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Decolonising@Lincoln: Library toolkit

A toolkit of resources

Decolonising@Lincoln: Library tookit

What do we mean by decolonisation?

What is decolonisation?

The University of Lincoln defines what is meant by decolonising in the following mission statement: 

"We as a university recognise that we need to rethink, reframe and reconstruct the current curriculum to make it better, and more inclusive.  We need to expand our notions of knowledge, so it does not always elevate one voice, one experience, and one way of being in the world.  We recognise that a colonial curriculum is unrepresentative, inaccessible, and privileged in nature. It is unrepresentative because it selectively constructs teachings which exclude certain crucial narratives. It is inaccessible because it prevents many of its recipients from identifying with the narratives constructed. It is privileged, because it ensures the continued participation, comfort, and flourish of a select group of people, in both an academic and a wider societal context. These features in higher education are detrimental to minority groups, marginalising them in a diverse range of ways. ‘A decolonised approach seeks to refocus the camera, as it were, to allow for a full picture, a more realistic representation of the world that challenges and interrogates the Eurocentric world view.


Take a look at this presentation on Decolonising Our Curricula - Some Starting Points - by Dr Simon Obendorf, based on the Decolonising SOAS Working group 'Learning and Teaching Toolkit for Programme and Module Covenors'.


The University of Lincoln also uses the term decoloniality in addition to decolonisation – the former being about minds, attitudes, and actions; the latter being about the appropriation of land and resources.  

University of Lincoln Psychology academics Patrick Hylton and Paul Goddard suggest three principles for decolonisation:

  • Diversify: Seeking out ideas not from our own cultural group - ensure that space is provided for perspectives that might otherwise be underrepresented.
  • Decentring: Bringing to the centre authors with marginalised backgrounds
  • Deconstruct: Employing thinking that is dialectic (considering the antithesis to our claims) and dialogical (discussion to explore meaning of something) so as to open up space to explore alternatives.

Suggested introductory reading