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reading groups


for comments by the participants -

Session 2

#23Feb #2March

Indigenous & non-Indigenous Futures

  • Yin Paradies (2020), “Unsettling truths: modernity, (de)coloniality and Indigenous futures”, Postcolonial Studies, 23:4, 438-456.


  • María Lugones (2007), “Heterosexualism and the Colonial / Modern Gender System”, Hypatia 22:1, 186-209.

Session 3
#9March #16March

  • Introduction (p3-23) of Dipesh Chakrabarty (2000), Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. New Jersey: Princeton University Press
  • Robbie Shiliam (2019), “From Ethiopia to Bandung with Fanon”, Bandung, 6(2), 163-189

Session 4
#23March #30March

Session 5

#6April #13April

  • Alexis Shotwell (2016) Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. - Introduction & Conclusion.

  • Clare Land (2015) Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles.

Session 6
#20April #27April

  • Stephen Muecke & Paddy Roe, The Children’s Country - Introduction, Chapters 1, 6, 9 (5 optional)

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

  • Mahmood Mamdani, Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020

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

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

Session 12

  • Mahmood Mamdani, Neither Settler nor Native: The Making and Unmaking of Permanent Minorities, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2020

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

Session 13

  • Chi Chi Shi, Defining My Own Oppression: Neoliberalism and the Demands of Victimhood, Historical Materialism 26:2, 2018
  • open discussion (current issues, questions of strategy/practice/activism, anything else that participants want to raise about their work or topics that have been previously discussed)

Session 14

  • Nikki Moodie (2018), “Decolonising Race Theory: Place, survivance and sovereignty” in The Relationality of Race in Education Research, eds. G. Vass, J. Maxwell, S. Rudolph and K.N. Gulson, Routledge
  • Lilly Brown, Odette Kelada & Dianne Jones (2021) ‘While I knew I was raced, I
    didn’t think much of it’: the need for racial literacy in decolonising classrooms, Postcolonial Studies, 24:1, 82-103

Session 15

Guest convenor - Zuleika Arashiro on ‘Colonialism & Okinawa’


Session 16


  • Prologue to Samir Amin, The Long Revolution of the Global South, NY: Monthly Review Press, 2019

  • Sabelo J. Ndlovu-Gatsheni (2021) Revisiting Marxism and decolonisation through the legacy of Samir Amin, Review of African Political Economy, 48:167, 50-65


  • open discussion

Session 17

  • Brenna Bhandar, Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land, and Racial Regimes of Ownership, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

Introduction & Chapter 1: Use

Session 18

  • Brenna Bhandar, Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land, and Racial Regimes of Ownership, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2018.

Chapter 2: Propertied Abstractions & Chapter 3: Improvement

Session 19

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

Session 20

  • Aileen Moreton-Robinson (2021), “Incommensurable sovereignties: Indigenous ontology matters”, in Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies, ed. Brendan Hokowhitu, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Linda Tuhiwai-Smith, Chris Andersen, Steve Larkin

  • Audio: IGOV Indigenous Speaker Series - Dr. Audra Simpson’s “Mohawk Interruptus”

  • open discussion

Themes / Articles


Settler Colonialism

Indigenous & non-Indigenous Futures

Indigenous Sovereignty / Australia

Indigenous Resistance

  • Leanne Simpson (2016), ‘Indigenous Resurgence and Co-resistance’, Critical Ethnic Studies 2(2), pp 19–34.

Whiteness / Race

Decolonisation is (not)


Critical theory & the world

  • Anna Tsing, ‘On Nonscalability: The Living World Is Not Amenable to Precision-Nested Scales’, Common Knowledge 25(1–3), 2019, pp 143–162.


  • Mahmood Mamdani (2019), “Decolonising universities.” In Sharing Knowledge, Transforming Societies: The Norhed Programme 2013-2020. Cape Town: African Minds.
  • Nikki Moodie, “DECOLONISING RACE THEORY: Place, survivance and sovereignty” in THE RELATIONALITY OF RACE IN EDUCATION RESEARCH (2018)

  • Bryan Mukandi & Chelsea Bond (2019) ‘Good in the Hood’ or ‘Burn It Down’? Reconciling Black Presence in the Academy, Journal of Intercultural Studies, 40:2, 254-268, DOI: 10.1080/07256868.2019.1577232

Class & Identity

  • Sankaran Krishna (2015), “Notes on the Dramatic Career of a Concept: The Middle Class, Democracy, and the Anthropocene.” Alternatives: Global, Local, Political 40(1): 3-14.

Political economy

  • “Plunder in the Post-Colonial Era: Quantifying Drain from the Global South Through Unequal Exchange, 1960–2018” by Jason Hickel, Dylan Sullivan & Huzaifa Zoomkawala

Knowledge & Practice


Themes / Books

Eurocentrism / Historicity


  • Boaventura de Sousa Santos, The End of the Cognitive Empire: The Coming of Age of Epistemologies of the South. Durham: Duke, 2018.

Property & Critical Theory

  • Robert Nichols, Theft Is Property!: Dispossession and Critical Theory, Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2019.

Indigeneity / Indigenous Theory

  • Leanne Simpson, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom through Radical Resistance, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2017.
  • Glen Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2014.
  • Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui (2020). Ch’ixinakax utxiwa: On Decolonising Practices and Discourses. Polity.
    -Routledge Handbook of Critical Indigenous Studies, ed. Brendan Hokowhitu, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Linda Tuhiwai-Smith, Chris Andersen, Steve Larkin


  • Tim Rowse (2017), Indigenous and Other Australians Since 1901, New South Books. Various chapters.

  • Melinda Hinkson, See How We Roll: Enduring Exile between Desert and Urban Australia, NC: Duke University Press, 2021

  • Chelsea Watego, Another Day in the Colony, University of Queensland Press, 2021

Anti-Imperialism / Capitalism

  • Samir Amin (2019), The Long Revolution of the Global South: Toward a New Anti-Imperialist International. New York: Monthly Press. Various chapters.


  • David Theo Goldberg (2001), The Racial State. Wiley-Blackwell.
  • John Protevi, Edges of the State, Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, 2019.

Religion / Theology

  • Saba Mahmood, Religious difference in a secular age: a minority report. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2016.

  • Secular Translations: Nation-State, Modern Self, and Calculative Reason (Ruth Benedict Book Series) Paperback – December 4, 2018
    by Talal Asad

Ehtnicities & Minorities

Queer Critique & Coloniality

  • Scott Lauria Morgensen (2011), Spaces between us: Queer settler colonialism and indigenous decolonisation. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Multispecies decolonisation

  • Deborah Bird Rose (2011), Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction. Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press.
  • Deborah Bird Rose (1992). Dingo makes us human: life and land in an aboriginal Australian culture. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

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

  • Deborah Bird Rose (JK)
  • Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui (MN/CEM)
  • Scott Lauria Morgensen (CEM)
  • Houria Bouteldja (CEM)

Guest Convenors

  • Moses Iten - music, Glissant
  • Jaz & Eda on abolition
  • Lina Koleilat & Carlos on liberation theology
  • Scheherazade Bloul on ‘Arab colonialism’ - potential? Would need to confirm that she’s keen.

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



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