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CANCELLED - Decolonise the Classroom workshop - MUNYARADZI MUSCHONGA: "Rhodes/Fees Must Fall Movements: The Struggle for a (South) African University and Imperatives for a Decolonized (Global) University"

When:Th 12-05-2022 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Collaboratory A, Harmonie building & Online

This event has been cancelled, but we are working on rescheduling it for a later date.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to host Dr. Munyaradzi Mushonga at the RUG while he is in the Netherlands.

Dr. Mushonga will give a talk and lead a workshop entitled "Rhodes/Fees Must Fall Movements: The Struggle for a (South) African University and Imperatives for a Decolonized (Global) University".

The Westernised university in Africa, as a colonial crime scene, became an accessory to and complicit in the world systemic and global structural project of conquest – mainly the conquest of the ‘Restern’ world by the Western world. The university did not keep its innocence from the violent project of conquest of one by the other at a world scale. It is for these reasons that the university cannot be left out of the project to liberate those places, those peoples, and those existences that were conquered through violence, racial, gender and sexual dehumanization and epistemic theft.

It is in this nature of the university that we need to locate the genesis of the 2015/2016 Rhodes and Fees Must Fall movements in South Africa, movements which had and still have global reverberations. The RMF and FMF became struggles to free the university from Empire, signified by the statue of Cecil John Rhodes on the UCT campus. These were struggles to stop the packaging and selling of knowledge to only those that could afford it, and to restore the truth value of knowledge. These were struggles to ensure that higher education was not only for the Sons of Empire. These were decolonial and liberation battles that are still being fought, and that are going on.

In South Africa and Africa in particular, and at the planetary scale, the Rhodes and Fees Must Fall movements proved to be the seedbed for the resurgent and insurgent decolonisation of the 21st century. While the decolonization of the 20th century was largely a response to the physical empire and colonialism, that of the 21st century is a response to the resilient epistemic and metaphysical empire. I seek to read the Rhodes and Fees Must Fall movements as a clarion call for a truly (South) African university and a truly decolonized (global) university, as opposed to a university in Africa and to the global westernized university. A decolonized global university must be an intellectual ‘Pentecostal’ place where diverse and plural voices, bodies, spiritualties, sensibilities, languages, cultures, histories, knowledges and positionalities meet – a place of being different together (Steyn, 2021). Beyond the academy, the RMF and FMF movements can be used as a springboard to build re-membering and re-humanizing global coalitions that can disrupt and destitute the modern/colonial divide.

About the speaker

Munyaradzi Mushonga (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer and Programme Director for Africa Studies in the Centre for Gender and Africa Studies at the University of the Free State, RSA. He is an interdisciplinary decolonial researcher who enjoys operating at the margins. He has published several peer-reviewed and accredited book chapters and journal articles cutting across the fields of history, Africa studies, postcolonial studies, decolonial studies, and higher education studies.

Dr. Mushonga is currently involved in two externally and two internally funded research projects namely (a) The Border, the ‘Bantustans’ and the Rainbow Nation: a contradictory mix of discreteness and continuity in the oral histories of transnational communities in the borderlands of Lesotho/South Africa (PI); (b) The Humanities and the decolonial challenge: a comparative study of the University of the Free State, University of the Western Cape, and Sol Plaatje University (PI); (c) The Border, the ‘Bantustan’ and the Rainbow Nation: a contradictory mix of discreteness and continuity in the oral histories of the Joe Gqabi District in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa (PI); and (d) Re-humanizing the medical profession: a case for accessible vocabularies for maternal and child health, infectious and non-communicable diseases in South Africa (co-researcher).