No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education

Beacon. Jul. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9780807050880. $24.95. ED
Patel (professor, Univ. of Pittsburgh Sch. of Education; Decolonizing Educational Research: From Ownership to Answerability) examines racism in higher education through the lenses of study and struggle and settler colonialism. She compares student movements in the 1960s and 2010s and emphasizes the importance of the study sessions that preceded demonstrations or protests in both eras, which she says were necessary to educate participants about the causes and increase their determination to bring about change. Patel explains how settler colonialism underlies oppression against Black people, Indigenous peoples, and immigrants through the theft of land, the theft of labor, and the erasure of Indigeneity. She notes that the goal of her work and writing is to free learning—inside and outside the university—from the inhibiting structure of settler colonialism. However, though this book cites a wide range of sources to introduce readers to multiple perspectives, Patel uses rhetoric, rather than analysis, to convince and inspire, and skips from subject to subject without making a coherent argument.
VERDICT While Patel gives readers an understanding of the activist rhetoric in higher education, she does not provide any examples of universities effectively addressing racism or offer concrete steps that universities should take to improve the situation.
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