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Why is my curriculum white? – Australian Campaign

17 September, 2015

The WIMCW? campaign is a transnational initiative designed to critically analyse the curriculum in higher education and the ways in which it replicates and reinforces the socially constructed concept of whiteness. We encourage students and staff in Australian universities to support this movement and join the discussion about the role of whiteness in the curriculum.We argue that more needs to be done to understand whiteness as a social category and an ideology of power, interpreted in relation to colonialism and related to contemporary issues affecting society and intellectual culture.

The campaign aims to organise events and activities that explore the prevalence of whiteness in the Australian curriculum and the consequences for those racially categorised in other ways. Ignoring the primacy and currency of whiteness is detrimental to classroom dynamics; influences student performance; complicates teacher-student interaction; obstructs social and cultural awareness; clouds the ability to see and think beyond racial categories; and injures dignity and integrity. The initiative also endeavours to show how the dominance of whiteness in the curriculum is associated with systemic problems such as social exclusion, implicit bias, structural inequality and intersectional discrimination.  

Aims and objectives include:

  1. Suggesting ways of developing a curriculum that challenges whiteness and the ways it empowers and disempowers.
  2. Drawing attention to the socio-cultural and political impact of advancing certain Eurocentric notions as neutral and normal.
  3. Proposing ways to reframe basic questions in the humanities that assume Eurocentric concepts.
  4. Encouraging students to take initiative in finding and incorporating neglected thinkers and ideas in order to help dismantle the white curriculum.
  5. Encouraging students to take action and demand ways to delcolonise the curriculum by introducing thinkers and methods that explicitly criticise the reproduction of whiteness.

For more information, please refer to the websites below: