Anti-colonial approaches to academic discourse

Public Intellectual Essay


Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Anti-colonial approaches to academic discourse
Just from $9/Page
Order Essay

The introduction of critical race theory and other anti-colonial approaches to academic discourse has obscured the fact that higher education itself remains embedded in colonial institutions and structures. Higher education is a vestige of colonial means of psychological and social control. The political implications of colonialism in higher education include the perpetuation of hegemony, the suppression and subordination of alternative epistemologies, the ongoing political dominion over what constitutes knowledge, and the use of higher education to promote structures and institutions that serve the dominant culture. Although often an unconscious process, the ways colonial mentalities and processes remain entrenched in higher education are directly harmful to individual students and to society as a whole. Colonialism in higher education promotes a monolithic worldview that inhibits critical inquiry and creative solutions to global problems. By controlling how knowledge is defined, institutes of colonialist higher learning prevent alternative views and inhibit the flourishing of a genuinely meaningful academic curriculum as well as an evidence-based pedagogical practice. Colonialism in higher education is bad for everyone; it inhibits learning, limits the scope and depth of discursive practices, and prevents the formation of genuine community partnerships that can promote social justice.

In fact, the political often becomes personal with direct impacts on individual learners. “Education systems and processes, as well as ideas about what counts as education, have been entrenched in the reproduction of colonial ways of knowing which concomitantly limit possibilities for many learners,” (Dei, 2012, p. 103). The impact on individual learners extends to physical and mental health outcomes too, exacerbating health disparities. Epistemological data that shows that aboriginal peoples suffer from lower life expectancy, elevated morbidity, elevated suicide rates, higher rates of many diseases, and higher rates of poverty, all of which are empirically linked to “the forced acculturation imposed on Aboriginal peoples,” (Bourassa, McKay-McNabb & Hampton, n.d., p. 23). Therefore, colonialism in higher education is categorically unethical.


Colonialism refers to the imposition of power and the creation of political, social, and economic hierarchies. In higher education, colonialism manifests physically through the control over the physical space of the academic institution, symbolically via the control over information, knowledge, curriculum, and pedagogy, and psychologically. The term “the colonial wall” refers to the “psychological barrier designed to control, confine, and contain a nation by internalized colonialist subjugation or colonizer domination,” (St. Germain, 2003, p. iii). Higher education erects psychological barriers that serve as colonial walls between individual students, between faculty and students, and also between the educational institution and the greater community it is supposed to serve. Colonialist worldviews affects research questions, research designs, and research methods. Indigenous people are systematically barred from controlling discourse, or even defining or operationalizing their own terms. Disallowing for self-definition or self-determination, colonialism in higher education therefore perpetuates power inequities beyond the walls of the institution, reverberating throughout society. Indigenous people are the subjects or objects of research and thereby objectified, as opposed to being the lead researchers who frame new paradigms, evolving theory, and participate in the creation of new knowledge with real world applications. Critical race theory and anti-colonial rhetoric is insufficient for promoting egalitarianism in higher education. Anti-colonial discursive practices can be hegemonic, too, because the indigenous perspective “cannot be addressed within the frames of ethnic or minority diversity, civil rights, or human rights,” (Champagne, 2014, p. 99). For higher education to become truly decolonized, indigenous voices, bodies of knowledge, and ways of knowing need to be woven into the fabric of academia.




Higher education wears a mask. Pretending to champion the rights of indigenous peoples, higher education as it is practiced around the world is commonly considered to be a bastion of critical inquiry. Purporting to be liberal and progressive, high education promotes heterogeneous voices and discursive practices that challenge hegemonies based on race, class, and gender. Critical race theory and intersectionality dominate the discourse in higher education, which is fine, but white guilt only perpetuates the belief that institutions of higher learning–and the entire process of academic inquiry–are inherently anti-colonial or simply apolitical. The myth that higher education bears no stamp of colonialism now clouds generations of subtle tyranny: the ways that academia has in the past promoted racist discourse, the most notable being social Darwinism.


Now that critical race theory has replaced social Darwinism, academics feel safe and secure in their ivory towers. From the windows of those ivory towers, researchers and academics can shout out their sympathy with indigenous people, with women of color. Aligned with anti-colonial sentiments, academics can too easily ignore the fact that their very position within the academic institution, and the institution of higher learning itself and all it represents, has very real political consequences. The curriculum in higher education continues to be Euro-centric, no matter how many women’s studies or indigenous studies courses creep into the course content. Therefore, the ivory towers form what some call a “colonial wall,” which are both actual physical and also social structures, barriers that are designed to control, dominate, contain, and delimit subjugated peoples (St. Germain, 2003). How knowledge is constructed, how it is collected, analyzed, and interpreted: all reflects specific worldviews. Likewise, what constitutes “knowledge” is not something up for debate in academia. Knowledge is confined to dominant culture ideals, and is not meaningful unless it feeds into dominant culture ethos, dominant culture economic goals, and dominant culture politics.

We should celebrate the great strides that have been made in higher education, especially with regards to the integration of alternative epistemologies and courses that do genuinely challenge and even subvert the hegemonic worldview. However, higher education still has a long way to go before it ceases to reflect and perpetuate inequities. Critical race theory is simply not enough. Indigenous perspectives, goals, needs, and ways of knowing simply “cannot be addressed within the frames of ethnic or minority diversity, civil rights, or human rights,” (Champagne, 2014, p. 99). The time has come to democratize knowledge, and to cease allowing universities to be institutions of assimilation, enculturation, and socialization. Indigenous people are not the subjects of research ripe for the anthropologist to pick apart and objectify; indigenous people need to assert ways of knowing that truly expand minds: which should be the goal of education. When considering the issue of colonization in higher education, the real question is: what is the purpose of higher education? Is higher education designed to teach students technical or vocational skills that enable them to participate in the existing global market economy, or is higher education designed to teach ways of knowing and critical inquiry?


Research shows that the impact of a colonialist method of higher education has deleterious effects on individual students and on whole communities. Individual learners are inhibited, prevented from developing their full potential, stymied from reaching opportunities for applied knowledge that could transform socio-political realities around the world. In fact, epidemiologists are starting to study the adverse effects of colonialism in higher education. Public health data shows that the “forced acculturation imposed on Aboriginal peoples” around the world, through European higher learning institutions, contributes to the well-known health disparities for indigenous peoples (Bourassa, McKay-McNabb & Hampton, n.d., p. 23). Those health disparities include lower life expectancy, elevated morbidity, elevated suicide rates, and higher rates of many diseases. Viewed in light of real, measurable outcomes, colonialism in higher education can be construed as being categorically unethical.

Colonialism in higher education is bad for everyone. Colonialism in higher education perpetuates the “dichotomies between primitivism and modernity,” (Nakata, Nakata, Keech, et al., 2012, p. 121). Colonialism in higher education subordinates indigenous knowledge and epistemologies (Sium, Desai & Ritskes, 2012). Colonialism in higher education enables unwarranted controls over how knowledge is defined, how curricula are designed.


What can we do to change higher education? The answer is of course, never easy. Transforming higher education requires more than just an antagonistic attitude (which is often necessary to provoke dialogue and demand change) and lip service paid to how colonialism harms indigenous people (which it does). Right now, you and I are having a conversation as you read this opinion article. By paying attention, you are beginning to see the cracks in the walls of higher education, flaws in the mask academia wears. The best way forward is through continued dialogue, whether one-on-one or in public forums. Likewise, the more higher education welcomes collaborative partnerships, community-based direct action, and actual, tangible solutions to problems, the more useful it will be. Research can become less hegemonic, damaging, and oppressive: academia can be decolonized in positive, constructive ways that promote democracy and social justice.









Bourassa, C., McKay-McNabb & Hampton, M. (n.d.). Racism, sexism, and colonialism. Canadian Women’s Studies 24(1): 23-30.


Champagne, D.W. (2014). Indigenous higher education. In: Jacob W., Cheng S., Porter M. (eds) Indigenous Education. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 99-108.


Dei, G.S. (2012). Indigenous anti-colonial knowledge as ‘heritage knowledge’ for promoting Black/African education in diasporic contexts. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1(1): 102-119.


Nakata, N.M., Nakata, V., Keech, S. et al. (2012). Decolonial goals and pedagogies for indigenous studies. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1(1): 120-140.


Pratt, Y.P., Louie, D.W., Hanson, A.J., et al. (2018). Indigenous education and decolonization. Oxford Research Encyclopedias: Education.


Sium, A., Desai, D. & Ritskes, E. (2012). Towards the ‘tangible unknown’: decolonization and the indigenous future. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1(1): 1-13.


St. Germain, B. (2003). Behind the colonial wall.

Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply

Buy Custom Essay

Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?

Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.

Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?

  • Plagiarism free papers
  • Timely delivery
  • Any deadline
  • Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
  • Subject-relevant academic writer
  • Adherence to paper instructions
  • Ability to tackle bulk assignments
  • Reasonable prices
  • 24/7 Customer Support
  • Get superb grades consistently

Online Academic Help With Different Subjects


Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.


Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.

Computer science

Computer science is a tough subject. Fortunately, our computer science experts are up to the match. No need to stress and have sleepless nights. Our academic writers will tackle all your computer science assignments and deliver them on time. Let us handle all your python, java, ruby, JavaScript, php , C+ assignments!


While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.


Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.


In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.


Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.


We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!


We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.


Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.

What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

smile and order essay GET A PERFECT SCORE!!! smile and order essay Buy Custom Essay

Place your order
(550 words)

Approximate price: $22

Calculate the price of your order

550 words
We'll send you the first draft for approval by September 11, 2018 at 10:52 AM
Total price:
The price is based on these factors:
Academic level
Number of pages
Basic features
  • Free title page and bibliography
  • Unlimited revisions
  • Plagiarism-free guarantee
  • Money-back guarantee
  • 24/7 support
On-demand options
  • Writer’s samples
  • Part-by-part delivery
  • Overnight delivery
  • Copies of used sources
  • Expert Proofreading
Paper format
  • 275 words per page
  • 12 pt Arial/Times New Roman
  • Double line spacing
  • Any citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago/Turabian, Harvard)

Our guarantees

Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.

Money-back guarantee

You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.

Read more

Zero-plagiarism guarantee

Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.

Read more

Free-revision policy

Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.

Read more

Privacy policy

Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.

Read more

Fair-cooperation guarantee

By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.

Read more
error: Content is protected !!
Open chat
Need assignment help? You can contact our live agent via WhatsApp using +1 718 717 2861

Feel free to ask questions, clarifications, or discounts available when placing an order.
  +1 718 717 2861           + 44 161 818 7126           [email protected]
  +1 718 717 2861         [email protected]