Oxford University’s #RhodesMustFall campaign calls for Oriel College to remove a statue of 19th century imperialist Cecil Rhodes. For many campaigners, the goal is not just the symbolic removal of a statue, but a more fundamental transformation of the university. They claim that ‘white’ curricula are responsible for feelings of ‘isolation, marginalisation, alienation and exclusion’ among non-white students. But should education be concerned with reflecting students’ cultural identities? Or should education be about fostering, even imposing, a different type of identity, one not given by biology or social background – the identity of the educated individual?
Filmed at the Battle of Ideas, the speakers are Dr Nick Dennis, deputy head (academic), Nottingham High School; Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, educator, writer and doctoral researcher; Dr Dana Mills, political and dance theorists, visiting fellow at NYU; Selwyn Cudjoe, professor of Africana studies, Wellesley College, USA. The chair is Dr Tiffany Jenkins, writer and broadcaster, author of ‘Keeping Their Marbles: how treasures of the past ended up in museums and why they should stay there.’