Episode 14: The background to the decolonising the curriculum movement

17 March 2021

This is the first of a short series of three podcasts that look at the decolonising the curriculum:

  • Episode 1: Background to the decolonising the curriculum movement, and the central role played by students
  • Episode 2: How white is the curriculum, and how receptive are universities to change?
  • Episode 3: The future of the decolonising the curriculum movement.


The push to decolonise the curriculum has been gathering momentum for a decade, but has been given increased urgency in the last year with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and a wider awareness of ingrained and embedded inequalities, particularly within institutions.

But how does this work in practice? What can be done, and how difficult will it be to reset long-held Euro-centric assumptions?


Taking part in the podcast to discuss these issues are five colleagues from across the Eastern Arc universities: three members of staff and two students.

  • Barbara Adewumi (Kent): Barbara joined Kent in 2017 as a Sociology lecturer. She currently works as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Student Success to develop and conduct research on BME academic progression, engagement and belonging to help close the white-BME awarding gap. She leads the Diversity Mark Project at Kent. She is joined by the Diversity Mark intern for the project, Patrice Mighton.
  • Hannah Gibson (Essex): Hannah is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics at Essex who works primarily on African languages. She has an interest in language and identity, as well as the relationship between linguistics and social justice. She has worked with students and colleagues on a number of projects looking at decolonising the curriculum at Essex.
  • Claire Hynes (UEA): Claire is a Lecturer in Literature and Creative Writing at UEA. Her fiction and non-fiction writing explores black British identities, and she has previously worked as a news editor for The Voice newspaper, a writer for national newspapers and a BBC television producer. She is currently leading and implementing on decolonising the curriculum within her School, including the creation of a BIPOC student ambassador scheme. Aimee Ibarra Hempel is one of the ambassadors on the scheme.

Further information

To find out more, here are some links to explore the iniatives we’ve discussed and to hear from those directly involved.

Image:  “#RMF Statue Removal 05” by Desmonkey is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

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