Wed 7th October

Decolonising the Curriculum

Date: Wed 7th October
Time: 7pm
Venue: Facebook

With the Black Lives Matter protests and the toppling of statues, calls to ‘Decolonise the Curriculum’ received renewed vigour. But what does ‘decolonisation’ actually mean? Is it just another buzz word that will fade into the background? UK Universities, including Liverpool, have recently started to acknowledge their links to slavery and imperialism, while Glasgow have calculated their benefits from the Trade and pledged £20million in reparations through the establishment of the Glasgow-Caribbean Centre for Development Research (GCCDR).

Could the tide be turning?  Are the nation’s highest seats of  learning ready to weed out Eurocentric bias and colonial prejudices not just in what is taught but also in what is researched and how?  Are those in the ivory tower ready to listen to black academics and students who demand to know ‘Why is my curriculum white?’ These questions and more will be discussed by Councillor Anna Rothery, Dr Leona Vaughn, Dr Lucienne Loh and Danièle Obono.
Councillor Anna Rothery is the Lord Mayor of Liverpool, England and was Elected in 2019 – 2020 re-elected as Lord Mayor for an unprecedented second year serving from 2020 to May 2021. Councillor Anna Rothery was elected to represent Princes Park Ward, Liverpool 8 in 2006 and went on to become Chair of Culture Tourism and Sport in 2010 – 2013. She made political history in 2012 as the first elected member from Liverpool to speak at the United Nations in Genève on Religious, Linguistic and Cultural difference.  

Dr Leona Vaughn is an equalities and human rights professional whose previous positions include Chief Executive of Anthony Walker Foundation, National Policy Advisor for Crown Prosecution Service and Trustee of Liverpool FC Foundation. In her current role as Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool, her interests are in anticolonial methodologies for researching slavery and unfree labour which centre minoritised groups in knowledge production. She has written on ‘risk’, ‘safeguarding’, ‘child labour’, ‘modern slavery’ and ‘childhood radicalisation’ and her current research project is on the racialisation of risk narratives for COVID-19 prevention in Ghana, Kenya & South Africa.


Dr Lucienne Loh is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Liverpool and is co-lead of the English Department's Decolonising the Curriculum Working Group. In 2018, she helped to establish the Postcolonial Studies Association and was Associate Editor of the Journal for Postcolonial Writing from 2008 to 2018. Her first book, The Postcolonial Country in Contemporary Literature (2013) addressed the legacies of empire in rural spaces both in Britain and in the ex-colonies. She is currently working on a research project on the legacies of slave narratives in contemporary Black British fiction. 

A librarian by trade, long time eco-socialist, anti-war and afro-feminism activist, and spoke person of the La France insoumise political movement, Danièle Obono was elected a first time member of the French Parliamant in June 2017 in the 17th constituency of Paris (which comprises part of the 18th and the 19th districts).
She is a member of the Constitutional Laws, legislation and general administation commission of the National Assembly, as well as of the European Affairs commission where she serves as bureau Secretary, and of the Overseas Territories delegation. She is also president of the France-Bangladesh parliamentary friendship group, vice-president of the study group on LGBT discriminations around the world and secretary of the study group on French island economies, natural disaster and public developement policies."