Has Decolonisation Lost its Way?

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò in conversation with Alexandra Reza

Originally conceived as a struggle to end colonial rule in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world, decolonisation has become a catch-all idea, often used to perform contemporary “morality” or “authenticity”. In the process, it suffocates African thought, and denies African agency. 

In this conversation with Alexandra Reza, renowned philosopher Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò will discuss the indiscriminate application of “decolonisation” to everything from literature, language and philosophy to sociology, psychology and medicine. He will argue that the decolonisation industry, obsessed with exposing slights and cataloguing wrongs, is seriously harming scholarship on and in Africa.

Olúfẹ́mi Táíwò is Professor of African Political Thought and current Chair at the Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University. His writings have been translated into French, Italian, German and Portuguese. He has taught at universities in Canada, Nigeria, Germany, South Korea and Jamaica. His new book, Against Decolonisation, is published in June by Hurst Publishers.

Alexandra Reza is Lecturer in Comparative Literatures and Cultures at the University of Bristol. Her research and teaching spans postcolonial studies, comparative literature and political thought, and focuses on twentieth and twenty-first century writing, broadcasting and film in French, Portuguese and English.

Monday 27th June

7pm (UK time)/2pm (EST)