How can this curriculum be decolonized, pluralised, or remapped?

James Parker


The Zettelkasten method and openness of this curriculum facilitate an engagement with plural perspectives across time and contexts. The last decade has witnessed calls to ‘decolonize the curriculum’ across global Northern and Southern contexts. The movement to decolonize education and curricula was launched during the 2015 student protests and the Rhodes Must Fall movement in South Africa where students demanded that South Africa and Africa must be placed at the centre of education, curricula and research in the country.

Decolonization, however, has multiple histories and epistemological roots in different contexts. Postcolonial and settler-colonial contexts have different historical and contemporary relationships to movements of decolonization. Responding to calls for decolonizing education in Canada, Eve Tuck and K Wayne Yang argued against the metaphorization of decolonization for social justice or education in settler-colonies. They emphasize, “Decolonization brings about the repatriation of Indigenous land and life; it is not a metaphor for other things we want to do to improve our societies and schools.”

Keeping in mind the multiple meanings of decolonization as well as the radical and enormous work that decolonization requires, an attempt to engage with diverse perspectives in critical AI studies and machine listening curricula from settler-colonies such as Canada, Australia, the US, New Zealand and elsewhere can be labeled as pluralizing, reorienting, or remapping the curriculum. The primary objective of such efforts is to decentre white, male, colonial, and Western perspectives while focussing on racialized, gendered, Indigenous and Southern realities. In other words, terminologies of decolonization or pluralization can vary according to where and how this curriculum is used or adapted. As this curriculum grows with time, we hope that it includes plural perspectives, histories and conceptual reflections on machine listening.

Below is a list of of some action items that can be deployed towards pluralizing this and other curricula: