignty / Australia

Indigenous Resistance

Whiteness / Race

Decolonisation is (not)


Critical theory & the world


Class & Identity

Political economy

Knowledge & Practice


Liberation Theology

Themes / Books

Eurocentrism / Historicity


Property & Critical Theory

Indigeneity / Indigenous Theory


Anti-Imperialism / Capitalism


Religion / Theology

Ehtnicities & Minorities

Queer Critique & Coloniality

Multispecies decolonisation

Race / Anti-racism / Fascism

The International Alt-Right : Fascism for the 21st Century?, by PATRIK HERMANSSON, David Lawrence, Joe Mulhall, Simon Murdoch

Decolonial Practice

Suggested Readings

Guest Convenors


Participant Lists

Notes from discussion - 18 May 2021

-Arab colonialism? Potential workshop/event organised by Scheherazade B - we could do a reading group near that. Towards the end of the year.

-too many texts - less pages overall - vary it so there are sessions when there are more or less. Cap it at 50, aim for 40 most weeks
-themes - working through them longer?
-guests - something rarer. one or two times a year, rather than very common

-changing time?

-schedule in an hour block every 2 or 3 sessions for a reflection on decolonial practice - not a lot, keep it focused on reading (rather than guests

-include oral and visual materials as well as texts

-indigenous languages in Australia - discourse endagenered deaths. guest convenor - Lily

-general agreement to keep with the themes that we’ve been doing this year

-September - Zuleika - Okinawa applying settler colonial framework to Japan

(Eda: maybe one of the “decolonial practice” sessions could be on Rojava?

-open reflective hour - nothing set and just a chat (could bring up stuff left hanging before, of the moment e.g. how we did with palestine)

-every third session, second hour as a conversation that is more open - could bring up questions that we’re confronting - talking about work that we’re engaged in

-add breaks between sessions - term 3 and term 4 (take out one session so that there’s a four month)

-Robbie Shilliam - could invite - Decolonial Politics

-Books - need to split across two session so that we read at least 4 chapters (Red Skin, White Masks / Brenna’s book / Robbie’s book / Alana Why Race Matters) - there should be at least one Australian book

-one or two books in each term

-next email: say the structure, thinking of reading 2 books and four articles here are some of the - vote up / vote down - guest convening 3 people come so far and what it involves. also add any visual and listening that is relevant to the themes, material for us to discuss could be texts, podcasts, films, clips, etc

-email guest convenors



poetry is the method of our future community


Participant Lists