1st Edition

Working with Theories of Refusal and Decolonization in Higher Education

Edited By Petra Mikulan, Michalinos Zembylas Copyright 2024
    234 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume argues that refusal is a viable political ethics in education. It is an ethics that allows space for new possibilities to emerge, with the potential to enrich higher education study and pedagogies in the future. Chapters examine the ethical, epistemological, political and affective premises of refusing the colonial university, and reflect upon what refusal means for higher education decolonization across international settings. Refusal marks a political ethos and praxis that denies, resists, reframes and redirects colonial and neoliberal logics, while asserting diverse sovereignties and lifeworlds. Whereas resistance may reinscribe the weakness of the colonized in the power relations with the colonizer, refusal interrupts the smooth operation of power relations, denying the authority of the settler state and remaking the rules of engagement. It is a political stance and action that denies the very legitimacy of power over the subjugated. This collection views refusal not as an end in itself, nor as a mode of critique, but as a necessary first step for educators and students in higher education to invest in the idea of radically different modes of futurity. It explores how educators and students in higher education can invent pedagogies of refusal that function ethically, affectively and politically, and asks: What do pedagogies of refusal look like? How might western universities sustain and support refusal, rather than discipline it? What assumptions are sustained by ruling out certain educational futures as out of bounds, or impossible? This book will be important reading for researchers, scholars and educators in Decolonizing Education, Higher Education Transformation, and Philosophy of Education. It will also be valuable to policymakers and activists who are considering how refusal might be carried out within and outside institutions.

    Series Editors’ Introduction
    Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang

    Introduction: Refusing the Colonial University
    Petra Mikulan, Michalinos Zembylas
    Part I Refusing Coloniality of Life-and-Death in Higher Education

    1. Conditions of Arrival: On Refusing to Be Included 
    Asilia Franklin-Phipps and Robyn Stout-Sheridan

    2. The Affective Dimensions of Refusal in Higher Education Decolonization: Pedagogical Implications
    Michalinos Zembylas
    3. Populating the Savage Slot: Decolonizing Autoethnographic Refusals in Higher Education
    Adam Rudder
    4. Refusing Higher Education: Vivacide and the Economies of Dissipation
    P. Taylor Webb

    Part II Antiracist Refusal and Political Pedagogical Action
    5. Culturally Responsive Pedagogies: Australian Colonial logic of the Centre and Aboriginal Refusal
    Lester-Irabinna Rigney
    6. Anger’s erotic politics: Antiracist refusal as decolonial political action.
    Shirley Anne Tate
    7. (Re)imagining HESA through Refusal; The Complexities of Confronting Colonialism the University
    Agustin Diaz, Angie Kim, Alonso R. Reyna Rivarola, Sharon Stein

    8. Plastic Refusals; The Africanisation Challenge of South African Higher Education
    André Keet, Michaela Ann Penkler, Luan Staphorst, Joseph Besigye Bazirake, and Daniella Rafaely 
    Part III (Po)ethical Praxis of Refusal
    9. Refusing Archives of Possibility; A Decolonial Praxis of Temporalizing Ethics 
    Petra Mikulan
    10. Refusing coloniality; An ethical praxis of paying attention to words in academic writing 
    Elizabeth Mackinlay

    11. Slow reading as refusal; Doing higher education differently
    Vivienne Bozalek

    Afterword: begin with a refusal
    Ella Martindale, Kaitlin Rizarri, John Pierre Craig, Jo Billows, Jacqueline L. Scott


    Petra Mikulan is Sessional Lecturer of Educational Studies at the University of British Columbia.

    Michalinos Zembylas is Professor of Educational Theory and Curriculum Studies at the Open University of Cyprus.