You have permission to edit this article.
Edit
MENU

What to Read This Week: Readings on decolonization

  • Comments
What to read this week

In “What To Read This Week,” CHALK contributor Faith Maddox suggests novels, poetry, articles and other forms of writing, often centering around a timely topic or theme. This week, Maddox suggests articles that give an introduction to the concept of "decolonization." 

October and November are rife with holidays that emphasize a false history, or at least, a narrative that centers heroism and obscures violence.

In light of Indigenous People’s Day, and the approaching Thanksgiving celebrations, it’s important to expand the dialogue and consider new modes of knowledge and allyship. 

Decolonization is a pertinent approach in restructuring education, environmentalism and everyday life. There’s a wealth of long-form literature on the topic (I’d recommend Frantz Fanon’s “The Wretched of the Earth”), but here are a few short articles to kickstart your thinking on the topic.

“What Decolonization Is and What it Means to Me” by Tina Curiel-Allen

This op-ed was published on Teen Vogue’s website back in 2018. Xicana and Boricua author and activist Tina Curiel-Allen shares her personal perspectives on what decolonization looks like in the American context. Curiel-Allen specifically mentions that decolonial work is not just a series of actions, but a way of life.

The piece offers a brief overview of both the definition and applications of decolonization in language accessible to first-time readers of political theory. 

“White Allies, Let’s Be Honest about Decolonization” by Kyle Powys Whyte

A Potawatomi environmental justice advocate, Kyle Powys Whyte examines in this piece the pitfalls that non-Indigenous allies often fall into when discussing colonialism and its ramifications on ecosystems.

He defines a decolonial approach as one that directly challenges settler privilege and moves through the context of varying ecological realities. 

Whyte rejects the romanticized notion of Indigenous peoples as the one profound answer to environmental crisis, an ideology that often exploits their emotional labor. Instead, he emphasizes the importance of building allyship across human and nonhuman groups to work communally towards environmental protection.

“Decolonization is Not a Metaphor” by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang

The longest and most dense of the three, “Decolonization is Not a Metaphor” builds upon basic understandings of decolonial work to expand our perceptions of what it means and how it can be misinterpreted.

Tuck and Yang critique the appropriation of decolonization in academia and policy-making, warning that this misuse could reimplement the harm it seeks to erase. 

They emphasize that “when metaphor invades decolonization, it kills the very possibility of decolonization; it recenters whiteness, it resettles theory, it extends innocence to the settler, it entertains a settler future.”

Recommended for you

Person 1: This song slaps.

Person 2: Your mom slaps.

Person 1: Thank you, my mom is a kind and wonderful lady.


 Person 1: I’m so sick of alcohol.

Person 2: I don’t know, I’m getting stronger every day. I love it.


Person 1: Do you do the vegan wrap here?

Person 2: We can do the chicken wrap with no cheese?

Person 1: I’ll take the Beyond Burger please. 


Person 1: Oh my God! I feel like I know you somehow…

Person 2: Yeah, we went to high school together. 

Person 1: Oh! *walks off*


Guy 1: Is the black market even real? Has anyone ever been on it?

Guy 2: I tried once but I couldn’t figure out how to get on.


Guy 1: I stayed up until 2 am watching Disney plus

Guy 2: I told my girlfriend I fell asleep but I was actually watching the Mandalorian.


Girl 1: How long have you guys been dating?

Girl 2: Since the summer, well actually for like two years but it’s a long story.


Girl 1: Who are you looking for?

Girl 2: This guy, wait I found him. Fanny pack boy. He flipped off my professor after a test and ran out of the classroom.


Girl 1: How did you choose KU? 

Girl 2: Honestly, I flipped a coin. 


Boy 1: Did I tell you? I think I had a threesome this weekend.

Boy 2: Woah, hold up. You think?


Boy 1: I was born a Phi Delt.

Boy 2: Please don’t ever say that again.


Girl 1: How do you get your boobs to look like that?

Girl 2: I don’t ever wear a bra? I don’t know. 


Girl 1: I just really want a guy to bend me over you know?

Girl 2: How do you know? You’re a virgin!


Guy: Sometimes I wish I could just be a dog and sleep all day. 

Girl: You wake up at like three every day. 

Guy: I know.

Girl: So…

Guy: So does that make me a dog or something?


Girl 1: I wish I was a little bit taller.

Girl 2: I wish I was balder.

Girl 1: I wish I had a...wait, wait, wait balder?


Guy 1: Let’s slap dicks

Guy 2: You ever pee and it feels like throwing up?


Woman 1: *holding baby* He would have been safer at the Hawk

Woman 2: Oh absolutely.


Girl 1: I would never date that guy.

Girl 2: Well, it depends how much money he has.


Girl 1: I’m going to the doctor to see if I have bronchitis before I hook up with him again.

Girl 2: Yeah that’s smart so you don’t give it to anyone else. 

Girl 1: No I mean I want to make sure I infect him.


Guy 1: I'm cutting some of my unnecessary costs, starting with Juuling.

Guy 2: Ight man, good luck.

Guy 1: Actually I might just start chewing


Guy 1: How was work?

Guy 2: My manager was chastising me for not dressing up in a Halloween costume, she doesn’t understand I’m strictly here to get paid.


Guy 1: I am so tired of this week, man

Guy 2: Dude it’s Monday

Guy 1: I know


Person#1: I want to be on the first ship to mars

Person#2: Not me, I doubt they have Wi-Fi

Perons#1: Yeah but at least they’re evolving up there. We’re all just devolving.


Girl 1: Um, I don’t eat pig.

Girl 2: You eat bacon all the time, bitch.


Guy 1: You better get going. 

Guy 2: Yeah, see ya. I’m off to get some Adderall.


Girl 1: Are you home right now?

Girl 2: Yeah, why?

Girl 1: I bought a cat


Girl 1: I just don't understand what fishing is for.

Girl 2: I don't know. Food, maybe?


Guy: I’m just gonna have to like carry an entire box of spiders up the hill tomorrow.

Girl: What?

Guy: Yeah, just like a hundred spiders in a box.


Guy 1: Sometimes ya just gotta give yourself a haircut.

Guy 2: Dude, you shaved half your head. That’s not a haircut, that’s a mess.


Girl 1: Can you eat fruit raw?

Girl 2: How else are you supposed to eat it?


Girl: That class is killing us. ​But they say rest is for the dead.

Guy: Well, at least we'll be rested.


Girl: She's not in class this semester.

Guy: Maybe she's dead.

Girl: Or studying abroad.


Girl: They're like oil and water.

Guy: Wow, you're so good with analogies.