Last week RIKK hosted a two-day workshop for the research project “Towards decolonizing curricula in Nordic higher education” (Decolon-Ice) which is funded by The Icelandic Research Fund and led by Giti Chandra, Research Specialist at RIKK and GRÓ GEST. Participants in the project, along with external specialists, discussed the project, its background, Nordic colonial context, and the next steps of the three-year project. Below is a photo, taken by Kristinn Ingvarsson, of a part of the on-site participants of the workshop that was conducted both in person and virtually.


About the project:

Decolonization within academia is the process of interrogating curricula and pedagogy for underlying influences and ideologies arising from a global history of colonization and imperialism. These foundational assumptions impact who and what we teach as well as how and to whom curricula are taught. Often this impact takes the form of silences and/or misrepresentations within curricula and pedagogy, perpetuating unequal social structures and influencing democracy and equality within the university. The project aims to engage with faculty and students at the University of Iceland in order to survey the state of decoloniality of curricula at several departments and understand how far we have reached in this important area. Taking a participatory action research (PAR) approach, we will work closely with faculty to understand and analyse their curricula, and with students to understand their reception of this curricula. This will be the first study of its kind in a Nordic Higher Education institution and as such it will constitute an important contribution to the international research field on decolonial practices in higher education. We hope to be able to place the University of Iceland at the pioneering forefront with regard to Nordic countries, in terms of this critical, global, engagement.

Rachael Lorna Johnston, Giti Chandra, Suman Gupta, Kristín Loftsdóttir, Hólmfríður Garðarsdóttir, Mohammad Naeimi, Zaw Myo Win, and Elín Björk Jóhannsdóttir. Photo by Kristinn Ingvarsson