The Decolonising Collective Leiden is a platform for staff and students interested in exploring strategies to foster pluralistic, diverse, and decolonised knowledge production at Leiden University. While many discussions about decolonisation are ongoing in discrete spaces across the University, there is need for a forum to bring into conversation the various initiatives taking place across the faculties, and accordingly facilitate a process of co-learning. Such an initiative, we hope, will generate collective thinking about what it means to decolonise research, pedagogy, and spaces and build a community of solidarity committed to this goal. The Collective will host events and share news on issues pertaining to decolonising knowledge. Events are open to both members and non-members.
We are motivated by the insights of decolonising perspectives that knowledge production has been shaped by coloniality i.e. continuing colonial logics that maintain racial, gendered, class, and sexual hierarchies. As a result, the diverse knowledges developed by the global majority have been silenced, delegitimised, and invisibilised in global knowledge production; instead, Western/Eurocentric knowledge has been falsely presented as neutral, objective, universally valid, and the only option. We are inspired by the works of a diversity of scholars, activists, and practitioners to unlearn Eurocentricity and relearn new ways of understanding through a dialogue of love and respect between different knowledges of the world. This goes beyond theorising to also include issues related to pedagogy, research methods, and the challenges of knowledge production at a colonial, neoliberal university.
While the Collective consists of its entire membership – that is, you are the Collective – there is an organising committee responsible specifically for the administration of the Collective (e.g. maintaining the mailing list) and the hosting of events. See our names listed below. The organising committee welcomes collaboration with the wider membership to ensure it establishes lively and relevant activities that connect directly with the diverse communities being served. If you have an idea for an event, please do get in touch via the contact form.
We also recognise the excellent work being done by the Inclusive Curriculum Network and the Leiden University Diversity and Equality Network (LUDEN), and collaborate with them in solidarity to ensure a diverse working and learning environment here at Leiden University.
Densua Mumford (FGGA)
Tibisay Sankatsing Nava (KITLV)
Vineet Thakur (Humanities)
Sony Jean (KITLV)