Colonialism, knowledge and the university

Dear, Lou (2017) Colonialism, knowledge and the university. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is a study of colonialism and the university, and the relationship between knowledge, imperialism, empire and domination. It is influenced by those who have written on and lived through decolonisation, principally, Sylvia Wynter. The first chapter examines the history of the Westernised university as a Eurocentric narrative. It also considers the evolution of the discipline of the humanities as an imperial science of the human. The second chapter reflects on the effect of an imperial education on an individual’s relationship with their communities. Reading texts written during and after anti-colonial struggle, I consider how writing begins the process of communitarian ethical repair. Chapter 3 explores what it means to be included in the imperial university, and the cost of assimilation. The chapter focuses on texts from ‘outsiders’ to Oxford University who write back to an imperial centre. Chapter 4 revisits Wynter’s analysis of the Westernised institution in the context of 1968 Jamaica to reflect on the Westernised university’s internationalisation agenda. The chapter looks at the history of educational institutions in settler colonial plantations. The fifth chapter examines the evolution of the Westernised university as a site and agent of border control. It reviews the Tier 4 visa regime and Prevent legislation, examining the colonial history of the university as border control. In turning to the work of writer Leila Aboulela, the chapter explores how the creative imagination interprets the university, border control, race and emergent authoritarianism. The conclusion to this thesis is a dystopian short story. The narrative follows the journey of an international student at the University of Glasgow in 2050. Lecturers and books have been abolished. The violent collusion between university and state forces the protagonist into a choice. This thesis is intended as a sustained reflection on participation in Westernised higher education. The decision to conclude with a dilemma is a strategic one.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Colonialism, imperialism, education, decolonisation, university, postcolonial literature, political economy, borders.
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
College of Arts > School of Modern Languages and Cultures > Comparative Literature
Supervisor's Name: Maley, Professor Willy and Syrotinski, Professor Michael
Date of Award: 2017
Embargo Date: 23 October 2019
Depositing User: Dr Lou Dear
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-30710
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2018 16:01
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2018 16:25

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