Alternative Curricula is an open, informal discussion group exploring postcolonial and decolonial theory. All are welcome: staff, students, locals and visitors. No prior knowledge of the topic is necessary, nor is there any obligation to attend every meeting.

Scroll down for our term card, previous reading lists, and further information.

Michaelmas 2021

Poetry and anticolonialism: a discussion of Aimé Césaire’s poetry

Saturday 23rd October 2021, 11.30am- 1pm 

Flo’s Cafe, Florence Park, Rymer’s Lane, OX4 3JZ

Core Reading

  • Aimé Césaire, Return to My Native Land (Penguin 1969), available through SOLO and here

Additional reading: 

  • Aimé Césaire, ‘Discourse on Colonialism’, available online here
  • ‘Homage to Aime Cesaire’ Callaloo, available online here

Place, space and decoloniality

Sunday 28th November 2021, 11.30 – 1pm

Tumbling Bay Cafe, West Oxford Community Centre, Botley OX2 0BT

  • Bell et al, ‘Retrospective Autoethnographies: A Call for Decolonial Imaginings for the New University’ (2019) Qualitative Inquiry 1–11
  • Eve Tuck, Marcia McKenzie & Kate McCoy (2014) ‘Land education: Indigenous, post-colonial, and decolonizing perspectives on place and environmental education research.’ Environmental Education Research, 20:1, 1-23, DOI: 10.1080/13504622.2013.877708 
  • Yi, I. ‘Cartographies of the Voice: Storying the Land as Survivance in Native American Oral Traditions.’ Humanities 20165, 62.

You can find reading lists from past years via the links below.

Reading lists from past academic years

Frequently Asked Questions

What is this group?

‘Alternative Curricula’ is a reading and discussion group, set up to explore decolonial & postcolonial theory. Anyone from any background is welcome. No familiarity with the topic is required; we are all learning from one another as we go. Approximately 3 readings will be circulated in advance and participants should ideally have read at least some of these before the meetings. At the meetings, we will discuss the ideas in the texts. The focus is on the texts themselves rather than a general talking shop.

What are your objectives?

This group aims to be a counterweight to the Eurocentricity of much of the academic theory that we encounter in university and in everyday life. We plan to critically read and discuss theorists from outside the traditional academic canon, with a particular focus on writers from the majority world (i.e. not Europe and North America), and writers who identify as Black and/or as people of colour.

What do I need to know before I join a session?

We want this group to be a place of collaborative learning and discussion which is accessible, inclusive and respectful of its members; adherence to this ideal is the only restriction that we wish to place on attendees.

Other than that, you do not need to have any qualifications in order to participate. Most of the readings will be accessible to any compassionate human being.

You do not need to have come to a previous session nor commit to going to future sessions. Each meeting focuses on a different topic.

The majority of the readings can be found online.

Who are the organisers?

The group is convened by two PhD students at the University of Oxford.

When and where do you meet?

The time, venue and date of each meeting can be found on the reading list for the relevant session. During October and November, we are meeting at outdoor cafes so that all our participants feel covid-safe.