Decolonizing Academia

Poverty, Oppression and Pain

By Clelia O. Rodríguez  

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Poetic, confrontational and radical, Decolonizing Academia speaks to those who have been taught to doubt themselves because of the politics of censorship, violence and silence that sustain the Ivory Tower. Clelia O. Rodríguez illustrates how academia is a racialized structure that erases the voices of people of colour, particularly women. She offers readers a gleam of hope through the voice of an inquisitorial thinker and methods of decolonial expression, including poetry, art and reflections that encompass much more than theory.

In Decolonizing Academia, Rodríguez passes the torch to her Latinx offspring to use as a tool to not only survive academic spaces but also dismantle systems of oppression. Through personal anecdotes, creative non-fiction and unflinching bravery, Rodríguez reveals how people of colour are ignored, erased and consumed in the name of research and tenured academic positions. Her work is a survival guide for people of colour entering academia.

  • Kindle
  • ISBN: 9781773630762
  • November 2018
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781773630755
  • November 2018
  • $19.99
  • For sale worldwide

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  • Bravely highlights the injustices that prevail at universities long after the apparent end of colonialism.

    — SOTL in the South Journal, May 2019 (full review)

  • “Situating itself within a framework of critical race theory, this literary, spiritual, and ancestrally grounded collection of prose, vignettes, letters, poems, manifestos, and odes posits an agenda that rejects the colonial violence of our vastly white and isolating academic landscape and works to awaken our connections to the non-linear knowledge we possess in our bones.”

    — Radical Teacher, 2019 (full review)

  • El Savadorian Clelia Rodriguez eloquently voices in Decolonizing Academia the knowledge of her grandfather who taught her ”how to read and write differently about time, patience, humility, water, ants, bees, trees, air, days, land, respect, dignity, gratitude, and love.” She thanks “turtles for their exemplary lessons on time … [ and] … their ability to walk earth acknowledging their environment.” Dr. Rodriguez evokes issues of ontology and epistemology-what is truth and how we can know it-and at its core is what radical love is about, which she claims is “the commitment to dismantle systemic racism while knowing we’re against the current.”

    — Mary Rykov, The Caribbean Writer, Fall 2020, Volume 34 (full review)


  • Acknowledgements
  • Unlearning
  • What/Who Kills
  • The Politics of “([])”
  • UNapologetic Letters
  • Never-ending Notes
  • Index


  • Clelia O. Rodríguez

    Dr. Clelia O. Rodríguez is a global scholar, speaker, mom, and auntie, born and raised in the ancestral lands of the Nawat, the Chorti-Maya and the Lenka Peoples, what is presently El Salvador. She earned her MA and PhD from the University of Toronto. Before holding a Human Rights Traveling Professorship where she taught in the United States, Nepal, Jordan, and Chile, she was an Assistant Professor at the University of Ghana. Prior to teaching at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto about Settler Colonialism, Pedagogies of Liberation, Popular Education, Social Change and Anti-Discriminatory Education, she was a Gender Academic University Advisor in Bolivia, as part of a partnership between CECI and Global Affairs Canada. Recently, she has collaborated with the University of Fort Hare teaching postgraduate workshops. She is currently developing a gender-based training program in Kenya working alongside the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology and Eco Green. She is the founder of SEEDS for Change, an educational transnational collective bringing together Black, Indigenous and People of Colour to co-create pedagogies of liberation. She is committed to ancestral sustainable pedagogies, decolonizing approaches to learning and teaching beyond the binary, critical race and cultural theories, anti-oppressive transnational cooperation and learning in community centering Black, Indigenous and racialized knowledge and wisdom. Her work has been published in the Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy, in the Journal of Popular Education, Critical Pedagogy and Militant Research in Chile, the Black Youth Project, Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in the South, Radical Teacher: A Socialist, Feminist, and Anti-Racist Journal on the Theory and Practice of Teaching, Postcolonial Studies, Revista Iberoamericana, Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education and the Frontiers - A Journal of Women Studies. She recently received the 2022 ACPA Latinx Network Community Advancement Service Award for her support and encouragement towards the needs of Latinx students and professionals in higher education.

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