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Diversity and decolonisation

We want to support the University's focus on equality, diversity and inclusion by making sure that the resources we ask students to read cover a wide range of perspectives.

Why is diversifying reading lists important?

Academia tends to be dominated by the work of white, English-speaking, European or Northern American scholars, due to the historical power of these groups, so we have to take steps to promote other viewpoints.

We want students to evaluate a wide variety of perspectives to help them develop critical thinking, and we want to show students that they can contribute to their discipline, by using and valuing the work of scholars who look like them.

What makes a text 'diverse'?

There is no magic diversity pill. Diversity is in the content of the work, but the author's characteristics - such as gender, ethnicity (including race, religion and nationality), sexuality, class, disability, or neurodivergence - may influence how likely a work is to contain a diverse perspective.

Tips for diversifying your reading list

When looking for texts on a particular topic, try to find ones by underrepresented author groups

  • Add keywords such as 'diverse', 'international', 'global', 'BAME' or 'minority' to your search terms on Library Search
  • Search the ProQuest Diversity Collection, which focuses on ethnic, minority, and native presses, grassroots newspapers and magazines, plus journals, news and newsletters focusing on gender and sexuality

More sources of diverse texts are listed on the Library's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion page

Have a wide variety of types of resources on reading lists

It's generally easier to find journal articles, book chapters, or videos by underrepresented authors than it is to find whole books, as the barrier to creation is lower. 

Remember it's not all about the texts - how you frame and discuss them contributes too

  • Use author's full names rather than initials, to avoid 'hiding' clues about their gender or ethnicity
  • Use pictures of all authors when discussing their work in class 
  • Discuss the influence that the author's background or society's norms have on all texts, not just 'diverse' ones

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