Decolonising the Curriculum Project: Clara Wilson

Posted on: 26 October 2021 by Clara Wilson in Posts


I grew up in a multicultural area of London and enjoyed my early education being influenced by a wide variety of cultures. Moving to Liverpool a year ago, intensified my feelings surrounding the importance of representation and diversity in higher education, as the city’s history plays such an integral role in how many of its institutes operate. 


When I was accepted to the project, I was unsure how to begin. I had spent two terms at the University of Liverpool and despite having to adapt to online learning, was satisfied with the teaching I had been given. I was afraid to criticise what I had so recently benefited from. However, as I progressed with my research of what ‘decolonising’ meant I saw that I had fallen into the well-worn trap that many face in decolonising projects. We are scared of change and researchers often fear causing offence when attempting to participate in discussions surrounding colonial legacies. As I researched other universities decolonisation projects I discovered that ‘decolonisation’ isn’t about concealing history, criticising existing courses or even demonising the past. It is about creating new legitimate avenues for knowledge to be produced and shared ethically. 

My Research 

As I studied my seminar notes, module learning objectives and reading lists, I began to find a focus for my personal presentation: ‘decolonising research skills and practice’. I enjoyed the course but found it difficult that such an important topic such as ‘Decolonising the Curriculum’ was confined to a one week seminar. My idea was to extend this important discussion across the course teaching. To do this, I investigated lived experiences of Black and other under-represented academics face in the journey to academic publishing. It is my understanding these processes that we can alter our methods of how we teach research. I enjoyed discussing and sharing with the other students taking part in the project. We attended online events and lectures together and discussed the relevancy of these voices to our own research. 

I have a personal interest in Museums and Galleries; which is why I made my personal blog post about Decolonising museum objects. I believe the history and stories of the objects in these institutions should lead discussions on reinterpreting  honest, more representative history, especially those with colonial links. How we as a university teach research and understand history will influence other institutes. Decolonising is about listening, understanding and growing our knowledge, and using any privilege we are afforded to amplify unheard voices; as this can only serve to elevate the quality of our research.