reading groups


for comments by the participants -

List of potential readings


Term 1

Session 1 - Feb 22

Session 2 - March 8

Session 3 - March 22

Tasnim Sammak - Critical Education & Self-Determination

Session 4 - April 5

Session 5 - April 19

Session 6 - May 3

Carol Que - Abolish Academia

Session 7 - May 17

Guest Convenor TBA
Carlos Morreo - Energy, Politics and Anticolonialism
Shakira Hussein - Critical Disability

Session 8 - May 31

Jack Kirne - Making Place in a Climate-Changed World

Session 9 - June 14

Term 2

Jazzy Jazz - Surveillance and Data Colonialism

Needs to have an anti-imperialist text pr anti-colonialism

Session 20

  1. on racial violence, victims, and victors
    She talks about the difference between experiential knowledge and academic knowledge and her issues with academia.


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’’


Notes from discussion - December 2021

-enjoyed doing books for longer periods - over 2 session x 2
-cultural studies stuff - social - e.g. Sara Ahmed
-Another Day in the Colony - Chelsea Watego
-Ghassan Hage - more recent stuff
-Paolo Friere
-Paul Gilroy
-climate change/environmentalism - guest convenors - Jack Kirne
-critical disability - guest convenor Shakira Hussein
-radical education - guest convening - Tasnim Sammak
-non-European colonialisms / proto-colonialisms
-Sunday Paper

-accessibility of podcasts and texts and video

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


-date to return

Potential Guest Convenors

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

Ehtnicities & Minorities

Eurocentrism / Historicity


Property & Critical Theory

Indigeneity / Indigenous Theory

As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance Leanne Simpson

Skimmed, seems like a very very cool book, and pretty different to most stuff we’ve read. It’s conceptually very dense, but not difficult to read. Would definitely generate loads of interesting discussion. Kind of hard to imagine only a few chapters being read. It introduces and explains alot of new ideas and then references and expands upon them later on so it would be a bit jarring to skip chapters. Chapter 1 would compliment Red Skin, White Masks well. Chapter 2 or 3 could work well with Critical Forum: On the Uses of Settler Colonial Studies, “Is settler colonial studies even useful” + “OMG settler colonial studies response to Lorenzo Verancini’s is settler colonial studies even useful”.

Introduction My Radical Resurgent Present p.1-11

What nationhood means to Nishnaabeg - not a nation-state.

1) Nishnaabeg Brilliance as Radical Resurgence Theory p.11-27

Indigenous resurgence as a set of practices through which the regeneration and reestablishment of Indigenous nations can be achieved. In this chapter she details processes, feelings, stories and ideas of the Elders of Long Lake, and Ninshnaabeg knowledge. The idea of Grounded Normativity - reference to Red Skin White Masks.

2) Kwe as Resurgent Method p.27-39

Discussion of the academy, critiques of and the processes of producing knowledge through non-European methodologies. She details what The Radical Resurgence Project is.

3) The Attempted Dispossesion of Kwe 39-55

Discussion of colonialism, settler colonialism, Radical Resurgence (the radical transformation of Indigenous life), and gender in Ninshnaabeg.

4) Ninshnaabeg Internationalism 55-71

The relationships between Indigenous knowledges, non- Indigenous knowledges, and treaties with other indigneous nations.

5) Nishnaabeg Anticapitalism 71-83

Title speaks for itself. Meeting and interview with Naomi Klein.

6) Endlessly Creating Our Indigenous Selves p.83-95

Gender. Very cool chapter.

7) The Sovereignty of Indigenous Peoples Bodies p.95-119

Historic recount of forms of colonial violence, assimilation, gendered violence, racism.

8) Indigenous Queer Normativity p.95-119

9) Land as Pedagogy p.119-145

10) “I see Your Light”: Reciprocal Recognition and Generative Refusal p.175-191

11) Embodied Resurgent Practice and Coded Disruption p.191-211

Daily practices of decolonialism, everyday acts of resurgence, refusing colonial spatialities, resurgent artistic spatialities.

12) Constellations of Coresistence 211-233

How to collectively order through the Nishnaabeg idea of constellations. Example of artist collective that embodies indigenous values of individuated creation, and collaborative, interdependent communality.
An example of a mobilisation withing grounded normativity: Idle No More movement. Discussion of the use of the internet, how the movement was built and the relationship to allies.

Conclusion Toward Radical Resurgent Struggle 233-249


Another Day in the Colony Chelsea Watego

Skimmed through the book. It’s very light reading, theory is mentioned here and there but generally not discussed in depth. It’s a very personal account of experiences with racism, and colonialism as a Black person. I found the relationships made with different types of theory interesting, but in general kind of boring. The most interesting chapters imo are 4,5,6 and the last chapter


Set’s the stage for what the book is about, who it is written for and why CW chose personal prose. CW intends on telling stories that matter to capital B Black people, regarding the everyday experiences of colonial violence.

1. don’t feed the natives

CW’s early childhood experiences coming to terms with her identity/racism. Issues in academia.

2. animals, cannibals and criminals

CW problematises depictions of Indigenous people in literature and childrens books. She talks about a storytelling war. She also discusses her experiences in the media and getting publicized in journals.

3. the unpublishable story

The production of knowledge about Indigenous people, by non-Indigenous people.

4. on racial violence, victims, and victors

She talks about the difference between experiential knowledge and academic knowledge and her issues with academia.

5. ambiguously indigenous

People taking up indigeneity based on biology.

6. fuck hope

Similar to affropessimism

a final word … on joy

The politics of ‘self care’ and how its dumb

The Transit of Empire: Indigenous Critiques of Empire Jody A.Byrd

Preface: Full Fathom Five p.xi-xiv

Introduction: Indigenous Critical Theory and the Diminishing Returns of Civilization p.xv-xxxix

1. Is and Was: Poststructural Indians without Ancestry p.1-39

2. “This Island’s Mine”: The Parallax Logics of Caliban’s Cacophony p.39-77

3. The Masks of Conquest: Wilson Harris’s Jonestown and the Thresholds of Grievability p.77-117

4. “Been to the Nation, Lord, but I Couldn’t Stay There”: Cherokee Freedmen, Internal Colonialism, and the Racialization of Citizenship p.117-147

5. Satisfied with Stones: Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization and the Discourses of Resistance p.147-185

6. Killing States: Removals, Other Americans, and the “Pale Promise of Democracy” p.185-221

Conclusion: Zombie Imperialism p.221-231

Anti-Imperialism / Capitalism

The Long Revolution of the Global South: Toward a New Anti-Imperialist International Samir Amin

Prologue: Successive Waves of the South’s Awakening p.15-51

1. The Arab World: Nationalism, Political Islam, and the Predicted Arab Revolutions p.51-105

2. Africa: African Socialisms, Colonial Disasters, and Glimmers of Hope p.105-187

3. Asia: Triumphant Capitalism, Dead Ends, and Emergence in Question p.187-259

5. Eastern Europe, the USSR, and Russia: The End of the Tunnel? p.305-331

6. China, Vietnam, and Cuba: Fears and Hopes p.331-365

7. The World Forum for Alternatives and the Social Forums p. 365-403

8. The North and the Question of Imperialism 403-433


Religion / Theology

Queer Critique & Coloniality

Multispecies decolonisation

Race / Anti-racism / Fascism


Suggested Readings

Suggested Texts

Participant Lists


poetry is the method of our future community


Participant Lists