Towards a decolonial computing

Ali, Mustafa (2014). Towards a decolonial computing. In: Ambiguous Technologies: Philosophical Issues, Practical Solutions, Human Nature, International Society of Ethics and Information Technology, pp. 28–35.


In recent years, computing and ICT have increasingly been subjected to interrogation from a range of critical perspectives. Enquiries have generally been informed by a commitment to one of three approaches – critical race theory, Marxist political-economy or, more recently, postcolonial theory. While each of these approaches has some merit in that it contributes toward the development of a “critical computing”, all three remain problematic when considered from the “decolonial computing” perspective developed herein. Decolonial computing is grounded in a synthesis of the ‘oppositional’ critical race theory of Charles Mills (1997, 1998, 2003) and the work of Latin-American scholars such as Walter Mignolo (2000, 2011), Ramon Grosfoguel (2011, 2012) and Nelson Maldonado-Torres (2004, 2010) who attempt to think from and at the margins / borders / periphery of the world system, foregrounding issues of geo-politics and body-politics in order to expose the persistence of modern / colonial structures in the contemporary post-modern / postcolonial period.

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