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No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education

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Examines how student protest against structural inequalities on campus pushes academic institutions to reckon with their legacy built on slavery and stolen Indigenous lands Using campus social justice movements as an entry point, Leigh Patel shows how the struggles in higher education often directly challenged the tension between narratives of education as a pathway to impr Examines how student protest against structural inequalities on campus pushes academic institutions to reckon with their legacy built on slavery and stolen Indigenous lands Using campus social justice movements as an entry point, Leigh Patel shows how the struggles in higher education often directly challenged the tension between narratives of education as a pathway to improvement and the structural reality of settler colonialism that creates and protects wealth for a select few. Through original research and interviews with activists and organizers from Black Lives Matter, The Black Panther party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Combahee River Collective, and the Young Lords, Patel argues that the struggle on campuses reflect a starting point for higher education to confront settler strategies. She reveals how blurring the histories of slavery and Indigenous removal only traps us in history and perpetuates race, class, and gender inequalities. By acknowledging and challenging settler colonialism, Patel outlines the importance of understanding the relationship between the struggle and study and how this understanding is vital for societal improvement.


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Examines how student protest against structural inequalities on campus pushes academic institutions to reckon with their legacy built on slavery and stolen Indigenous lands Using campus social justice movements as an entry point, Leigh Patel shows how the struggles in higher education often directly challenged the tension between narratives of education as a pathway to impr Examines how student protest against structural inequalities on campus pushes academic institutions to reckon with their legacy built on slavery and stolen Indigenous lands Using campus social justice movements as an entry point, Leigh Patel shows how the struggles in higher education often directly challenged the tension between narratives of education as a pathway to improvement and the structural reality of settler colonialism that creates and protects wealth for a select few. Through original research and interviews with activists and organizers from Black Lives Matter, The Black Panther party, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Combahee River Collective, and the Young Lords, Patel argues that the struggle on campuses reflect a starting point for higher education to confront settler strategies. She reveals how blurring the histories of slavery and Indigenous removal only traps us in history and perpetuates race, class, and gender inequalities. By acknowledging and challenging settler colonialism, Patel outlines the importance of understanding the relationship between the struggle and study and how this understanding is vital for societal improvement.

43 review for No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Leigh Patel's No Study Without Struggle is essential reading for anti-racists working in higher education. There was something on pretty much every page that I highlighted. My previous knowledge of colonization regarded colonial states, where colonizers would extract resources and then leave. Settler colonialism is, like in the U.S., where colonizers came and stayed, and still depend on white supremacy and structural racism. Settler colonialism requires acquisition of large amounts of private pr Leigh Patel's No Study Without Struggle is essential reading for anti-racists working in higher education. There was something on pretty much every page that I highlighted. My previous knowledge of colonization regarded colonial states, where colonizers would extract resources and then leave. Settler colonialism is, like in the U.S., where colonizers came and stayed, and still depend on white supremacy and structural racism. Settler colonialism requires acquisition of large amounts of private property and treating humans as property, not people. Some ways this plays out in higher ed, as Patel articulates, are the acquisition of native lands to house universities. These "land grant institutions," such as the one I work for, obfuscate and erase the presence and identity of native people on whose land their structures are built, as well as the labor of enslaved, racialized, or incarcerated people whose bodies build and work the campuses. Students and faculty are not free from encountering settler colonialism. Any minoritized scholars (both at student and faculty level) are "gifted" entrance and employment, scholarships and grants, and so on, which establishes an unequal relationship with the universities administration (usually white men) and the scholars of color. Patel also articulates the ways that the approach to issues of discrimination on campus is akin to couples counseling, which implies that all members willingly entered into the relationship, which does not address the imbalance of power or the university's unwillingness to actually change. I can't tell you how much I loved this book. After reading it, I felt like I needed to read it again at least twice to really get as much out of it as Patel put into it. Anyone who is in higher ed or has family in it should read this book, especially white people. I received an ARC of this book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Heather Munao

    I definitely recommend this book to anyone who cares about issues of class, race, gender, and assorted American and educational sins. I also think it is basically required reading for everyone in academia / higher ed. The only reason I don’t give it 5 stars is because I think the author needed an extremely clear definition of settler colonialism up front. The 3 main traits did not get laid out until rather late in the book, so I felt I had to connect a lot of dots for a good part of the book— es I definitely recommend this book to anyone who cares about issues of class, race, gender, and assorted American and educational sins. I also think it is basically required reading for everyone in academia / higher ed. The only reason I don’t give it 5 stars is because I think the author needed an extremely clear definition of settler colonialism up front. The 3 main traits did not get laid out until rather late in the book, so I felt I had to connect a lot of dots for a good part of the book— especially in terms of how settler colonialism specifically differs from systemic racism. But I enjoyed and was challenged by this book. My full review is in Booklist.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    This is a well-written work that extends the social justice conversation into deeper and richer territory. It was repetitive at times, but still a worthwhile read.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Book Club of One

    * I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.* In No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education Dr. Patel uses campus social justice movements as a gateway to contrast the meritocratic narrative against the structural reality of settler colonialism. As it frames much of the book it is worth noting that settler colonialism is defined as an ongoing system of power that perpetuates containment, repression and genocide of indigenous peoples and * I received a free copy of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway.* In No Study Without Struggle: Confronting Settler Colonialism in Higher Education Dr. Patel uses campus social justice movements as a gateway to contrast the meritocratic narrative against the structural reality of settler colonialism. As it frames much of the book it is worth noting that settler colonialism is defined as an ongoing system of power that perpetuates containment, repression and genocide of indigenous peoples and cultures.* This very timely short work, details the formations of many institutions of higher education and the role of slavery or stolen indigenous land in that process. Drawing from personal experiences, interviews with activists and organizers from Black Lives Matter, The Black Panther Party as well as researching the archival materials of organizations such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee; Patel present the case that much of higher education is built and maintained for white people and that naming the problem of racism is not enough, and offers many different possibilities for improvement and change. As articulated by Patel, we as a culture need to understand that history is not confined to the past but has continually repercussion on our present. As one discussed example, an American textbook presents the narrative of Manifest Destiny as the White Christian god given right to the control and ownership of the Western United States, but this erases the Native American cultures that were displaced, contained and destroyed. (pages 44-47). A very thought provoking book, and one that should be read by anyone currently working, or planning to work, in higher education. Dr. Leigh Patel is currently a professor of Educational Foundations, Organizations, and Policy at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr Patel is "is a transdisciplinary (sic) scholar who studies the narratives that create material realities in society. Her research focuses on both the ways schooling delivers inequities and how education can be a tool for liberation."** * Alicia Cox. "Settler Colonialism." Oxford Bibliographies Accessed 7-18-2021. ** "Leigh Patel." Univeristy of Pittsburgh, Accessed 7-18-2021.

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