Week 11 – Decolonizing Academia

Why might Rodríguez make the structural/style choices that we see in the reading?

Rodriguez’s structural and style choices directly opposes normative ways of knowing, writing, and research within academia.  She goes onto explain as to how future academics are given the “writing norms” and “behaviours” to ensure assimilation into the institution at-large.  Thus, disseminating the same colonial paradigms onto the next generation of scholars.   Deconstructing common high-ed practices that add to this process such as grading, syllabi, research work and conferences allows for both faculty and students to begin pushing past decolonizing theory, and into the field of praxis.

Her writing feels like a poem at times, that uses personal anecdotes regarding sexuality, class, and ethnicity to establish a readers positionality to her own struggles of oppression and pain within academia.  She goes onto state, “Living in the margins of vocabulary explicitly smells like disobedience” which is why I connect her writings as a form of intellectual activism as well. 

Rodriguez has provided us with various forms to express de-colonialism. Below is my own completed fill in the blanks for politics of assessment:

A is for Advantages

B is for Benefactors

C is for Contained

D is for Defenseless

F is for Fcuked

2 thoughts on “Week 11 – Decolonizing Academia

  1. Matt Brim


    I love lists (perhaps I’ve mentioned this?). There was a “queer lists” panel at MLA this past year, and just last night there was a Black methodologies conversation hosted by Intellectual Publics at the GC that suggested that lists enable resistant thought work (as well as try to contain thought). Your list overturns expectations for the ABCs, and so speaks to what is possible when we get listy in our writing.


  2. Katina Rogers (she/her)

    Dennis, I think you’re exactly right to reference ‘assimilation’ as one of the effects created by insistence on certain academic standards (for writing, etc). Rodríguez’s writing feels so transgressive to me, I think in large part because it brings my awareness to how ingrained those normative standards are for me. Your exploration of the politics of assessment makes me want to push further—namely, I wonder what it might look like to try this in other genres, like grant proposals? What might be uncovered by rupturing those structures?

Comments are closed.