The Centre for Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies at the University of Kent brings together scholars in the Humanities and Social Sciences with individual interests in the Americas, Oceania, Western Asia, Southern Africa, and northern Europe, and with a collective interest in the global frameworks of Critical Indigenous Studies (CIS). While we place Indigenous Studies and Settler Colonial Studies in critical dialogue in bringing together scholars engaged in each, and through conversations around mutual practical and discursive attempts to analyse and disrupt the colonial structures of settler states, we understand these fields to be discrete, and emerging out of different systems of knowledge production. Insofar as CIS demands relationship with communities alongside the centring of Indigenous voices and anti/decolonial activism, and insofar as Settler Colonial Studies seeks to unsettle the structures of colonial dominance and examine settler-Indigenous interrelations, we embrace the challenge (to non-Indigenous scholars in particular) to develop ethical forms of scholarship and engagement.
As such we see our mission as follows:
- To provide a regular platform in the UK for Indigenous Scholars and non-academic speakers
- To develop an ethical research and teaching praxis that reflects critically on the particular kinds of contributions that scholars working in Britain and Europe can make to the Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies conversations
- To develop, in collaboration with Indigenous partners, training programmes for graduate students and Early Career Researchers that focus on ethics, Indigenous-centred research practices, Indigenous Languages, and activist-oriented forms of scholarship
- To develop structures and processes to enable scholars working in Britain and Europe to work more closely with Indigenous communities (particularly in disciplines that do not conventionally operate through field work)
- To generate resources and frameworks to facilitate teaching and understanding of Indigenous histories and contemporary concerns to both public audiences and at all levels of education in the UK
- To advocate, where possible, for Indigenous issues through scholarship, public engagement, and direct approaches to relevant bodies
- To collaborate with Indigenous alliances, NGOs, and non-profits based in the UK and Europe
- To build partnerships with and between social and cultural institutions in the UK and Indigenous communities and social/cultural institutions in order to develop digital platforms that give access to hard to access archives that both respond to Indigenous priorities and respect Indigenous systems of knowledge
- To actively contribute to strategies at the University of Kent and in UK HE more broadly to decolonise curricula, with particular emphasis on pedagogical and methodological practice
- To lead in reflection on the intersections of Indigenous concerns and the legacies of slavery in the UK, for instance, and contribute to public discourse around race and slavery in the UK
- To generate potential for student exchange and, through partnership with Indigenous NGOs in the UK, develop the Centre as a site of hospitality to visiting Indigenous scholars and community members
- To both interrogate and respond to the cascading problems relating to new frontiers of extractivism and extractive economies (e.g. oil and gas, mining, logging, oil palm plantations and monocultures) and climate change as particularly important and salient sites for conflict and post-colonial settler colonialism.
The Centre for Indigenous and Settler Colonial Studies was launched in November 2019.
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