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Decolonizing Mathematics

Facilitator: Professor Tarik Aougab, Mathematics, Haverford College
Convener: Thomas Brazelton, CETLI Graduate Fellow, Mathematics

I am almost always very annoyed when people use the phrase “decolonizing X” in an academic context. Because 9 times out of 10, this phrase is a stand-in for the following totally fine but also totally insufficient things:
– broadening the canon (e.g. introducing a wider variety of authors and voices into collections of frequently read and discussed texts);
– acknowledging the existence of structural oppression and that bad things have happened in the past;
– some version of conventional DEI but where  phrase “DEI” is replaced with “decolonize”.
If we think about what colonization really was and is — theft of life, land, material resources, and dignity — we can’t possibly refer to the above as “decolonizing” with a straight face (right??). So: what would decolonizing mathematics truly entail? I have thoughts (but no answers), and we’ll discuss informally.

All graduate students are welcome. This event grows out of concerns in the Mathematics department and so may be most useful to students in related fields.

Counts toward the CETLI Teaching Certificate.

Registrations are closed for this event

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
DRL (David Rittenhouse Laboratories)
209 South 33rd Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
Event Participants:

Annenberg School for Communication, Graduate School of Education, Perelman School of Medicine, School of Arts & Sciences, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences, School of Nursing, Social Policy & Practice, Stuart Weitzman School of Design, Wharton School

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