Dismantling the Western Canon in Media Studies

Abstract: Although there have been extensive discussions on decolonizing the field of media and communication(s), not much attention has been paid to the way that curricula reproduce colonialism, imperialism and racism in the classroom. In this essay, I draw on my experiences as an African graduate student in an American classroom to highlight the ways that systemic racism is replicated, reproduced and frames pedagogy. I argue that although many communication(s) scholars purport to theorize from a radical perspective, these politics are not represented in their pedagogy which means that students from marginalized communities are often erased in discussions on theory, research methods and even pedagogy. Not only are the epistemological experiences and realities of marginalized students erased, but the canon is further legitimized leading to the training of scholars and teachers who go on to (in)advertently uphold racism, white supremacy, colonialism and imperialism in their research, teaching and service.