Decolonizing The Mind – a third narrative of liberation

15-16 November 2018, University of Sheffield

The one-day course Decolonizing The Mind (DTM) explores concepts and tools from the theoretical framework Decolonizing The Mind and is taught by Sandew Hira, independent scholar, activist and organiser of the international decolonial network.

Two narratives of liberation had dominated knowledge, culture and activism the past 150 years: Liberalism and Marxism. They are rooted in the European Enlightenment. Decolonial thinking is a collection of contributions to a third narrative of liberation with different labels (postcolonialism, orientalism, subaltern studies, Islamic liberation theology). DTM aims to develop a coherent theoretical framework as an alternative to Liberalism and Marxism.

The course deals with the following questions:

  1. What are the differences in theoretical framework between Liberalism, Marxism and DTM?
  2. What are the differences in producing knowledge from the three frameworks: theories of knowledge including logic, methods of research and analysis for academics and activists?
  3. What is the DTM framework: concepts, methods of arguments, attitudes of a (de)colonized mind, skills of a (de)colonized mind.
  4. How do we apply the DTM framework in different areas of knowledge production and activism? We will deal with the following examples:
    • Decolonizing mathematics (you don’t need expert knowledge on mathematics).
    • Decolonizing world history: three views on world history
    • Decolonizing economic theory: Islamic economic theory, liberal and Marxist economic theory.
    • Decolonizing social theories: three views on race, class, gender en sexuality.
    • Decolonizing political theory: three political theories on democracy, political systems and activism
    • Decolonizing cultural theory: three theories about authority of knowledge production, identity formation, religion
      and ethics.

Format of the event

Each session starts with a summary of a PowerPoint presentation followed by debates, presentations by participants and analysis of arguments in propositions that develop the topics in the presentation. Special attention is given to possible critiques of the Decolonise The Mind theoretical framework. Given that the training session can only fit 25 students in we will aim to run the training day twice on consecutive days.


£ 1780

Lead Student

Nadia Mehdi, University of Sheffield

Other student organisers

  • Maryam Jameela, University of Sheffield
  • Britt Harrison,University of York
  • Alice Murphy, University of Leeds
  • Adina Covaci, University of Leeds