Decolonial Methods in Modern Languages Research

Decolonial Methods in Modern Languages Research
17 February 2021, 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Research Training

Session leader: Joseph Ford (IMLR)

Decolonising university curricula has made international headlines in recent years. In response to the Rhodes Must Fall movement, campaigns within universities to diversify reading lists, and the recent Black Lives Matter protest movement, university departments have begun to integrate new teaching practices that seek to both acknowledge and challenge the legacies of colonialism. Some UK universities have begun to recognise how they profited from the slave trade and have made (not uncontroversial) plans for restorative justice. Given its intrinsic relationship with the history of colonialism and its aftermath, Modern Languages – and the often Eurocentric forms of multilingualism upon which it relies – has been increasingly at the centre of debates about reforming research practices across universities. 

In this session, I outline some of the theoretical foundations of decolonial thought, before asking how we might conceive of and apply decolonial approaches and methods in our own work in modern languages research.  

Recommended reading:
Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang, ‘Decolonization is not a metaphor’, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1, 1 (2012): 1–40.
Alison Phipps, ‘A Short Manifesto for Decolonising Multilingualism’, in Decolonising Multilingualism: Struggles to Decreate (Channel View Publications, 2019).
Gurminder K. Bhambra, ‘Postcolonial and decolonial dialogues’, Postcolonial Studies 17, 2 (2014): 115–21

This event is part of the Institute of Modern Languages Research’s Training Programme, which provides free training on methods, skills, and current and emerging approaches to languages- and cultures-focused research. These sessions are open to researchers at all levels in the UK and beyond, but advance registration is essential. Further details of this session to be announced. 

This event will be held online via Zoom. Participation is free; however, advance registration is required. Details about how to join the virtual meet-up will be circulated via email to registered attendees. 


Kremena Velinova
020 7664 4884