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Tuesdays 4.30 pm, February to June

Convened by Eda Seyhan & Muhib Nabulsi in 2021.

Starting as a space to foster community and discussion among IPCS members and friends in 2019, and shifting online amidst the tumult of 2020, the IPCS Reading Group returns in 2021 with in-person and online formats taking place on alternating weeks.

As seen in the program below, each discussion will engage with two texts. As well as a careful discussion around individual texts, our goal in the reading group meetings is also to work within the spaces between chosen texts, connecting questions and problems beyond the Institute and academy. 

In line with IPCS’ aim to address the challenges of the present, the reading group aims to link influential texts on postcolonialism, settler colonialism, and decoloniality with works attending to the everyday pragmatics of resisting and creating alternatives to these enduring structures. Guest convenors will contribute much to this project, bringing experiences and vital perspectives and experience to our sessions throughout the year.


The in-person reading group meets regularly in the Phillip Darby Reading Room. Numbers may be limited given public health regulations.


Online reading groups present a number of challenges. However, they also make possible new modes of engagement. The online reading group is by no means simply an attempt at rehearsing the in-person experience in digital confines. Rather, in consultation with online attendees, we will develop approaches by which to make creative use of Zoom’s constraints, as well as collectively decide on guest convenors in order to harness the significant possibilities opened up by remote engagement.

Both our in-person and online reading group work with the same texts, sharing a sense of purpose and shaping our community (while also offering in-person attendees a second opportunity to participate should they miss the in-person meeting).

If you would like to participate either in the in-person or online reading groups, please write to Eda Seyhan, Muhib Nabulsi or Carlos Morreo.

IPCS Reading group program

Session 1

9 Feb and 16 Feb
  • Anibal Quijano (2000). “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America”, Nepantla: Views from South 1.3, 533-580.
  • Patrick Wolfe (2006), “Settler colonialism and the elimination of the native”, Journal of Genocide Research, 8:4, 387-409.

Session 2

23 Feb & 2 March
  • Yin Paradies (2020), “Unsettling truths: modernity, (de)coloniality and Indigenous futures”, Postcolonial Studies, 23:4, 438-456.
  • María Lugones (2007), “Heterosexualism and the Colonial / Modern Gender System”, Hypatia 22:1, 186-209.

Session 3

9 March & 16 March
  • Introduction (p3-23) of Dipesh Chakrabarty (2000), Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. New Jersey: Princeton University Press
  • Robbie Shiliam (2019), “From Ethiopia to Bandung with Fanon”, Bandung: Journal of the Global South, 6(2), 163-189

Session 4

23 March & 30 March
  • Dipesh Chakrabarty (2000), Provincializing Europe: Postcolonial Thought and Historical Difference. New Jersey: Princeton University Press – Read Chapter 1
  • Juliette Singh (2018), Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Read Chapter 1

Session 5

6 April & 13 April
  • Alexis Shotwell (2016) Against Purity: Living Ethically in Compromised Times. University of Minnesota Press – Read Introduction & Conclusion.
  • Clare Land (2015) Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles. Zed Books – Chapter TBC

Session 6

20 April & 27 April

Goolarabooloo Futures

Special session on Stephen Muecke and Paddy Roe’s The Children’s Country: Creation of a Goolarabooloo Future in North-West Australia (2020).

  • Introduction, chapter 1, chapter 6, chapter 9 (and chapter 5 as additional)

Session 7

4 May & 11 May

Abolition & Decoloniality
Convenors: Jasmine Barzani & Eda Seyhan

  • Dylan Rodríguez, “Abolition As Praxis Of Human Being: A Foreword”, 132 Harvard Law Review 1575
  • Angela Davis (2003) Are Prisons Obsolete? Seven Stories Press – Chapter 6: Abolitionist Alternatives
  • Skim/take a look at: Creative Interventions Toolkit: A Practical Guide to Stop Interpersonal Violence: Chapter 4F – Taking Accountability (available at:

Session 8

18 May & 25 May

Abolition & Decoloniality (cont.)
Convenors: Jasmine Barzani & Eda Seyhan

With guest speakers for discussion on ‘abolition in practice’

Session 9

1 June & 8 June
  • Larissa Behrendt (2013), “Aboriginal Sovereignty: A Practical Roadmap”, in Sovereignty: Frontiers of Possibility, Edited by Julie Evans, Ann Genovese, Alexander Reilly, Patrick Wolfe, Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 163-180.
  • Adrian Little, ‘The Politics of Makarrata: Understanding Indigenous–Settler Relations in Australia’, Political Theory 48(1), 2020, pp 4–29.

Session 10

22 June / 29 June

The world is cumbia: the politics of creolisation

Moses Iten (Cumbia Cosmonauts / PhD Candidate, RMIT)

Creolisation is a phenomenon largely studied by scholars of linguistics and literature, but Martinican poet-philosopher Edouard Glissant has discussed music as a prominent example of ‘creolisation’. The session seeks to explore the nuances of defining cumbia as hybrid, mestiza (“mixed race”), or creolising, and to consider more broadly the place of music as a practice of decolonisation.

This week’s readings start with listening to (and watching) how the sound of Colombian cumbia has shifted from 1940s to the present day. Starting as a folk music recorded for export by the burgeoning Colombian music industry, to it becoming associated with urban ghettos across Latin America, and ultimately its circulation as a hip global club sound. This story is summarised in a short video documentary focused on the case of cumbia in Peru.

In addition to the audio files and short documentary video, we have two texts. A lecture on creolisation by Glissant himself, in which Glissant proposes that creolisation is applicable to the whole world beyond its usual Caribbean identification, and a critical and ethnomusicological history of cumbia as genre.


A listening and reading recommended itinerary might go like this: listen to some Cumbia, then watch the short doco, and finally do the readings: 

  • Versions of the song Cumbia Sampuesana (only need to listen to a bit of each video) 
  • ‘Making Digital Cumbia in Peru’ on YouTube.  Video (7min18sec).  Published 2014.  
  • D’Amico, Leonardo. ‘Cumbia Music in Colombia: Origins, Transformations, and Evolution of a Coastal Music Genre’ in Fernández L’Hoeste, Héctor and Pablo Vila (Edited by). 2013. Cumbia! Scenes of a Migrant Latin American Music Genre. Durham and London: Duke University Press. pp. 29-48.
  • Glissant, Edouard. 2020. ‘Creolizations in the Caribbean and the Americas’ in Introduction to a Poetics of Diversity. Translated by Celia Britton.  Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. pp. 3-17

Session 11

6 July / 13 July
  • Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang (2012), “Decolonization is not a metaphor”, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society 1:1, 1-40.
  • Silvia Rivera Cusicanqui (2012), “A Reflection on the Practices and Discourses of Decolonization.” South Atlantic Quarterly 111:1, 95-109.

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See our other member-led initiatives for 2021.

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