A decolonial pedagogy for teaching intersectionality

  • Juan Velásquez Atehortúa University of Gothenburg
Keywords: epistemic disobedience, intersectionality, pragmatic toolkit, curriculum changes, injuries of coloniality

Abstract

This article discusses a “pragmatic toolkit” for decolonizing a course by intersectionality combining key notions in literature in decolonial education with four components extracted from the works of Orlando Fals-Borda and Paulo Freire by Joao Mota Neto (2018). As a kind of toolkit for decolonial change, the article first combines the role of being a subversive scholar to address “injuries of coloniality” that places the discipline as part of a landscape of power in the context of a gender studies BA-course. Repairing these injuries of coloniality demanded curriculum changes, to restore the disobedient epistemology inherent in the concept of intersectionality. Second, in so doing, the pragmatic toolkit provided a participatory frame for exchanges of knowledge in a classroom composed of multiple identities, which then aimed to promote diversity and difference. Third, this orientation made a frame suitable for searching for other epistemic coordinates, exploring for example politics of emotion to erase barriers toward potential others, and including literature on coalitional politics. And fourth, revisiting the “telluric origins” of feminist research helped the students reinvent power through writing critical reflections that awaked their “interest in social action” to contest racism, sexism, ableism, ageism, transphobia, and speciesism.

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Published
2020-10-13
How to Cite
Velásquez Atehortúa, J. (2020). A decolonial pedagogy for teaching intersectionality. Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE), 4(1), 156-171. https://doi.org/10.7577/njcie.3555