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Decolonise, democratise and diversify reading lists: Assess your reading list

The University recognises the importance of encouraging diversity to be reflected in the content of courses, teaching methods and forms of assessment.

University of Hull Diversity and Inclusion Policy

Reading lists can be assessed by both the teaching colleagues who create them, and the students taking the modules.

If you are a member of teaching staff, you may assess your reading list as part of the process of (re)writing the curricula, or as a separate exercise. It is critical that the reading list is a central part of your teaching, and that diverse resources are not added to 'make up the numbers'.

This page introduces a series of questions you can ask about your reading lists to understand the peoples, knowledge systems, and experiences they represent.

You may also wish to read the article How diverse is your reading list: exploring issues of representation and decolonisation in the UK (Schucan Bird & Pitman, 2020).‚ÄČ

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Question your reading list

The following questions are taken from UAL's Decolonising Reading Lists tool.

They can help you to assess the resources on your reading list, and consider the changes you may need to make.

Although the questions are presented as a list, the assessment process is not a tick box exercise. Rather it is the first step to ensuring your reading lists are inclusive, diverse, democratic and decolonised for the benefit of all students taking the associated module.

If you prefer, a pdf version of this information can be downloaded here:

 Question your reading list.pdf

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What are the dominant voices and narratives in your areas of study?

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What voices and narratives are excluded, and how can they be identified?

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Are the texts Western-centric, or Eurocentric?

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Are bodies of knowledge distorted? Can discourse affect the way that we look at groups of people?

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Who is the author of the work? Are the majority of the authors the same gender and ethnicity?

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What is the relevance of the author’s identity in this context?

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Who is talking about whose experience and/or culture?

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What is the place of publication and geographic coverage of the text?

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What is the language of the text? Is it a translation or in its original language?

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What kinds of sources do we perceive to be of most academic value and why?