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While it is often assumed that colonialism ended with the formal decolonization processes of the post World War decades, constructions of civilisational hierarchy and race still persist in present-day academic research and teaching.

Additionally, Norway's particular self-image as somehow separate from, and innocent of, the history of colonialism, as well as the endurance of problems of diversity and meaningful representation in Norwegian higher education, makes a debate on decolonisation highly necessary and long overdue. Inspired by recent debates on the need to decolonize academic institutions in the UK, a number of Norwegian academics from a wide range of disciplines have been invited to reflect on how they engage with this topic in their own work, as well as in their home institutions.

12:00: Lunch and mingling.

12.30: Meera Sabaratnam (SOAS, University of London) offers a keynote speech reflecting on recent debates in UK academia on these issues. Chair: Cindy Horst (PRIO).

13.00: Stine Helena Bang Svendsen (NTNU) offers a short contextualization of these debates in Norway.

13.10 - 14.00: Panel discussion, moderated by Ida Roland Birkvad (PRIO).

The event is organized by the PRIO Centre on Culture and Violent Conflict.


Meera Sabaratnam, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London

Stine Helena Bang Svendsen, the Norwegian Unviersity of Science and Technology ( NTNU)

Mariel Aguilar Støen, Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM), University of Oslo

Marta Bivand Erdal, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Tony Joakim Sandset, Institute of Health and Society, University of Oslo

Inga Marie Nymo Riseth, former leader of SAIH (Norwegian Students' and Academics' International Assistance Fund), postgraduate student in Human Rights, and Sami activist

Relevant reading