Unsettling the University: Confronting the Colonial Foundations of Us Higher Education (Critical University Studies) (Hardcover)
Shifts the narrative around the history of US higher education to examine its colonial past.
Over the past several decades, higher education in the United States has been shaped by marketization and privatization. Efforts to critique these developments often rely on a contrast between a bleak present and a romanticized past. In Unsettling the University, Sharon Stein offers a different entry point--one informed by decolonial theories and practices--for addressing these issues.
Stein describes the colonial violence underlying three of the most celebrated moments in US higher education history: the founding of the original colonial colleges, the creation of land-grant colleges and universities, and the post-World War II "Golden Age." Reconsidering these historical moments through a decolonial lens, Stein reveals how the central promises of higher education--the promises of continuous progress, a benevolent public good, and social mobility--are fundamentally based on racialized exploitation, expropriation, and ecological destruction.
Unsettling the University invites readers to confront universities' historical and ongoing complicity in colonial violence; to reckon with how the past has shaped contemporary challenges at institutions of higher education; and to accept responsibility for redressing harm and repairing relationships in order to reimagine a future for higher education rooted in social and ecological accountability.