AM SESSION: Decolonising the Curriculum – Dr Hannah Marie Robbins

Join us for a discussion with Dr Hannah Marie Robbins on Decolonising the Curriculum at 11:00 AM.

Hannah Marie Robbins (she/they) is an Assistant Professor in Popular Music and Director of Black Studies at the University of Nottingham (UK). She is an expert on the intersections of Blackness, queerness, and gender in American musical theatre. Last summer, her short-form article on diversity and representation in the hit musical Hamilton went viral and has received over 100,000 views. Hannah is an advocate-in-progress for equality in higher education. She is a co-founder of the international network Black in the Arts and Humanities and a member of the radical collective, the Free Black University. 

Abstract

In my contribution, I will reflect on the multiple “positionalities” we take in order to make change to curricula and pedagogical environments. I will draw from an ongoing case study in my own teaching to talk about how these positional changes can make significant differences in “majority white” classrooms while intervening in negative conditions commonly experienced by staff and students of colour. I will also consider how, through the contortions of institutional practice, we as actors can replicate toxicity in our efforts to change teaching practices. In concluding, I will highlight why decolonising the curriculum must centre people and behaviours and that a system of accountability (at odds with the processes of higher education in the UK) is central to our future success in reshaping university education.  

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