Decolonisation and Rehumanising through Reclaiming the Humanities in ODEL
Keywords:Humanities, philosophy, decoloniality, education
Due to an oft held presupposition by academic administrators that the humanities lack utility, it is common for humanities scholars to be fearful of the demise of our disciplines in institutions of higher learning. In a number of western institutions, humanities departments have been closed based upon this logic. Locating the discussion within the South African academy and based particularly upon the pedagogical experience of the University of South Africa, the authors note an emerging juxtaposition to the western utilitarian approach toward humanities. The decolonial turn is gaining traction in neo colonies and offers an approach away from western positivist-inspired reductivism. Therefore, from within the decolonial milieu, a recovery of the importance of researching and teaching themes of the human can arise when the conception of the person is integrally restored. We argue that when dominant knowledge systems are dislodged, space is created for epistemic plurality by which epistemic re-centring occurs. Doing philosophy in the decolonial environment affords the privilege of reclaiming humanity in the face of its neo colonial mutilation. This is even more so, when philosophy is taught through the dispersed mode of open, distance, and e-learning (ODeL), an andragogy that encourages recentring and decolonisation in both the theory and praxis of teaching and learning.