Decolonizing the (distance) curriculum

Walder, Dennis (2007). Decolonizing the (distance) curriculum. Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, 6(2) pp. 187–196.




Postcolonial theory remains part of the challenge of literary theory to curriculum development. As the author's personal history suggests, it is more than simply another way of reading and interpretation, but enables an engagement with, a bearing witness to, the gross inequalities of the world today. Drama is a good example, evidenced by the production and impact of Athol Fugard's work - introduced as a set text for the first time in an Open University course, while becoming part of the author's published research. The positive response to Fugard made possible the inclusion of substantial new areas of literature in a modern literature course coinciding with the global changes of the late 1980s, in turn aiding the inclusion of postcolonial writings and theory in the departmental curriculum and raising awareness of issues outside the students' immediate experience. The texts studied demand an understanding beyond merely formal or 'close' critical readings, and it is the teacher's responsibility to be alive to the claims of contemporary history and politics.

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