Webinar: Where are we on decolonizing academia?
Matthew Gichohi (UiB) and Tor Halvorsen (UiB) in conversation with Héctor Ulloa (SAIH).
The campaign #RhodesMustFall started at the University of Cape Town in March 2015. The campaign demanded to remove the statue of former Prime Minister of Cape Colony, Cecil Rhodes. The campaign led to a larger debate on the decolonization of academia -- about power structures in academia originating in the colonial period when colonial rulers used education to promote their language, culture and understanding.
The debate took off in Norway in 2018, with the student organisation SAIH and others. In Norway, the debate evolved around curriculum, the role of academic authors and lecturers. Do they mirror academic diversity and promote equal rights and opportunities? These are complex issues that still needs discussion.
Dr. Tor Halvorsen is Associate Professor University of Bergen, Senior Researcher, FAFO, Oslo, Norway, and Extraordinary Professor, The University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Tor Halvorsen focuses his research on the relations between knowledge, democracy and political economy. He studies professions, research institutions and universities within several national- and cross-national contexts, primarily in Africa and Europe, as well as other parts of a globalising world. The focus of his work the last years has been the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and how academic knowledge and universities contribute to the discourse around the Sustainable Development Goals.
Matthew K. Gichohi is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Comparative Politics at UiB. He earned his PhD and MA in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. His research broadly focuses on questions of identity and the attitudinal/behavioral norms it elicits in individuals seeking political inclusion and representation. Currently, he works on a project where he examines how gender and material endowments interact to affect women’s political ambitions and electoral prospects. He relies on a variety of methods, including structured case studies, historiography, statistical modeling, and field experiments.
Hector Ulloa is President of Studentenes og Akademikernes Internasjonale Hjelpefond (SAIH) local chapter in Bergen. Originally from Honduras, he served as Vice-President of the Law School’s Student Association and was the Nationwide Spokesperson for the University Student Movement in Honduras. He came to Norway through the “Students at Risk” program, and is currently doing a master’s in public administration at the University of Bergen.