Decolonising the Mind – Training Course in Birmingham

Decolonising the Mind – Training Course in Birmingham

Join us for this groundbreaking course.  This course will not be recorded or broadcast to encourage a free flow of ideas and expression.

Following the success of last year’s course, IHRC is delighted to be holding more Decolonising the Mind courses led by Sandew Hira from the International Institute for Scientific Research in the Netherlands. Hira is a leading critic of the new colonial discourse and the legacy of colonialism.

Download the poster and a more detailedflyer at the end of the page.


The legacy of colonialism is an open wound in present-day western society that has different names: racism, Islamophobia, white supremacy, extreme right etc.

Despite the gains won by decolonisation in the sphere of politics, economics and international relations there is still one dimension of colonialism that has survived the process of decolonization in the fifties and sixties of the last century, that is the dimension of mental colonialism.

Mental colonialism created a narrative of race relations that still dominates the discourse in western media: the supposed superiority of western culture and the supposed inferiority of non-western cultures.

This narrative has changed in the course of four centuries of colonialism, but is its basic assumptions are widespread in the educational system and the discourse in the media. It is there in the mind of both the former coloniser and the colonised. Decolonising the mind means changing the mindset of both groups.

Target of the course

The course Decolonising the Mind has the following targets:

1. Knowledge dissemination: To present new decolonised knowledge on colonialism and its legacy. The student gets an integrated view on five dimensions of colonialism: geographical, economic, political, social and mental. The student gets to know the dominant propositions by scholars from the current of scientific colonialism and their arguments. The critique of these propositions and arguments are presented from the point of view of DTM and an alternative framework is presented to understand the legacy of colonialism in present day society.

2. Developing an assertive decolonial attitude. DTM is not only a matter of consuming new knowledge. It is an attitude that is firmly grounded in the belief that the dominant authority of knowledge (science, government, education, and media) and its policy implications can and should be challenged with sound counterpropositions and arguments. The course aims to build such an attitude.

3. Mastering the tools of debate and discussion for DTM. Knowledge and attitude might not be enough to decolonize the mind. The main instruments of DTM are discussions and debates. The course trains student in discussion and debate both in term of content as well as form, presentation and attitude. DTM is a struggle.  Training in discussion and debate is training in the art of intellectual struggle.

Sandew Hira
International Institute for Scientific Research


Birmingham (Two Day Course) 28 and 29 September 2013


Birmingham: Hotel Ibis Birmingham City Centre, 21 Ladywell Walk, Birmingham, B5 4ST,  West Midlands

Nearest station: Birmingham New Street

Fees (include Course Materials, lunch and refreshments):


The cost for the two day course is £40 (full rate) and £25 (concessions). Buy your ticket by clicking here or calling us on 020 8904 4222.

The concessionary rate is available to OAP’s, Students, the unwaged and regular IHRC supporters.

Programme day 1: the conceptual framework
08.30-09.00 Entree
09.00-09.30 Personal introduction: who is who in the course (name, activities)
Topics and line of the course
09.30-10.15 Lecture 1. The world before European colonization
10.15-10.30 Discussion
10.30-11.15 Lecture 2. The economics of European colonization
11.15-11.30 Discussion
11.30-12.15 Lecture 3. The politics of European colonization
12.15-12.30 Discussion
12.30-13.30 Lunch
13.30-14.15 Lecture 4. The sociology of European colonization
14.15-14.30 Discussion
14.30-15.15 Lecture 5. Colonizing the mind
15.15-15.30 Tea break
15.30-15.45 Discussion
15.45-16.30 Lecture 6. Decolonizing the mind
16.30-16.45 Discussion
16.45-17.00 Conclusions

Programme day 2: strategy and organization
08.30-09.00 Entree
09.00-09.45 Debate on national liberation
09.30-10.15 Lecture 1: strategy and organization in decolonization: experiences from the colonies
10.15-11.00 Debate: evaluation of national liberation struggles including present day movements
11.00-11.15 Lecture 2. Race and class in the Americas: strategy and organization
11.15-12.00 Debate: what Europe can use from the USA?
12.00-12.45 Lecture 3. Race and class in Europe: strategy and organization
12.45-13.45 Lunch
13.45-14.30 Debate: what unity in the struggle and how to build it?
14.30-15.15 Session 1: Practical ideas for social struggle. The economic and social dimension.
15.15-15.30 Tea break
15.30-16.15 Session 2: Practical ideas for social struggle. The political and cultural dimension.
16.15-17.00 Evaluation, conclusion and follow up.

Information and registration

You will be automatically registered once you pay for your ticket. You can contact the DTM co-ordinator by emailing events[AT] or calling 020 8904 4222.

Further information, including course content, will be posted on this page and sent to everyone who has registered.

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