Decolonising the University

Monday 22 March 2021, 17:00 to 18:30

The call by student organisations, scholars and activists to decolonise universities, including our own VUB, is growing louder.

In the recently published VUB Poincaré book “Migration, Equality & Racism - 44 opinions” several authors denounce the current state at Belgian universities where education is stuck in colonial, Eurocentric research and thinking. The underrepresentation of racialised minorities among students, university personnel and top management is manifest, and university policies and practices are still insufficiently addressing (structural and institutional) racism.

BIRMM, RHEA, the VEN-network and the Race & Research Network invite you to join the discussion on how to decolonise universities and VUB in particular. Christil Asamoah, Tundé Adefioye and Iman Lechkar showcase their ideas on how to foster equality for marginalised groups in the university. Their insights show how to ‘do’ and ‘not-do’ decolonisation. The evening will be followed by a debate with the audience and feedback from the Equality Team on the current initiatives to foster equality at the university.

This activitiy is part of the yearly tradition to highlight the International Day Against Racism at the VUB initiated by the Race & Research Network in 2020.

The event will take place in an online format, please register here to attend.

Speakers & Bios:

  • Christil Asamoah is a researcher and teaching assistant at the Political Science Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. Her current research focuses on the decolonisation of university curricula in Flemish speaking universities in Flanders.
  • Iman Lechkar is Fatima Mernissi Chairholder at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. She obtained a PhD in social and cultural anthropology (2012, KU Leuven), which researched conversion and religious practices in a secular context. Her teaching and research engage with questions of Islam & gender, religion & secularism, conversion, religious practice, identities & authorities, ethnicity, citizenship, subjectivity, agency, affect and visual methodologies.
  • Tundé Adefioye is a city-dramaturg and founding member of the youth platform Urban Woorden. He is also a lecturer of Cultural Criticism at St Lucas School of Arts Antwerp.