This tool aims to centre discussions on topics such as anti-racism and decolonisation as a means of exchanging and generating pedagogical practices and remedies. Appreciating the knowledge that we gain through storytelling, reading, asking questions and listening, this is an offering for those looking for conversations about educational justice, transformation and change. We acknowledge these processes can only be done effectively when done collaboratively, so we invite students, lecturers and external speakers from our communities in order to hear their voices, center their knowledges and ensure that they are leading change.

Our hosts:

Kyra Araneta

Kyra (she/her) is a mixed African-Asian Student Partnership Co-ordinator and postgraduate student of International Relations at the University of Westminster. At the Centre for Education and Teaching Innovation, Kyra’s work on the Pedagogies for Social Justice Project engages with decolonisation and anti-racism in Higher Education. At the heart of her work lies the inspiration to build student-staff relationships which make universities a space for social change.

Fatima Maatwk

Fatima Maatwk (she/her) is an Egyptian-German, Muslim lecturer and researcher at the University of Westminster. In the Centre of Education and Teaching Innovation (CETI), Fatima’s engagement with student partnership ties directly into her work on both the Pedagogies for Social Justice and Students as Co-creators project. Her interests include fostering decolonial spaces within the academy and doing good, ethical work towards social justice, through methods such as student-staff partnership.


Episode 1: Jennifer Fraser and Fatima Maatwk – Introduction

Hosted by Kyra Araneta, project members Jennifer Fraser (University Director of Student Partnership in the Centre for Education and Teaching Innovation) and Fatima Maatwk (Student Partnership Lecturer in the CETI) discuss where the project situates itself within anti-racist and decolonial work, how it came to be, and why student-staff partnership is pivotal to any effort towards social justice in higher education.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 2: Yahlnaww – Indigenous worldviews, language revitalisation and decolonising Psychology

In this episode of the podcast, our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Yahlnaaw (she/her) as she speaks to her experiences as a woman who holds the identities of being Indigenous, Queer, and Transgender while encompassing the epistemologies (ways of knowing), ontologies (ways of being) and axiology (values) that accompany her intersecting identities. Yahlnaaw delves into navigating Indigenous identity while being submersed in colonial social systems and revitalizing her Indigenous language as a second language learner and how it has influenced her master’s thesis research. Yahlnaaw offers possible avenues for communities to utilize in the de-constructing processes of oppressive and colonizing frameworks and systems.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 3: Lubaba Khalid – Multiraciality, the attainment gap and student unions

In this episode of the podcast, our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Yahlnaaw (she/her) as she speaks to her experiences as a woman who holds the identities of being Indigenous, Queer, and Transgender while encompassing the epistemologies (ways of knowing), ontologies (ways of being) and axiology (values) that accompany her intersecting identities. Yahlnaaw delves into navigating Indigenous identity while being submersed in colonial social systems and revitalizing her Indigenous language as a second language learner and how it has influenced her master’s thesis research. Yahlnaaw offers possible avenues for communities to utilize in the de-constructing processes of oppressive and colonizing frameworks and systems.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 4: Deanne Bell – Decolonial atmospheres, retrospective autoethnography and decolonising Psychology

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Deanne Bell, Senior Lecturer in the School of Social Sciences at Nottingham Trent University – with specialities in liberation psychology and decolonisation. Some of her most recent work focuses on building decolonial atmospheres and developing imaginings of a new university that exists outside of the colonial forms of knowing and being that are still deeply entrenched in the system. In this interview, we delve deeper into Deanne’s upbringing in Jamaica and how she came to understanding her identity and positionality, her recent paper on retrospective autoethnography and what she thinks can be done to decolonise psychology as a discipline.

Listen to this episode – Transcript [PDF] – Read Deanne’s article

Episode 5: Tanveer Ahmed – Decolonising Fashion Design and shifting the Western canon

In this episode of the podcast our host Fatima Maatwk is joined by PhD student and visiting lecturer at the Royal College of Art, Goldsmiths and University of London, Tanveer Ahmed to discuss what it means to teach and think critically about Fashion Design (FD). Some of her most recent work focuses on how representations of the Other are reinforced in in FD curricula as well as how Black feminist literature can aid our understanding and help educators to develop anti-racist and culturally progressive FD pedagogy. In this interview, we delve deeper into Tanveer’s academic background and how she came to understand the Eurocentric, capitalistic, patriarchal, colonial nature of the fashion industry and why this space continues to disadvantage Black and Brown students of fashion design.

Listen to this episode – Transcript [PDF]

Episode 6: Lubna Bin Zayyad: Representations in the media and decolonising Journalism

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Lubna Bin Zayyad, who recently graduated with a Masters in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Westminster. As well as playing a key role in the Pedagogies for Social Justice steering group and glossary, Lubna’s writing is mainly centred around deconstructing colonial and racist beliefs and representations in the media – in particular, on the areas of the Middle East and Islamic History. In this interview, we delve deeper into Lubna’s upbringing and experience of multi-raciality, on top of how she came to understanding her identity/positionality through media. Lubna then offers her thoughts on how we might begin to decolonise not only the media itself, but the way in which it is taught and understood in curricula.

Listen to this episode – Transcript [PDF]

Episode 7: Dibyesh Anand – Colonial rule in China, securitization and Decolonising International Relations

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Dibyesh Anand, a Professor of International Relations (IR) and the Head of the School of Social Sciences at Westminster. Dibyesh is widely recognised for his research on topics including politics and international relations of Tibetans under Chinese rule, Islamophobia in India, the politics of security and representation, the emergence of China and India as major non-Western powers, and the contested nature of nation-state formations in Asia. In this interview, we delve deeper into Dibyesh’s recent work on securitization and how it relates to the modern Chinese colonisation of Xinjiang and Tibet. We also discuss the ways in which IR is still a colonial discipline and how we might begin to decolonise the study on a pedagogical level.

Listen to this podcast – Transcript [PDF] – Read Dibyesh’s article

Episode 8: Olimpia Burchiellaro – LGBTQ studies, queer politics and coloniality

In this episode of the podcast our host Fatima Maatwk is joined by Olimpia Burchiellaro, a post-doctoral research fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Westminster. Some of her recent work focuses on issues of inclusion/exclusion and the transformative potential of queer activism. In this interview, we explore themes of identity, queerness, Eurocentrism and whiteness, as well as how we might begin to decolonise the IR canon and adopt decolonial/anti-racist pedagogies.

Listen to this episode – Transcript [PDF]

Episode 9: Tamara Reid – Inclusion, student partnership and decolonial work in higher education

In this episode of the podcast our host Fatima Maatwk is joined by Tamara Reid, Lead of the Inclusive Curriculum Consultants Programme at Kingston University, London. With a wealth of experience in stimulating student engagement, EDI work and partnership, Tamara sheds light on the complexities of these areas – particularly the tensions between decoloniality, anti-racism and inclusion. In terms of moving forward in our efforts towards decolonising higher education, we discuss how lecturers can help themselves to approach the topics of race and coloniality in educational spaces and more.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 10: Mrinalini Greedharry – ‘The limits of literature as liberation’ and decolonising English Literature curricula

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Mrinalini Greedharry, a Professor at Laurentian University in the land we now call Canada. Mrinalini’s research is largely anchored in English, developing to include interests in historical and organizational questions about English as an academic discipline. In this interview we delve deeper into Mrinalini’s upbringing, her experiences of teaching in Canada, Finland and the UK, her recent article, and how we might begin to decolonise English curricula.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF] – Read Mrinalini’s article

Episode 11: Raidat Suleiman – The “angry Black woman” stereotype, attacks on Critical Race Theory and decolonising Sociology

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Westminster alumni Raidat Suleiman. In this episode we delve into Raidat’s experience of growing up in London, how she came to understand matters of race, and how this led her to focus her dissertation on the experiences of young Black women dealing with stereotypes. As a graduate of Sociology, Raidat comments on the recent government attacks on Critical Race Theory and concepts such as ‘white privilege’, as well as the implications. Looking forward, Raidat proposes how we might begin to decolonise Sociology as a discipline and manage micro-aggressions in the classroom.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 12: Catherine Charrett – Settler colonialism, sovereignty and decolonising International Relations

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Catherine Charrett, a lecturer in International Relations and Politics at the University of Westminster. Her research explores sovereignty in IR and Political Theory through indigenous and anti-colonial struggles, particularly in regards to the Palestinian liberation movement. In this interview we discuss settler colonialism and sovereignty, COVID-19, her recent paper on Palestine and how we might begin to decolonise International Relations as a academic discipline.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF] – Catherine’s article 

Episode 13: Moonisah Usman – Student partnership, anti-racist approaches to Biomedical research and decolonising the Life Sciences

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Moonisah Usman, a lecturer at the Centre for Education and Teaching Innovation at Westminster. Moonisah also has an academic background in the Life Sciences but generally has a strong commitment to Biomedical research, student partnership and supporting foundation learning. In this interview we discuss the ‘Students as Co-Creators’ program at Westminster, decolonial and anti-racist approaches to Biomedical research and how we might begin to decolonise the Life Sciences.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF] – Moonisah and Jennifer’s preface

Episode 14: Cheyenne Holborough – Creative writing as a tool for activism and decolonising English Literature

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Cheyenne Holborough, a third year student of Creative Writing and English Literature at Westminster. Cheyenne also plays an important role in the Pedagogies for Social Justice steering committee as well as a co-creator of the project’s glossary. In this interview, we discuss creative writing as a tool for activism, the School of Humanities New Writing Festival, her role as an EDI rep and how we might begin to decolonise English Lit and Creative Writing.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 15: Tamara Naouri – “All the spaces within counselling Psychology have been colonised”

In this episode of the podcast our host Fatima Maatwk is joined by Tamara Naouri, a Jordanian trainee counselling psychologist in the UK. In this episode, we discuss the summer of 2020 related to the Black Lives Matter movement, the unlawful killing of George Floyd, and the impact of these events on ethnic minorities in the workplace. Tamara offers insight into her educational journey, her sense of identity and how her upbringing has influenced her work and understanding today.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 16: Samir Pandya – ‘Equity’, Diversity and Inclusion and decolonising Architecture curricula

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Samir Pandya, an architect and Assistant Head of the School of Architecture at our university. Samir’s research largely focuses on the relationship between architecture and identity to examine questions relating to design, representation and power. In this interview we delve into Samir’s academic journey, his role as Director of International and Strategic Lead for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion, and how we can begin to decolonise Architecture curricula.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 17: Aishwarya Tiku – The British curriculum in an African context and decolonising Business management studies

In this episode of the podcast our host Fatima Maatwk is joined by Aishwarya Tiku, a researcher in the field of knowledge management practices in higher education. In this interview, we delve into Aishwarya’s educational journey across Africa and the UK, her experience of studying under the British curriculum in these contexts, and her ability to navigate her identity and sense of belonging. Aishwarya shares her thoughts on what it means to decolonise management studies, particularly the importance of anti-racist and decolonial teacher training, and shifting the hierarchal nature of the academy itself.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 18: Kyra Araneta – Sociology to International Relations, decolonising the social sciences and working in partnership

In this episode of the podcast our host Fatima Maatwk is joined by our co-host Kyra Araneta, a student of International Relations (IR) at Westminster and a research assistant on the Pedagogies for Social Justice (PSJ) project. In this interview, we delve into Kyra’s educational journey – particularly her shift from studying Sociology to IR, her understanding of the British curriculum, and her experience of trying to navigate her multi-racial identity and sense of belonging in this time. Kyra also shares her thoughts on student-staff partnership whilst unpacking her work on the PSJ project.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 19: Eddie Bruce-Jones – Research on race in higher education and decolonising Law curricula

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Dr. Eddie Bruce Jones, a legal academic and Head of the Department of Law at Birkbeck College, London. Eddie’s research and writing largely focuses on topics such as racism, colonialism, state violence and citizenship, though he also plays directorial roles in organisations such as the Institute of Race Relations, Rainbow Migration, and the Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law, and more. In this interview, we delve into Eddie’s upbringing and academic journey, his role at the Institute of Race Relations, educational research and how we might begin to decolonise Law curricula. Towards the end, Eddie shares some insight into the postgraduate course he designed and currently teaches at Birkbeck, called ‘Race Law and Literature’.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 20: Zahra Butt – Student Unions, political activism and decolonising the curriculum

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Zahra Butt, President of the Westminster Student Union. In this interview we discuss Zahra’s academic journey at Westminster, her involvement in the Union leading up to her campaign, as well as  unpacking the points of her manifesto. If you wish to get involved or find out more about the Student Union, feel free to visit the link in the description on our website.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 21: Séagh Kehoe – The media as a colonial force, online politics of representation and decolonising Chinese studies

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by  Dr. Séagh Kehoe, a Lecturer in Chinese Studies in the School of Humanities at Westminster. In this interview we discuss Seagh’s academic journey and the focus of their PhD. We also unpack Chinese media representations and the impact they have on both people and politics. Towards the end, Seagh shares some of their ideas and methods for decolonising the Chinese studies/Humanities classroom.

Listen to this episodeTranscript [PDF]

Episode 22: Derin Fadina – “Unsettled Subjects” and decolonising Architecture

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Westminster alumni, Derin Fadina, who recently graduated with a Master’s in Architecture. In this interview we delve into Derin’s academic background, what drew him to Architecture as both an art form and discipline, and his experience of studying it as an undergrad and postgrad. We reflect on his work on our project’s reading lists as well as his involvement in the ‘Unsettled Subjects: Confronting Questions’ project in the School of Architecture. Towards the end, Derin also shares how lecturers can begin to decolonise their pedagogy and practice.

Listen to this episode Transcript [PDF]

Episode 23: Remi-Joseph Salisbury – Critical Race Theory in the UK, decriminalising the classroom and decolonising educational research

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Dr. Remi-Joseph Salisbury, a Presidential Fellow in Ethnicity and Inequalities at the University of Manchester, whose interests lie particularly in racism and anti-racism in the contexts of education and policing. In this episode we delve into Remi’s academic background in the social sciences and where his anti-racist thinking and work began. Remi offers insight into the history of tension between the UK government and Critical Race Theory as well as the implications of attacks on CRT and the discourse of “the forgotten White-working class”. We then have the opportunity to discuss his report called “Decriminalise the classroom” which looks specifically at the effects of police presence in Greater Manchester schools. And finally, Remi gives us some ideas on how we might begin to decolonise educational research.

Listen to this episode Transcript [PDF]

Episode 24: Tino Rwodzi – Identity work, Black women in STEM and dismantling racist assumptions in Biomedical science

In this episode of the podcast our host Fatima Maatwk is joined by third-year Biomedical student, Tino Rwodzi – who is also a member of our project steering group as well as a lead speaker in the DAR (decolonisation and anti-racism) study group. In this interview we delve into Tino’s academic background and her experience of navigating her a sense of identity in university. We consider her journey into the Life Sciences and how she came to develop a critical understanding of the discipline in terms of being a Black woman in STEM. She points out some of the discriminatory assumptions that continue to plague Biomedical Science and the social constructs that the discipline and science itself tend to overlook. And finally, Tino sheds lights on how we might move towards dismantling racist perceptions and assumptions in science, particularly through interdisciplinary methods involving social scientists, historians and more.

Listen to this episode Transcript [PDF]

Episode 25: Lola Olufemi – Feminism Interrupted, PhD research and thinking about higher education through a feminist lens

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by with black feminist writer and Stuart Hall Foundation researcher, Lola Olufemi. In this interview we discuss Lola’s journey into feminism and how she came to start thinking critically about race and gender, but also liberal feminist theory and action. As she carries out her PhD at Westminster, we discuss the focus of her research and the research process so far. This leads us to unpack the writing behind her book ‘Feminism Interrupted: Disrupting Power’ and finally to thinking about decolonising the university through a feminist lens.

Listen to this episode Transcript [PDF]

Episode 26: Ipshita Basu: “Politics of a New Normal”, decolonial storytelling and academics in social justice work

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Westminster Senior Lecturer in International Relations, Ipshita Basu. In this interview we discuss Ipshita’s background and academic journey from India to the UK. We talk about her new blog which consists of original thought pieces on topics such as the politics of infrastructure, urbanisation and technology. We then move on to the performative workshop that Ipshita co-created called ‘Sharing Untold Stories of Postcolonial Journeys’ and what it means to foster a decolonial space in the institution. Finally, we consider the experience of being an academic who is involved in activism and social justice work, as well as the challenges they often face.

Listen to the episode

Episode 27: Fatima Maatwk: Student-staff partnership in the university and decolonising Business studies

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by lecturer at Westminster Business School, Fatima Maatwk. Fatima is engaged in a number of research projects on partnership at the university, including the Pedagogies for Social Justice project. In this interview, we discuss Fatima’s journey from studying Business and Economics in Egypt, Germany and the UK – and how this influenced her understanding of race and coloniality. We then go on to ask for her thoughts on student-staff partnership and the importance of utilising it in the classroom, before we get into some of the ways we might begin to decolonise the Business School.

Listen to the episode

Episode 28/29: Kate M. Graham: Black History Year, white allyship and decolonial pedagogy in English Literature

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by Westminster Lecturer in English Literature, Kate M. Graham. In this two-part interview we discuss Kate’s upbringing and how it shaped her understanding of race and sense of identity. We talk about her academic journey across her Bachelor’s in English, and her two Master’s in Cultural and Critical Studies and Text and Performance Studies . We then move on to think about decolonial and anti-racist projects within the university, specifically the Black History Year initiative at Westminster – before finally considering what it means to foster decolonial pedagogy in English Literature.

Listen to Part 1

Listen to Part 2

Episode 30: Christopher Newfield: American schooling, Critical University Studies and decolonising university funding

In this episode of the podcast our host Kyra Araneta is joined by the Director of Research at the Independent Social Research Foundation in London and the newly appointed President of the Modern Language Association, Christopher Newfield. With a background in English Literature, his central interests also include critical university studies, management theory, fiscal control and more. In this episode, we discuss his academic journey, Critical University Studies as a school of thought, and the ways in which university funding sustains coloniality.

Listen to the episode


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