Hardback
December 6, 2022
9781421445045
English
336
89165
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1 Pounds (US)
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v2.1 Reference
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December 6, 2022
9781421445052
9781421445045
English
336
89165
8.00 Inches (US)
5.00 Inches (US)
$39.95 USD, £33.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Unsettling the University

Confronting the Colonial Foundations of US Higher Education

Shifts the narrative around the history of US higher education to examine its colonial past.

Over the past several decades, higher education in the United States has been shaped by marketization and privatization. Efforts to critique these developments often rely on a contrast between a bleak present and a romanticized past. In Unsettling the University, Sharon Stein offers a different entry point—one informed by decolonial theories and practices—for addressing these issues.

Stein describes the colonial violence underlying three of the most celebrated moments in US higher education history: the founding of the original colonial colleges, the creation of land-grant colleges and universities, and the post–World War II "Golden Age." Reconsidering these historical moments through a decolonial lens, Stein reveals how the central promises of higher education—the promises of continuous progress, a benevolent public good, and social mobility—are fundamentally based on racialized exploitation, expropriation, and ecological destruction.

Unsettling the University invites readers to confront universities' historical and ongoing complicity in colonial violence; to reckon with how the past has shaped contemporary challenges at institutions of higher education; and to accept responsibility for redressing harm and repairing relationships in order to reimagine a future for higher education rooted in social and ecological accountability.

About the Author

Sharon Stein (VANCOUVER, BC / MUSQUEAM TERRITORY) is an assistant professor of higher education at the University of British Columbia and a visiting professor with the Chair for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela University. She is the founder of the Critical Internationalization Studies Network and a founding member of the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective.

Endorsements

"Stein's Unsettling the University offers a robust decolonial framework through which to consider current issues—student debt, labor precarity, academic freedom—not only as problems of distribution or inequity but as manifestations of North American higher education's colonial foundations. This book needs to be on the required reading list of every educator and movement builder concerned about life beyond colonialist logics, the future of the university, and planetary well-being."

- Sandy Grande, University of Connecticut

"Sharon Stein dismantles entrenched mythologies on the origins, advancement, and promise of higher education in the United States. She wields decolonial tools for counterhistories, critiques, and disinvestments to unlearn the present and imagine possibilities for futures otherwise. A paradigm-shifting treatise, Unsettling the University compels fundamental transformation of academic institutions, relations, and praxis."

- Roland Sintos Coloma, Wayne State University

"Stein offers readers a framework for understanding critiques of the colonial promises of higher education and for applying these critiques in relation to studying, teaching, and organizing. I was blown away by her writing on universities' attempts to reckon with colonial legacies of violence. A brilliant, decolonial critique of how liberal, inclusion-focused, knowledge-focused approaches tend to reproduce colonial patterns, this book presents alternative approaches to justice in higher education and calls for developing capacities for engaging in the messy, difficult, collective work of grappling with complicity and accountability around colonial violence."

- Eli Meyerhoff, Duke University, author of Beyond Education: Radical Studying for Another World
Johns Hopkins University Press
Critical University Studies
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