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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.
“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)
Bravely highlights the injustices that prevail at universities long after the apparent end of colonialism.
— SOTL in the South Journal, May 2019 (full review)