COOL CLASSES: “Decolonial Theory: Indigeneity and Revolt”

This peace, justice, and human rights course is a study of recent work in Latin American, Afro-Caribbean, and Afro-Diasporic critical theory and related resistance movements.

Class name: Decolonial Theory: Indigeneity and Revolt

Taught by: Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Joshua Ramey


Here’s what Ramey has to say about his course:

“Decolonial Theory” is a course that studies how a series of writers and activists expose and resist the colonizing logic of European modernity, as that logic has been deployed not only through the literal historical process of colonization, but continues to haunt the lives, imaginations, and political realities of people living in the so-called developing world. The project of “decolonizing,” for the activists and writers we look at, is one that focuses on the hegemony of European ways of knowing and how that hegemony distorts, forecloses, and abuses other potential forms of life and thought, even long after explicit colonial projects are over. The decolonial theorists also teach us that many forms of oppression, degradation, and exploitation within the so-called developed or modern or first world also operate according to logics of control and domination that were supposed to have been limited to the colonies. Decolonial theory and practice is not only negative and critical; it is also a constructive project that seeks to imagine and implement forms of life that are, in some sense, both a revolt against the presumptions of modernism and development and also a return and re-making of “indigenous” forms of life—forms of life resistant to or in rebellion against the State and the demands of capitalism.

I wanted to teach this course because the writers and activists that call themselves “decolonial” have been profoundly influential on my own work, and  my own writing and activism are an attempt to be in solidarity with this global movement.


See what other courses the Peace, Justice, and Human Rights Program is offering this semester.

Cool Classes is a recurring series on the Haverblog that highlights interesting, unusual, and unique courses that enrich the Haverford College experience. 

Photo: (cc) Nicolas Raymond