Introduction: Collectivising the Canon: Perspectives and Precedents on Global South Pedagogies

Harriet Harriss, Barry Curtis, Ashraf M. Salama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In Eve Tuck and Wayne Yang’s influential article, ‘Decolonization is Not a Metaphor’, the authors identify ways in which predominantly Caucasian academics situated in the ‘Global North’ (previously euphemised as the ‘West’), who seek to initiate acts of academic decol-onisation, unconsciously perhaps enact a series of ‘settler moves to innocence’, and, as a consequence, experience ‘settler feelings of guilt or responsibility without giving up land or power or privilege’.3 Without any attempt at disingenuous self-effacement, the editors of this compendium recognise that this criticism could be levelled both easily – and justly – at this book for multifarious aligned reasons. Perhaps the most obvious reason is the role this book plays in perpetuating the construct of ‘pedagogies’ themselves – whose terminological origin and meaning refers to the instruction-oriented childcare performed by slaves in Ancient Rome. While we concur that to some extent, the overarching, instructional epistemolo-gies and theoretical frameworks that can render some pedagogies prejudicially pre-loaded, many pedagogies carry forward the palimpsest of their inequitable origins even today, and in doing so, offer a permissive proxy for more contemporaneous forms of prejudice and dis-crimination, too. Consequently, by resorting to scholarly modes of production and forms of product such as academic texts to platform our pedagogic protagonisms, we are still, at least to some extent, running the engine of imperialism’s inequity-generating ideological infrastructure, despite our protestations to the contrary. In doing so, we substantiate and illustrate Tuck and Yang’s thesis perfectly - shoring up our status as leading thinkers in architectural pedagogy as convenors, curators, and content controllers without surrendering our position of ‘power’ and ‘privilege’. What this crisis of contradiction revealed to us is that post-colonial-ism is closer to being an uninhabitable concept rather than an ‘ism’; since it is not a distinctive practice, system, philosophy, political ideology or artistic movement - but a crude and blunt (passive) agressive weapon masked by the mighty mortarboard of ‘academic integrity’. Our ‘well-intentioned’ effort only serve to evidence that imperialism’s infrastructure is anything but dormant nor ‘post-pedagogic’, but instead accounts for the ongoing inefficacy of all pedagogies seeking to ignite equity and secure societal social justice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Architectural Pedagogies of the Global South
EditorsHarriet Harriss, Ashraf M. Salama, Ane Gonzalez Lara
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781003018841
ISBN (Print)9780367893705
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023

Publication series

NameRoutledge International Handbooks


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