Jennifer Stephens co-edits new book on decolonizing higher education

"Ignite: A Decolonial Approach to Higher Education Through Space, Place and Culture," edited by Laura M. Pipe and Jennifer T. Stephens, was published by Vernon Press as part of its Series in Education.

A new book co-edited by Jennifer Stephens, director of Academic-Residential Partnerships and assistant professor of education, examines the process of unlinking colonizing structures from teaching and learning in higher education through the honoring of space, place and culture in the learning process.

Part of the Vernon Press Series in Education, “Ignite: A Decolonial Approach to Higher Education Through Space, Place and Culture” brings together diverse voices of educators (inside and outside of formal educational spaces), students, activists and artists, including those often marginalized in the formal academic process of knowledge creation, to highlight justice-forward approaches to teaching and learning.

Organized around the Toward a Liberating Learning Spirit (TALLS) model for developing critical consciousness, developed by Stephens and co-editor Laura Pipe, the chapters feature a range of styles from academic scholarship to personal essays, author interviews, graphic literature, folktales, hip-hop lyricism and other diverse forms of knowledge creation and dissemination.

The structure of the book was an intentional choice to decolonize (as much as possible in the book publishing process) what is traditionally held as valid academic scholarship. In these varied forms, the chapter authors provide a foundational context for decolonizing education in ways that seek to disrupt academically detached approaches to learning, elevate learner narratives as acts of unlearning, apply experiential and justice-forward direct action to the learning process, and examine the concept of liberation in lived context. This book serves as a call to action to “ignite” a process of undoing (to any extent possible) practices of colonization in education.

“Ignite” is available for purchase at Vernon Press, Amazon, and other major book retailers. Members of the Elon community can save 24% by ordering direct from Vernon Press using code CFC59011C51E at checkout.