An article by Assistant Professor of Anthropology Mariam Durrani recently appeared in Anthropology News.
“Upsetting the Canon: from 1969 to 2019” was inspired in part by the AHA! (Autonomous Hamilton Affinity) groups created by Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Suzanne Keen last fall as a way to bring groups of faculty together for mutually beneficial faculty development projects. There are currently eight AHA! groups. In the essay, Durrani shared her thoughts and practice of decolonizing anthropology through pedagogy. Her ideas stemmed from her participation in the interdisciplinary AHA! group on decolonizing education. To start, she poses a question: “Teaching anthropology offers a site for critical intervention. So what should we be reading with our students?”
Durrani describes how her AHA! group has “grappled with the challenges of teaching decoloniality to our students who may actively resist critical perspectives, especially when they challenge disciplinary origin stories they have been taught in other courses.”
The conversations, she says, have made her reconsider how she teaches anthropology “when anthropology’s pedagogical resources seem to reproduce a kind of chronos-inspired pedagogy,” rather than one based on kairos, recognizing knowledge that is critical for the particular moment.
Durrani includes a list of works and describes the way each can help shift the approach of teaching anthropology.
Anthropology News is a publication of the American Anthropological Association.