Skip to main content

Production of the Human: Decolonising the Canon


Module description

Human knowledge is never neutral and cultural value is never objective. In this module we help you understand your degree and learning in the context of the real world and lived existence.

You will be empowered with a conceptual toolkit to identify and deconstruct the network of hierarchies and systems that shape our contemporary globalised world. Decolonising the curriculum has rightly climbed up the political agenda and has become a priority in universities. Central to this agenda is a critique of the way knowledge is conditioned by power and shapes the human subject.

This module will provide you with the critical perspective that will help you contextualise the humanities disciplines and their continuing process of reflection and evolution.

Indicative syllabus

  • The human subject
  • Making knowledge: the construction of the humanities
  • The canon and its others
  • Identity and difference
  • Constructing bodies: disability and class
  • Inside and outside the colonial space: race and ethnicity
  • Undoing gender
  • Decolonising the curriculum in neoliberal times
  • The digital human
  • Posthumans on an unstable planet

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • be familiar with key articulations of the question of the human and canon formation
  • have analysed these ideas through considering their explication in certain works
  • have considered the ways in which concepts have shaped culture and knowledge
  • have considered the transmission of ideas across cultures and historical periods, the development of traditions of thought, as well as critiques of these ideas
  • have an awareness of the context of production and the power dynamics underlying concepts of the human in particular texts, practices, disciplines, institutions
  • be familiar with the key debates around decolonising curricula
  • be aware that knowledge is produced in the context of power.